Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

The Pai-Toxh beings of the twin planet set, Andromedae 2787A and B, were nearing their migration time. The entire flock had just about finished feeding and were full of energy for their upcoming journey. Calls went out as alpha leaders stirred up the others. The creatures began to spread out their wide skin flaps. It was becoming crowded and there was much squawking as they all jostled for room on the great lichen covered stony plane.

Then finally when it seemed everybody had a spot they all quieted down and began to wait. It would be soon enough. The beings hazarded glances with their multifaceted eye domes toward the western horizon. And then it appeared.

A hum rose up through the flock. It would still be several hours before the great winds came yet every creature vibrated with anticipation as the other planet drew around for the closest approach of its yearlong extremely elliptical orbit.

The sister world grew to enormous proportions as it rose gargantuan in the western sky. Yet closer and more massive still it drew toward them. Ever larger, ever looming, until a vibrant green ocean and mighty straddling continent with a spectacular twenty-five thousand kilometers long mountain range seemed close enough to touch. And the Pai-Toxh beings could literally feel a magnetic pull in their hollow bones. Yet still it advanced, until finally a rushing of air could be heard in the distance.

And as the sister passed directly above, not a hundred kilometers separating the two interlocked planets, their atmospheres kissed and the great winds began.

Air rushed in like a tidal wave building up and up from a mighty gale to an onslaught that raged at several hundred kilometers per hour. Suddenly the sky was filled with dots and dust to the west as other flocks of Pai-Toxh were hurled skyward alongside a multitude of insects, plants, seeds and pollen, the great winds tearing them all from their stony perches. And then in another moment the heaviest of the winds arrived in full force.

The local flock was hurled into the air like so many spinning kites, many of them collided, some died, but the lucky ones who managed to avoid danger and debris were soon in the upper atmosphere, where the air was very thin, the pressure extremely low.

But these creatures had evolved to survive this migration. While other beings stayed near the less turbulent poles, or burrowed underground to avoid the annual storm, the Pai-Toxh along with other interplanetary migratory animals let themselves fly free, up past the limits of their normally calm stratosphere, to where the two worlds momentarily mixed air.

And there they passed their cousins coming back the other way, members of their own species arriving from the sister world, to mate and birth offspring in the place the flock had only just abandoned. By now they were all so sparsely interspersed that there were far fewer collisions. For the most part they would soon float safely and intact, down to mate and have young of their own in their wonderful new home there on the sister sphere.

And then one day, after another long year had passed, their descendants would eventually return to this place, and it would all start over again.

And year after year it would continue, over and over, each and every time the heavenly dancers twirled toward each other to once again dip in and share their brief kiss.


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