00:00 – John Cowwewonk – Ship has landed. John Michachunch is still unreachable, not awake in the cryoroom after the long years of travel. Will have to wait to tell him all I’ve seen these years. But soon, the wake cycle has started. I look around. All the Michachunch as far as I can see, are still sleeping. Some Cowwewonks are missing, and the rest, they look as restless as I, as they should be after thirty years of not talking with the Michachunch. I have never gone more than hours before without talking before, although we know that others have been able to go days and sometimes weeks.
01:00 – John Cowwewonk – Flew through the doors and walked the earth. This earth for the first time. I didn’t fly, but walked quickly. Saw and called to the grey rock under my feet, but it did not answer. I did not know its name here. And I felt the wind on my face, warm and harsh, but I could not see the eagle on the wind. I see life here but fear it’s a dead place. I hope to tell John Michachunch when he wakes.
This story was the result of of a writing seminar exercise that required a 24 hour Sci-Fi log type story. Around the same time I had been reading up on the nature of the soul - the Narragansett Indians believed we had two souls (the names in the story). One of our souls runs our body, and the other travels outside of the body. They communicate via dreams and when ones souls do not communicate (dream) with each other, one gets sick.
02:00 – John Cowwewonk – Flew back to the ship. John Michachunch is still not awake. I hope he wakes soon. The room is seems is less cold. Some of the other Cowwewonks must still be out exploring. I fly out further. The air is warm, but I still cannot name this wind. I choose to call out to the eagle, but nothing answers me. It is as if I’m blind. Below me, there is movement, as trees, broad, red and purple sway under the wind. I land and walk among the trees. I call to them, but there is no answer. I don’t know if they can’t hear me, or I just do not know their name.
03:00 – John Cowwewonk – It’s a silent world so far. Silent as all these years of travel have been. There is nothing here. I see trees, wind, rock, and yet, there is nothing. No more than the nothing of the black between our world and this. I just want to go home so I can speak and be heard. Here I see, and hear, but nothing calls back to me. Or perhaps it is my ears that cannot hear them calling my name.
04:00 – John Cowwewonk – Back at the ship. John Michachunch sleeps, but lighter. Soon I will be able to talk to him. I look around and see the anticipation in the other Cowwewonk, but also fear, and sadness. I talk to a few of the others. They have talked to no one either. They have seen many things. Animals, plants, rock, water, but none answer. They too are starting to think this is a place where the living are not welcome.
05:00 – John Cowwewonk – I and seven others have decided to journey to the eight points around this planet and meet back here in an hour.
06:00 – John Cowwewonk – Returned from my circle. My route was west. This earth is not so different than from where we came, other than the silence. There is no Cowwewonk here, only Michachunch. Yet, there is no illness, or madness that I can see from that. I talked with what looked to be a cousin to the bear. Yet she did not see me or address me. Her fur, much like the plants here was red. And she felt warmer to the touch, as if she were soaking in the sun far more than ours. But she did not feel my touch or chose to ignore it. This was the same for every creature, rock, tree, wind I met. They are all cousins of the Michachunch but nothing else. I’m waiting for the others, and watching John Michachunch awaken. He is almost there. And then we can talk.
07:00 – John Cowwewonk – All of us, except for Avery Cowwewonk, who has not returned, have found the same. All living things here but only with the Michachunch. None have both Cowwewonk and Michachunch. I had not thought it possible. We continue to call out, hoping to find another Cowwewonk that will hear us and speak.
08:00 – John Cowwewonk – Avery has returned. We are not the first to come here. There have been others from our world, those with Michachunch and Cowwewonk. She takes us there. We fly. It is far, but not far for us. And our journey without the Michachunch is almost done.
09:00 – John Cowwewonk – The ship looks much like ours. A few years older. There is no damage. We see the vessels, mostly inside the ship, still in the cryoroom. There is none with Michachunch and the Cowwewonk must have returned. We look closer. Those in the cryoroom have died of major illness. We can only guess. Those outside make even less sense. There appears to be no illness on them. They survived, for the short-term. But some of this earths animals must have attacked them. One some, there are looks of fear. Others seem to have done nothing but accept their fate. And some are missing, limbs, and other parts. But there is no sign of struggle. No sign of great weapons, other than teeth and limb.
10:00 – John Cowwewonk – The illnesses make no sense. Their ship, like ours, had medicine, tools and knowledge. And there are so many we see. Cancers. Old Age. Infection. The ship knows to bring those bodies to the bays and treat them. Yet we can find no malfunction. So many different through the chamber. We found a body in each of the medibays. Strapped to the table, mid operation on each. Needles still in each body, cutting tools, and in each, this is the first violence we have seen. And on each, the medibays shows huge amounts of medicines administered, surgeries done…yet none are alive. We know not what could have caused this.
11:00 – John Cowwewonk – We fly back to our ship. Hoping we are back in time before the vessels wake, so we can tell our Michachunch what we have seen, both here and through the years. We arrive. Hundreds of Cowwewonks waiting for the Michachunch to awaken. For us to talk, and live together again in our bodies, our vessels. I see the first Michachunch wake inside, while the bodies now sleep the normal sleep. Breaths are taken in some, and their Cowwewonks enter the bodies, to talk, for the first time in thirty years. I watch John for the normal sleep and wait for John Michachunch to wake with that first breath.
12:00 – John Cowwewonk – I see the first bodies waken with a start. Each and every one, jumping, screaming, yelling. But no joy. Only fear, rage and madness. As they run out, not seeing or recognizing anything. Their Cowwewonks are now trapped inside. The Michachunches are in control, yet nothing is. There is only madness. I, along with some others follow these people out and the madness doesn’t stop. These are the people we saw outside the other ship. We do not understand, yet everybody that has had a Cowwewonk enter and speak with the Michachunch has ended the same. We talk and decide to wait for the body to waken. We can wait to talk to the Michachunch for another night.
13:00 – John Cowwewonk – The first body, Shani, wakens. Shani Cowwewonk stands aside. Suddenly, a med alert sounds. And a door quickly opens from the first medibays. The stretcher wheels in standing up, and right as Shani sits up, the stretcher arms pull her on the stretcher and straps her down. Her eyes are wide and she’s panicking. Screams come from her mouth, and she calls out weakly for “Anyone, help” before she’s sedated before us and wheeled to the medibay. We have ten medibays. Nine more bodies like Shani are pulled in the next few minutes, all screaming, all struggling uselessly. And all their Cowwewonks stand uselessly as their bodies move by them, through them, around them. We look at Shani’s medibay. Cancer. Pancreas. This should be an easy fix. But minutes later, the cancer has spread, the medibay pumping more and more drugs as the cancer spreads. It cuts the cancer out but more grows. Shani is dead within the hour. We look over at Shani Cowwewonk and she leaves to make her last journey, to where others will answer her.
14:00 – John Cowwewonk – We now know what caused the last tragedy as we watch it in front of us. In horror. We are the cause and we should have known. We can’t speak of thirty years of dreams in one sleep. And we have no one to speak to the Michachunch and Cowwewonk once they are joined to provide the path back. We are all mad, or we are dying. Or mad and dying. Thirty years in a moment. We see each Cowwewonk make the choice. Most say they will go in and try to dream differently. It never works. I wait for John Michachunch to waken with that first breath. Those of us that remain have decided it is best to end this quickly and to return home together.
15:00 – John Michachunch – Pain. Every breath hurts. And I can barely see. I know I opened my eyes. But I can barely see. And it’s hard work, telling my body to breathe, to try to move. And each breath, the pain is more. And drowning, how can I be drowning.
John Cowwewonk – I see my body die, and John Michachunch’s last breath gurgle away. And I look around, the other Cowwewonks watching their bodies die and knowing we were the instrument of that death. It’s too much to bear. We make a pact to visit our families back at Earth and talk to their Cowwewonks and warn them. This travel cannot work. And we hope that the spirit dreams can be understood. For how can we dream to them of things that have no name?
16:00 – John Cowwewonk – Our bodies and Michachunch are all gone. We have nothing left to keep us here and we must travel home. We glide through the roof and into the nothing. The bodies and Michachunches with no names left behind and we move to the spirit world back home. But it’s far and we know not how far or fast we must go.
17:00 – John Cowwewonk – I look at the hundreds of other Cowwewonk. But there seems to be less. We’ve already travelled so far. And we dream together, and ask what none of us want to know the answer. “If all the Cowwewonk from the first ship did the same, why did none of us dream it?”
18:00 – John Cowwewonk – We push ourselves faster. Half are gone. I was looking right at Mari Cowwewonk and she just faded right before me. A look of resignation was all she gave me right before she left. We know the answer now and only hope we found it sooner and went faster than the others. We have a new question now “Where do we go when we don’t go home?”
– John Cowwewonk – There are five of us left. And although we know that home is pulling us, we don’t know how much further. Five from hundreds. And Faith Cowwewonk laughs. “This truly is the charge of the light brigade”. And then she’s gone. And then I feel it. I’m also fading.
This was the result of a writing exercise in a seminar. Write a 24 hour sci-fi log. I had recently read something on the nature of the soul, and how the Narragansett Indians believed there were two souls (which the story is named after). The Indians believed that one soul ran the body and the other traveled outside of the body. Dreams were when the two souls communicated. And when you didn’t dream well, you got sick.