Life Goes On

Life Goes On

By Andrea Tavlan

The small blue planet had been so beautiful. Every night, the anthropology students would go to the observatory and look at it, spying on the people they would never contact.They laughed at their public spectacles, and gaped as natural disasters wrecked their flimsy, older towns. It had been interesting, watching this silent people as they went about their everyday lives.

Every once in a while, the little people from several different places would fly in small vehicles to one area and go inside a building. There would be big, boxy land-crossing vehicles there too, and lots of little creatures holding sticklike pieces of mechanical apparatus trying to get inside. Other creatures would keep them out. Sometimes when the little people came out of the building, they would be walking closely to one another, certain parts of their anatomy squinting, the objects which had been assumed to share both the responsibility of nutrition-consumer and vocal apparatus fluctuating wildly. Their little manipulative organs would sway back and forth in front of the other people. More often though, the people would troop out of their building in tight little clumps, staying away from the creatures from other lands. Some of them walked in a straight line, while others' manipulators moved back and forth, their communicative apparatus going on and on, their faces stretched into interesting shapes. They were fun to watch.

But one of the most interesting groups of people were the ones who seemed to have no purpose. These people would simply loiter in small, densely populated areas, trading small green things for other objects of no apparent purpose. Others would stray from the crowds, traveling to deserted areas where for some strange reason they put burning objects in their breathing apparatus and temporarily stopped their life functions from working properly. A strange group of people, indeed.

Once the people stopped wandering the streets in an area. The little bustling objects they carried themselves in swerved about wildly and crashed, and none of the creatures got out. Large areas were abandoned and only people wearing unusual pieces of equipment on their faces were allowed to go there. Once in a while, one of the huge structures would collapse in the deserted cities. Sometimes a building would crumble in a populated city, and the little people would swarm to the scene. Then a few of the creatures would be singled out from the crowd and placed in more of the little carriages, and bigger ones would arrive which would take the injured little people away.

Then one day, a flying object swooped over one of the continents. Several small objects were shot at it but missed. The flying vehicle released a small object into gravity's hold and then kept going. The students at the observatory watched in fascination as the object detonated before it hit the ground, sending a circular cloud towards the little people's sky, blocking the observatory's view of the area. When the cloud went away, there were no more little people in that area any more. In fact, nothing was left of the center of the area but a smoking crater. The observers were saddened by this, but they still watched as the little people on the other side of the devastated continent sent some of their flying objects towards the place of the cloud-causing vehicle's origin. Another giant cloud formed on the other side of the planet, and once again the little people in the vicinity were exterminated. The rotation of the blue planet made it impossible to see what happened next. A few more clouds appeared on some insubstantial land-masses in the biggest body of water, and the onlookers wondered what was happening to the little world.

But when the blue and green planet turned around again, there were no more little people. There were only a series of pockmarks covering the once beautiful planet, and all of the little creatures who hadn't been vaporized lay in the streets, motionless. The observers waited for days for them to get up, but they did not. Eventually they stopped coming to the observatory, the entertainment gone. The little blue planet silently orbited its sun for millennia, no creatures swarming over it in small combustion-fueled vehicles in a real-life picture-show.

Then one day, there was a ripple in the waters of the vast ocean. A new creature dragged itself out of the immense body of water and explored the dry land. It searched the plains that covered its world and, finding no predators or competition, it grew. And the people came back to the observatory, to watch the rebirth of the planet Earth.

The End

Copyright 1997 by Andrea Tavlan

About the writer in her own words:

I am a 14 year old freshman who lives in Hillsborough, NJ. I consider the two banes of my existence to be shortness and incompetent people. I love science fiction and receiving e-mail, and I aspire to be a geneticist or surgeon in the future.

Andrea can be reached at:

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