Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

It was 1856. I remember it like it was yesterday even though so many of my other memories have gone.

It looked like he had fallen out of the clouds judging by the sheared treetops that led to his crippled metal sky wagon.

I say ‘he’ but really, that was just what we decided after finding him. His nether regions were as smooth as a river rock. We nicknamed him Baldy because there wasn’t a hair on him and his head was a little bigger than ours. He had a ring of gold eyes on his face, arranged kind of like a spider although I didn’t find it threatening or creepy. He had a little mess of tentacles where his mouth should have been and twenty or so tiny round holes for a nose.

He had fours arms up top, a big pair and a small pair, three thick fingers on each hand. The knuckles on his hands seemed to go any which way they pleased. I remember that being more disconcerting to me than his strange face.

He was dripping bright orange blood. We put him on a makeshift stretcher and took him away from the smoking shell of his ship. He had a couple of wires that were still attaching him to the ship. We had to cut those wires to get him away.

The blue fella died in the doctor’s office. We were all pretty sad about it. Some of us thought that maybe it was disconnecting him from his ship was what done it even though his wounds looked pretty severe and he never stopped bleeding that mango juice all over the doc’s floor.

The doc was pretty shook up. He didn’t write anything down about it. We took the blue fella out and buried him.

I can’t tell you the reason that none of us thought to write anything down or try to take pictures of him or report it on the wires or try to make money off of him or anything. It just didn’t seem right.

On the place where we buried him, a tree sprung up the next spring. The leaves were shaped like bright red octagons.

The fruit looked like pink siamese-twin pears with little thorns on the bottom.

Five of us picked and ate some of that fruit.

It’s been fifty years since I ate that fruit and the memories are still bright in my mind.

The memories of growing up on an ice planet with six blue suns. The memories of leaving my brood and climbing aboard a spaceship. The memories of deviating off course. The memories of being struck by lightning and being found by strange, pink, bipeds with simple cell structures. The memories of being cut off from the hivemind and the fading sense of belonging. The memories of not being able to tell the pink biped medical officer that it wasn’t his fault that I was dying.

I remember my own face looking at me. That’s the weirdest memory I have. I also have memories of strange, alien math and technology that I’ve always been scared to tell people about until now.

They say that I have Alzheimer’s. I’ve felt my own memories slipping away more and more. The memories of the alien remain bright and unchanged. I think the fruit put them in there more solidly that my own. In a while, they’ll be my only memories.

That’s why I’m writing these equations down. For the scientists. For you humans. Use the math wisely.



Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows