The Other Side of the Clouds

Among a sparse but sprawling bed of wispy cirrus clouds, a pair of sky people attended a power box protruding from a bulbous grey tuft of water vapor. One wore a toolbelt and unfastened the box’s door; the other stood behind him, scribbling on a clipboard. Both wore blazing white uniforms of pressed collared shirts and slacks, and laced shoes that shone like stars. The planet Earth turned far below and across its face an eternal kaleidoscope of shadows slithered, seethed, warped and blinked out of existence under the influence of the sun.

The technician glanced down briefly at the planet as he worked. “I wonder what goes on down there,” he murmured.

His supervisor looked up from the blinding white pages on her clipboard.  “Actually,” she said, “Earthbound humans are basically like us, except when they look down there’s a solid surface immediately under their feet.”

“Sounds suffocating.” The tech shook his head in amazement and pity. “Although, I’ll bet they’re so used to it they don’t even notice.”

“Just imagine the big open space we’re used to being overhead instead of below.” She nodded sincerely. “The effect is disorienting, and nauseating.”

“Y’know, I heard there’s a new medication for that—supposed to be better than the old one.” He tinkered within the box. “For the people whose jobs require travel to the Surface.”

“Did you know some people don’t need any meds at all?”

The tech grinned proudly. “I’m related to one of ’em. My grandfather…” He swapped out the tool in his hand for one on his belt. “He had natural earth legs and the inversion never got to him.”

“A rare kind.”

“He said he always felt badly for coworkers who journeyed below, the whole time feeling like they were gonna trip and fall into the sky while puking up their guts, even with meds.”

His supervisor shrugged. “Earthbound humans would feel that way, too, if they didn’t believe in gravity.”

“They believe in—?” He stared at her over his shoulder. “They’re that primitive?!”


“They’ll never learn to fly that way!”


Prompt (by Pages of Fiction): Write about the sky; what goes on up there? 

2 thoughts on “The Other Side of the Clouds

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