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THE GOLDEN VALLEYS OF VENUS

THE GOLDEN VALLEYS OF VENUS

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Published by DTYarbrough
A SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY
A SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

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Published by: DTYarbrough on Aug 05, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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10/02/2014

THE GOLDEN VALLEYS OF VENUS

Written by DTYarbrough

A SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY
Copyright 2010 All rights reserved

THE GOLDEN VALLEYS OF VENUS
Written by DTYarbrough As Captain Slade drifted along in the life raft, he could see the wolfen creatures following on the shore. The flow of the river was slow but steady as it meandered through the golden valley. Venus had not been the hospitable place they had expected. The probes had been accurate as far as temperatures, atmosphere and plant life, but animal life had not been detected. This was doubly curious since the animals seemed to outnumber the plant life. Because of that, many were meat eaters, if they were made of meat. Let's just say that they ate each other and found newcomers like Slade and his crew especially appetizing. The crew of eight men and eight women had left earth over a year ago. Their flight here had been uneventful and the landing superb. The smaller animals they discovered had been only a small problem. Stings from flying insects were extremely painful but harmless. It wasn't until they entered the wooded areas that they encountered the wolfen. Captain Slade had seen at least two of the crew ripped to shreds by a pack of these creatures. The crew had scattered more and more with each new encounter. Now, for all he knew, he was the sole survivor. The communicators were extremely limited in range because of the ionized atmosphere. He had not heard from anyone in two days. He was attempting to make it back to the ship. If he could turn on the emergency beacon, it would let the others, if there still were others, know to return to the ship. He would need at least one or two others if he expected to get the ship off the ground. Slade and the others in the crew had been genetically engineered from birth for this mission. They had lived in special habitats and played and trained together. They were like brothers and sisters and would be sorely missed if he had to return to Earth without them. He had no real desire to return to Earth. He and the others had only seen one human, Professor Iverson, and he was all business. They had not actually met him. His face appeared often on their monitors as he tried to answer their many questions as they were growing up. Slade was hungry and thirsty. He had attempted to drink the water from the river, but it was unable to quench his thirst. His canteen was empty now, having taken the last swallow over two hours ago. He hadn't had any food all day. Slade began to hear the sound of singing. A song so alluring that he would have gone to it if he had any control over the raft. The words were without meaning in the normal sense, but he felt such melancholy that he found it hard to hold back the tears. The voice was pure and sweet, with a haunting touch that touched his very soul. He had to be hallucinating, that was it. He looked in the direction of the voice and saw a small rock island up ahead, directly in the middle of the river.

As the raft drifted silently toward the rock, the song became louder and more beckoning. He dove into the river and swam toward the island. As he looked up he saw a head appear above the rock. He could make out little of the facial details but it definitely had red hair, its full length hidden by the rock. As the head disappeared, he heard a splash. He continued toward the rock to find no one there. He pulled himself upon the rock and collapsed into a long sleep. In his dream he saw her face, more beautiful than any woman he had ever seen. She was singing to him, a song of joy and revelry. He was in love. He had never been in love before so he didn't know it, but he could not imagine life without her. When he awoke, the raft was no longer within view, but the wolfen were still on the shore. He felt rested but no less hungry and thirsty. He dove beneath the water and searched for the red haired siren. As he began to rise back to the surface, he felt a pull on his leg. She was smiling up at him as she pulled him back down. He was almost out of breath but could not put up a fight as he descended toward the depths. When he could hold his breath no longer, he inhaled a mouthful of water. He felt better. He was breathing. He smiled back at the beautiful red haired siren. “Everything will be okay,” she said or rather thought. Either way, Slade got the message. “What's your name?” he wondered. “Isabel,” she thought. “What are you called?” “Captain Slade,” he thought. “I sense that is a title, not a name,” she thought. “Don't you have a first name?” “It's Richard,” he thought. “Where are you taking me?” “To meet my parents,” she said. “I think you will like them.” …............................ “Richard, this is my mother and stepfather. Mother, Father, I'd like you to meet Richard,” Isabel thought. “Nice to meet you, Richard. I've never seen Isabel so happy. When is the happy day?” asked her Father. “Happy day?” thought Richard. “What do you mean?” “You do realize that she wants to marry you,” her father thought. “I can feel how much you love her.”

“Are you sure?” thought Richard. “We only just met.” “She just lost a husband,” thought her father. “It hits some much harder than others. The thought of being alone is just too much for them. She'll make an excellent wife.” “Of course I'll marry her,” thought Richard. “I'm just a little surprised.” “Okay then,” thought her father. “Let's set a date. How about the day after tomorrow.” “I don't have any plans,” thought Richard. “That's good for me.” …............................. Over the next four years, Richard was happier then he could have ever imagined. He fell more in love with the passing of each day. He could see that Isabel was pregnant. When he asked if it was a boy or girl, she just looked at him strangely and shrugged. “Will I be able to help when the baby comes?” thought Richard. “It's the husband's job to feed the babies for the first week after they are born,” Isabel thought. “That's all?” thought Richard. “That doesn't sound too hard. How long before it's due?” “Six more months. We have plenty of time before things get serious,” thought Isabel. “Do you have to take it easy, now that you're pregnant?” thought Richard. “Not really. In fact, exercise would be good for me,” she thought. …...................... As the day finally arrived, Richard was in the delivery room with Isabel. “You can't stay in here,” she thought. “You should be in the waiting room.” “I just wanted to ask you what I'm supposed to feed the babies?” thought Richard. “You have to feed them yourself,” she thought. “I understand that,” he thought. “But what do I feed them?” “No, you don't understand,” she thought. “You have to feed them yourself. Now go to the waiting room.”

“She's not thinking too clearly, I guess,” Richard thought as he went to the waiting room.” As Richard swam in circles, waiting for word from the doctors, he saw thousands of tiny blond haired babies swimming into the room through one of the vents. As they started nibbling on his fingers and toes, he finally realized what Isabel had meant. As the water began to turn a scarlet red, so did the hair of the babies. Richard couldn't help but love each and every one of them. They looked so much like their mother.

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