“Unauthorized Descent”

The day after contact was lost with the counterweight station, the space elevator unexpectedly initiated a descent toward Earth. 

The day after contact was lost with the counterweight station, the space elevator unexpectedly initiated a descent toward Earth

Executives and officials crowded into an office in Quito and debated the possible explanations for this unauthorized approach.

“We all know exactly what this means,” one adviser warned. “That climber must not reach the surface. We must move to intercept.”

“There is no question,” another responded, “and that buys time for the government to evacuate the city.”

When no communication was established, soldiers packed into a second elevator at the equator station and lifted upward for a rendezvous with the unknown. 

Quito, Ecuador 

Author: joshuajscully

That’s my picture up there. I’m not totally sure why I look so angry. I may be thinking about how much I hated the Crypt Keeper as a child. I grew up faithfully watching reruns of The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt. Unfortunately, I missed the boat in terms of writing for either of those programs. I do consider both to have been wildly influential when I think back to my earliest thoughts about becoming an author and I’m grateful my parents let me watch those shows as a kid (although there were probably some nights early in my childhood my mother wished she hadn’t let me watch those shows). If you’re familiar with either program, then you know what genres are my focus. I thoroughly enjoy science fiction, suspense, the twist ending, and some horror or supernatural elements as well. Honestly, when I was a kid the Crypt Keeper scared the hell out of me. As an adult, I’ve really learned to embrace the puns. Historical fiction is a favorite of mine as well, and the root of that is shared with my profession. I am an educator by trade, and I teach American History. I consider some of the best writing I’ve ever done to be within the realm of historical fiction and I really enjoy saturating my mind in the research end of those projects. I would make the argument that storytelling is in my blood. Even my sister mulled, very briefly (about 45 minutes), launching a career as a screenwriter! My last name is one of those Irish (and, apparently, formally Manx) ones with a wonderfully researched history -“the story-teller’s descendant”. On of the first day of school each year, I do share that “my name is Mr. Scully, and that rhymes with Kelly”, just so I do not hear the myriad of mispronunciations on the first day. Several years ago, I started a blog similar to this one to highlight my middle years as a teacher. If that aspect of my life is of any interest to you at all, you can still find that blog online. During my summers, I really have time to pursue my writing projects and this blog will highlight some of that work. My first attempts to sit down and write extensively occurred when I was 15, but only a few years ago did I make setting time aside to write a priority. I’ve also benefited wildly over the years from many willing readers among my family and friends. The direction and feedback from those individuals has been invaluable. Outside the world of the written word, I am an educator, basketball coach, lecturer, and (very, very occasionally) a landscaper. I have only ever known Western Pennsylvania as my home. Although I love a good novel, I am absolutely unable to resist the power of the short story. The latter is really what I hope to be remembered for one day.

8 thoughts on ““Unauthorized Descent””

    1. haha! That’s an excellent question! I had originally wrote this for Twitter and hated how much detail I had to cut (even after the platform expanded to 280 characters) and when I reworked this for the “100-word” format I wondered if less was indeed more with this one?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes, stories need to be shorter, and others need to grow. I think you made a good decision.

        And I haven’t used my twitter much but i’m starting to try. What’s your handle? I’ll follow you!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I like the use of climber here- it’s on the surface ambiguous, yet that is exactly the point. There is no up or down in space so you are climbing no matter what direction you’re headed!

    Thanks for the read- keep writing my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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