At full stretch. Fantasy 940 words
AT FULL STRETCH – 940 words
Zorob the elder had ruled his strange kingdom for nearly one hundred years. Equalier, sometimes known as "planet of the Equals", had traversed the heavens for millennia. It's inhabitants, the Equalians, unlike any other beings in the universe, were in constant fear of complete obliteration.
Year after year, Equalier had been propelled through the blackness of outer space; hurtling along at speeds unknown to mere mortals. Asteroids, planets, black holes, red dwarfs and blazing suns were all constant threats. How Equalier had lasted for so long, seemed nothing short of a miracle. In fact the Equalians were forever grateful for their highly evolved anatomy which had enabled them to survive the terrifying environment of outer space.
Although every single Equalian, male or female, grew to exactly the same height - just 140 cms, it was through a quirk of fate that their arms had developed unusual strengths, length extensions, durability and flexibility. This differentiated one from the other.
They built temples, far beneath their planet's surface to celebrate this anatomical miracle and often held competitions to establish the most superior Equalian of all. Once found, this exalted citizen would rule over the colony until a new winner emerged.
Zorob's arms had been recognised for one hundred years as being the most flexible, the most durable and the strongest that any Equalian had ever known. He fashioned the word 'Army' as a label for his supporting Equalians who also possessed such anatomical superiority. And this army, led by Zorob, frequently saved their planet from annihilation by extending their arms for miles into space in order to push away objects which were blocking their path, or hurtling towards them at untold speeds.
The key to survival was time. They needed sufficient time to extend their arms and bulk up their muscle system. It could not be done in a single revolution of the planet. The Equalian army needed at least three revolutions to reach full capability. For this reason Zorob had appointed three time-keepers. Their job was to forewarn Zorob of possible disaster, with at least three revolutions to spare, so that forces could be gathered together for action in time to save the planet.
One day when the Equalians were celebrating in the Great Temple of Armslength, Zorob's trusted time-keeper came to warn him.
'Zorob. Gather together our most illustrious forces. An unknown flying object is approaching. There are just three revolutions before it hits Equalier. We must hurry.'
There was a hush in the temple as word passed, one to the other, about impending doom. Then pandemonium as Equalians scattered to seek refuge in their underground shelters.
Zorob acted quickly. He raised his arms straight above his head and extended them, just enough to double their length. This signaled to the army that Equalier was under threat and forces must immediately gather on the surface to prepare for action.
Within a very short time-frame, unknown to earthly man, thousands of Equalians, all members of the illustrious army, had come together and were beginning to stretch their arms and build up strength and flexibility. As time passed, their arms became longer and longer and stronger and stronger. Despite this enormous power, they relied on Zorob for the final push, as his arms could extend much further than any of the others.
Now they could see a massive ball of rock getting ever closer to Equalier. It was a killer and had to be stopped or thrown off course to avoid the ultimate demise of their vulnerable planet and the death of all its inhabitants. Zorob knew that if they all pushed hard at the threatening rock it would change course and miss Equalier. The planet would be safe again. Every army member now had their arms extended and was pushing the rock as hard as they could. But extra strength from Zorob was essential. They were relying on it.
But disaster. Zorob's arms could not extend as far as needed. No matter how hard he tried, they were no longer and no stronger than the arms of any other army recruit. This was the first time his arms had failed him, just at a time when his superior strength and length were needed to save the planet.
Everyone shouted and pleaded:
'Zorob! Try harder! Try harder! Quickly! Quickly!
Then, quite unexpectedly, a pair of arms grew and grew and pushed the threatening rock right off course away from Equalier.
There were shouts of joy and jubilation. Equalier had been saved. But when they looked more closely, it was not Zorob whose extra strength had saved the planet. No. It was the youngest and most recent recruit who had performed the miracle. Byzac was exalted and carried high for his outstanding performance.
In that moment, Zorob realised his one hundred year reign had come to an end. At full stretch, his arms had simply not been long enough. It was thanks to another that Equalier had not perished. Zorob approached Byzac:
'Byzac,' he said. 'You are now in charge of the army. It is now up to you to save Equalier when harm threatens. Take this.'
Zorob removed his voluminous black cloak and passed it to Byzac.
'This, Byzac,' he said, 'represents the blackness of outer space. You will see it is unsullied and unmarked. This is how the blackness must remain around Equalier. Nothing must enter it.
'Let us go and celebrate,' proclaimed Byzac, and he led the Equalians to the Great temple of Armslength.
The new reign of Byzac had begun. But it was destined to end abruptly. Byzac had forgotten to appoint his time-keepers!
Last edited by Agatha Christie; 04-15-2012 at 12:22 PM..
Reason: changed the ending and removed repetition/ corrected poor english.