Aphelion Issue 245, Volume 23
November 2019
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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The Picnic

By Denny E. Marshall

  Chapter 1

Docile giants. Yet giants. They stand at over ninety stories in height. Their size did not keep them from travel.
The ship is headed for Blue Star Lake in Albertville’s World. The family picnicked there often. They loved too picnic. Upon arrival, looking below the surroundings seemed unfamiliar. Paula asks her husband Lon “Are you lost Lonnie?” “I don’t think so.” he replied. Obviously, he did not install the GPS (Galactic position system.) she bought him for his birthday. Their daughter Meagan asks “Are we there yet?”
“There it is!” Lon shouted. They land the craft by the lake. It is dark outside. For Lon the best time to picnic. They gather all their items and the family picks a nice spot. Still Paula felt the surroundings seemed different. It is because of the dark she tells herself and did not give it another thought. The family is now enjoying the picnic and the moment. Meagan is running and playing. Smiles are all around.
Chapter 2

The whole town heard about the light. All the residents are making they’re way to the location. The shores of Hayes Lake located about two miles south of town. Soon all have gathered in front of the light. It is large. It is well over one hundred and eighty feet in height, and one hundred and twenty feet in width. It is hard to make out the depth because of the strange glowing. Surrounding the light is a forest of tall shadows and echoes of unearthly voices from the sky.
No one in the crowd has any idea what the object is. You could hear opinions ringing from the group. “It is the end of the world,” said the reverend. “A stairway to heaven,” “A sign of revelation,” others shouted. Whether the forces of revelations or some other unseen forces, the march continues. The crowds advance forward and cannot stop. Drawn like magnets into the hypnotic illuminations. The light is large and bright yet soothing. The edges seem like room after room of inviting light. Yet, walls and ceilings do not focus or appear.
After going further, all disappear into the light. Soon the last citizen of the town walks in.
Chapter 3

Lon feels vibrations in his head. It is his Cell-All. Lon listened intently to what is being said on the other end of the line. You could see the color draw out of his face. He apologizes and hangs up. His wife knows something is up and asks, “What is wrong Lonnie?” “We are not at Blue Star Lake, this is an inhabited planet.” He replied.
They both know the rules and it is against regulations to picnic on inhabited lands. They quickly gather up their belongings. Then run to the door of the ship. Lon calls out to Meagan. “Grab the bug light please.”


2015 Denny E. Marshall

Bio: Denny is the most published contributor to the Drabbles and 55's section of our Flash department.

E-mail: Denny E. Marshall


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