Thanks for following along and I’m happy to give this to you free.

However, I ask in return, you let a friend know about The Bridge.  I don’t care if they buy it, I just want them to read it.  It’ll be free online for a few weeks.

Thanks again, and enjoy 🙂

Leo

**********

 

I will always remember the feeling of sunlight on my skin for the first time. The sensation bearing a warmth that the cold mechanics of the ship could not provide, an experience I never knew existed. Something my imagination could not conjure on its own.

The soldiers had left the open doors first as Airomem instructed, their eyes squinting as they first stepped onto soft grass, whose footprints were the first to ever claim the surface. They fanned out in a semi-circle as the rest of us departed, creating a barrier between us and Earth 14. Airomem, Hannah, Elliott, Ruth, and I led the others, our eyes wide as we stared out before us, taking in the setting.

Gasping.

At the sheer expanse of farmland, the absolute lack of any containment making me shiver. The feeling of a breeze with no vents, the smell of what I would later realize was the salt of the sea, the line of tall plants in the distance, their leaves reaching upwards high into the sky, their stems as thick as several torsos. At the blue above us where the black of space should be, tinged with white puffs similar to soup froth. At the earth that rose taller than I, that wasn’t flat, and hard earth where plants could not grow and I could not smush with my fingers, that I would later know as rock.

And in those beginning weeks, there were many firsts.

There was the first sunburn at the end of the first day, experienced by all.

The first taste of new species of vegetables previously unknown.

The first time entering a building, which we called minor ships.

The first ascension in climbing a tree to view the expanse of the island, the wind drifting through my hair.

The first storm, when lightning split the sky, and we feared for our lives.

The first experience of water up to my waist, wading into the ocean as it sought to drag me deeper, and I retreated back to what I had come to know as sand.

And among all these, there was the first time both Airomem’s and my hands clasped together under the stars of night, the first time our lips met as the crickets chirped, and my hand pressed against the small of her back. When we realized that New Earth 14 was not the only new life we were starting, that not only did we depend upon each other for survival, but for something else. Something more.

And that after all this time, our destination had been reached, and a new journey had begun.

Of memories and history wed together, seeking a brighter future.

Epilogue

********

I’ll be providing the entire story here for free for a limited time.  In return, I ask that you tell a friend about Chapter 1!  The only way others find out about my work is through word of mouth.