10-Minute Stories – October Ten Thirty Ten

I recently acquired a book at Brown Dog Books & Gifts titled, Take Ten for Writers. It contains 100 exercises with 10 variations each for impromptu, free-style writing. I thought I’d use this blog as my canvas.

This will be quite a challenge, for one of the main rules is to abstain from much editing. Another rule consists in spending at least 10 minutes on each exercise. I will attempt to produce my stories in 20 at most. Great challenge. Should be fun. Let’s begin…

ps - spaceship

October Ten Thirty Ten

Warpagram #17 – Arrived safely. More beautiful than imagined. Friendly welcome. More tomorrow.

Dear Journal, you’d think I would have given you a name by now. Traveling at warp speed gave me the illusion that there was no time. Yet even though I made it from earth to here in only one month, as opposed to the 300 years it would have taken other men only 1000 years ago, I must admit that I have had unsettling moments of loneliness. I’ll call you Simon.

Sometimes I wonder why we put so much effort into this exploration. It is as though we cannot help but want to occupy more and more territory. But I am being cynical. In truth, I see that it is our imagination that forever needs to explore beyond earthly boundaries, even beyond itself. There is a formidable tempest on our minds. It barely quiets down that it has to think up new adventures. My father used to call this the “monsoon-like winds of the mind.”

I had fear, too. We have explored so many worlds and fortunately those who planned encounter protocols were wise. There have been very few incidents. My superiors would not like to hear me say this, Simon, but what I fear most is not an encounter with unknown species, but an encounter with estranged humans. We are so unpredictable.

No. We are predictable. That’s the problem. I fear what I know us to be capable of. But for now I must set this unfounded fear aside. The beings who have made this planet their home seem peaceful enough. Then again, warp travel is far from a new occurrence. They have had centuries to decide whether to welcome travelers with open arms or reject them at first sight. In some ways, I think they are more civilized than we have been on our own world, on earth, even among our very own. We are not a trusting bunch.

I wish they sent more than one person at a time on these inter-galactic missions. I would like to discuss these thoughts with others. They should cram professors and philosophers and children on these space travel ships, so we may all share the experience.

I was sent here to establish commerce connections; I wish I were sent here to listen, learn, and bring back the promise of friendship for the sake of expansion, not the promise of customers and revenue only. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but I am baffled that it is still a focus at this time in history.

I must rest now, Simon. Thank you for listening. Maybe this is what it’s all about. We are sent into space for commerce, but in truth the goods we bring back are those thoughts that transform us and the world, little by little. Commerce has always been a great backdrop to the human journey.

Until tomorrow then.


Topic: October 10, 3010. A megalightyear mission. A 10-word warpagram back to headquarters and a personal journal entry using the words monsoon-like winds.

The Book: Take Ten For Writers

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