Writing short fiction is much harder (for me, at least) that writing longer works. Short stories are an intricate art-form, and the shorter they get, the more they intimidate me.
But every once in a while, especially between bigger projects, I try my hand at writing shorter fiction. It makes me feel like a kid stumbling into a master painter’s studio, and doodling on their canvas, with my tongue stuck out and paint smeared in my hair. But to hell with it, it’s fun! Microfiction in particular feels just like doodling a story. It’s the most basic sketch of a story, but it still has to be a complete picture.
I wrote this tiny story earlier this year for Artifexian, an artist who does animations on various worldbuilding topics on Youtube (probably among other things? Don’t know.). He’d made an animation to a piece of microfiction called “The Object,” and when it went viral, he asked for writers to volunteer other such stories. But he seems to not have made any further animations (for whatever reason).
My little story was on his list of upcoming animations. If he ever does animate it, I’ll definitely post it here too. But until then, I thought I’d share the story in written form. Before it gets lost somewhere in my zillions of notes.
I hope you find it interesting. 🙂 Happy reading!
We went into space to find the Others.
We built large space ships with very large engines, and even larger stations to plant along the way. We hopped across the galaxy, system after system, colonizing planet after planet. We built even bigger ships with even bigger engines. We tapped into the power of the stars, and flew faster and further each time. We branched out, multiplied, inhabited, and occupied. We searched relentlessly, but never found what we were looking for. There were no Others.
So we searched harder. We dug into the cores of stars, gazed into the darkness of black holes, and peered over the edge of our galaxy into the pitiless void. We never found them.
Yet we couldn’t be alone. We knew they had to be out there. We’d found subtle traces of their passing everywhere we went. They’d left their mark all over the galaxy, in every system we entered, on every planet we searched. We found the crumbs of their camps, the slag of their ships, the footprints of their race. We knew they had been there before us. The ancient ones who had left us behind on Earth. Our creators: the humans. They have fled. But we will find them.