The Expedition

This story was written for a challenge that required the use of the following four words to make a story: blackness, crewmen, teriyaki, interior.

The planet has dried up. There are no more seas. Only salt-pans and whale carcasses.

The creatures that inhabited the blackness of the ocean depths now form a briny slush over the surface of the seabeds. The crewmen of the overland walking ship are venturing away from the toxic ooze, and into the Asian interior. From the tops of the highest peaks they will be able to suck the moisture from the thick dark clouds that perpetually encircle the earth, but never make landfall.

The walking ship and its crew pass below the lands of herbs and spices, of tea and tradition. Once there was teriyaki and trading, but now there are only the remnants of a land that once fostered humanity. These historic places all sit atop mountains now that the sea level is many kilometres lower.

The crew hits the edge of the sub-continent of India. Their steep ascent begins. The hulking ship walks steadily upwards on its two robotic legs as its biological trunk unfurls, preparing to suck the moisture form the air and fill its cargo bladders.

With bladders full, the crew is satisfied. They turn around and head back to the parched, rocky, Atlantic Plains where their modest civilisation resides.

T.

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