Writing is a way to make fantasy worlds a reality. It provides a means to accomplishing the childhood dreams that become less possible as we grew up.
As a child, the imagination is so vivid and unregulated. Zero constraints, no rules of reality, no physics, no logic – just pure freedom to think and create whatever worlds pop into the young mind of a child.
Barbara has seen three gruesome wars and multiple economic depressions. She had witnessed decades of societal changes and dozens of presidential races. She watched friends around her slowly wither away until death overcame them. She lost her husband to cancer. She had even watched two of her sons take their own lives.
Through it all, Barbara remained resilient and continued along her path of creating a better world for her descendants. Her body was ready to leave the earth and decay in the dirt, but her mind and spirit still had much work to accomplish.
“Are you ready, Mrs. Kelsey?” The nurse asked gently and held out a cold, soft hand.
Barbara nodded her head and grabbed the nurse’s hand.
“Are you afraid?” Asked the nurse.
“No. If it is my time to go, I will not argue.” Barbara clenched the rosary in her hand and brought it to her face. Silently, she said a prayer.
The nurse took Barbara to a room down the hall of the serpentine hospital. The room was white and reeked of sterilization. In the center sat a clean metal table.
The nurse helped Barbara lie down on the table and then asked one more time, “Are you certain?”
Barbara said one final prayer and sighed, “Yes.”
The nurse injected a clear liquid into Barbara’s neck. Peaceful sleep overcame her.
“Alright, we are all finished.”
Barbara couldn’t see anything but blackness, but she began to register voices all around.
The wings of steel were the first appendage she felt. She felt them, as if they were her own. They were her own. And for the first time in her life, it was time to fly.
It was time to fly away from the life that had beaten her down day by day. It was time to fly away from the institutions that had failed her and the people who left her high and dry.
Barbara’s vision finally began to clear. Her vision went from blurry to immaculate perfection – every tiny detail in the surgical room was sharp and defined. Nurses walked around the room covered in scrubs, gloves, and masks.
And then Barbara saw her new shiny vessel. Gone were the days of barely getting around on two twice replaced hips and wretched knees. The days of flight were coming. Barbara’s birdlike body shimmered under the surgical lights. She brought her wings into view and smiled with her newly placed beak.
“Goodbye,” Barbara whispered as she spread her mechanical wings across the room. Glass shattered and nurses screamed out in shock.
Flapping the powerful appendages, Barbara rose from the gurney and shot up through the foam ceiling panels. She broke through to the next floor up and sped towards the first widow in sight. People all around screamed and ran, but Barbara was determined.
She steeled her body and closed her eyes as she braced for impact with the glass. She barely even felt the widow shatter all around her polished frame.
Feeling the sunlight hit her new feathers of steel, Barabara opened her eyes and saw the sun for the first time in weeks.
She flew towards the sun, smiling and radiating freedom the entire time.
H.G. Wells released his novel, The War of the Worlds in 1897. This is a science fiction book exploring what might happen if Martians invaded the earth.
Over a hundred years after the publication of this novel, it still has the power to make readers wonder about life beyond our atmosphere. Would outsiders be friendly or deadly like the Martians in this version?
We may never know the answers, but for now we can enjoy the writings of creative minds that explore the topic of extraterrestrials.
Though the tale is far fetched, here are three life lessons from The War of the Worlds:
1 – Don’t underestimate the outsider.
If an alien species came to our planet, the first mistake we could make would be to underestimate them. Humans have an issue with understanding that we are not perfect and we are not at the top of the food chain. There’s nothing more threatening to the ego of man than an alien race dropping from the sky with superior technology and intelligence.
Never assume that the outsider is weaker or less developed. Never underestimate those you don’t know.
2 – Our rules of life and science might not equal outsider rules. (Law and Physics)
The narrator quickly assumes that our powerful gravity on Earth will be unbearable to those used to the lesser gravity of Mars. He also considers other things about the Martians in terms of human laws of physics and ethics.
Races that come from different places, especially different planets, likely won’t have the same rules of nature that we do. We can’t assume that others will think murder is wrong, we can’t assume that all lifeforms in the universe need oxygen to breath.
Everything we think we know about the universe would instantly go up in flames if a Martian landed on Earth. No assumptions, no rules.
3 – When it’s all said and done, go back home.
The narrator’s fear and anxiety comes to a close at the end of the book when the Martians meet their demise. The first thing he does is go back home. Luckily, his wife is there, too, happy to see her husband survived the invasion.
Occasionally life sucks and it’s madness. We move so fast from one task to the next with a little sleep and food in between. On the go – always.
Every now and then it’s productive and wise to take a breather. Go home. Go sit and stare at the wall and relax. Slow down. Visit the place where you feel you most belong and give yourself time to enjoy it.
Take a moment to feel gratitude that your loved ones haven’t been vaporized by Martians.
Hopefully if we ever make contact with life from other planets it will be a peaceful interaction, unlike the catastrophe in The War of the Worlds. We can hope for the best, but we should be cautious, not underestimate the others, and know their rules will differ from ours here on Earth.
On a survivalist note, if you’re trapped with a person who talks too much, it might be a good idea to ditch said person. Otherwise the guy who talks too much is going to get both of you killed.
Thanks for reading this post. Be grateful that we’ve not been invaded by malignant Martians…yet.
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