For this writing sample, how about something hot off the press (or at least the keyboard)?
This is from today's prompt at the Creative Copy Challenge, consisting of the following ten words:
10. Hobby horse
As I like to do with these prompts, this piece was created essentially off-the-cuff; an improvised riff that, frankly, pleasantly surprises me with how it turned out.
I hope you enjoy it -- as always, comments, suggestions, and any feedback are always welcome.
Thank you for reading!
"I Bring You Wonders!"
The traveler stepped from his gleaming craft. He'd covered millions of parsecs, traversing the stellar vastness in a vital quest with only one purpose. All his elaborate technological resources were devoted to a single goal.
He pulled out his instruments and took readings. The air was suitable, rich with oxygen and a sweet hint of indigenous foliage, like jasmine or perhaps eucalyptus. Liquid water was ample, as the approach to the brilliant blue planet had clearly shown. Temperature was moderate, and the atmosphere prevented extremes in radiation.
Satisfied with the preliminary data, the traveler moved on to the next stage -- finding signs of intelligent life. He scanned the horizon and confirmed what his orbital study had revealed. There was a subtle glow towards the west -- light from artificial sources. Clearly the inhabitants were adequately advanced, not feral beasts.
The success of the traveler's voyage depended on precise timeliness. The inhabitants must have reached a specific level of development -- too low and they would not appreciate what the traveler brought; too high and they would no longer have need for it.
The traveler advanced towards the glow, eager to meet the beings that generated the light. He soon encountered a smooth surface, stretching past him and leading towards the lights in the distance. Another positive sign -- facilitated transportation implied at least a rudimentary economy of some sort.
In a short while, the traveler came upon further signs of basic technology and commerce -- lit displays and signs and lights meant to illuminate crossroads. The traveler's spirits rose even further. This could be an ideal situation.
Eventually, he came upon a dwelling. There was a cultivated yard of some sort surrounding the premises, and two small, bipedal creatures were scampering and vocalizing. Judging by the significantly larger sizes of the entryways on the dwelling, the traveler assumed these were evidently offspring, and he interpreted their frenetic actions as a form of play.
The beings appeared to be of slightly different physiology -- evidently the beings were split into two sexes. One, the traveler took as the girl, was chasing the other, assumed to be the boy. The girl caught up with the boy and hit him in the back, knocking him off of a long metal device that reminded the traveler of a toy hobby-horse. The boy sprung back upright and both he and the girl made sounds that the traveler could only construe as a form of laughter.
As the traveler watched, he collected data on their sounds and processed it into a basic understanding of their language. It appeared to be a simple construction of only a few root vocalizations.
The more he obserrved and learned, the more pleased the traveler became. All signs were pointing to a very successful landing. But he was certain that the young beings would be of little use for him. He needed to contact the mature life forms.
The traveler moved closer, revealing himself to the youngsters. They stopped in their play and watched. The traveler could sense their fear, but also their underlying curiosity -- another excellent sign. The boy and girl fled into the dwelling. He'd learned enough to be able to understand the essential gist of their vocalizations. "Mother! Father! Come see the shiny man outside!"
Two larger beings came from the dwelling, both more mature versions of the boy and girl. They stopped and studied the traveler. He sensed an aura of protectiveness, but also that same underpinning of curiosity.
The traveler made his approach. The result of his vast journey and all his efforts and expenditures of resources would soon be determined. The traveler was optimistic. He pulled out the material he had prepared as he neared the two adult beings.
"Greetings!" he said. "I have come from far, far away to bring you a wondrous and marvelous thing, that it may benefit and enlighten you and all the members of your society!"
He held forth the material and offered what he hoped they would interpret as a smile.
"Please come to a fabulous seminar that I will hold tomorrow, so that you might learn the power and financial benefits of multi-level-marketing! Invite two friends and receive an extra bonus."
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(c) Copyright 2011, Christopher J. Fries.