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Short Stories

Just Go With the Flow, Baby
by HTS123

Has been a member for 2 years and 5 months

On drifted a lone vivid yellow starship through the cosmos, nothing too fancy to be sure, a single inhabitant at its wheel. The lanky, laid-back individual in charge of the seat sat in the cockpit, too small for too much more than the current occupant. He lacked the crew of a normal ship, so it seemed he was alone, but if one could tell by the goofy smile he had on his face you would think otherwise. This captain? He was all the company he needed. It was like his parents always told him. “Hey, kiddo, remember that if you can’t have a good time with yourself than you’ll have a hard time having a good time with others.” Of course, that means he had to love himself. And why wouldn’t he? He loved being around him.

A light soundtrack of a steel guitar flowed through the ship as he got up and stretched, yawning. The relaxing music would put most to sleep, but to him it was more of a stimulant, providing a lovely beach-warm feeling in him. It was night time. He thought. Maybe. It was hard to gauge the time of day by sight when you’re in space and all. But he judged it was probably a good time to get some rest. There were a few hours before he would arrive in port. He could stand to catch a wink or two. “Welp,” he murmured to no one but himself, “Take care, baby.” He flicked the autopilot function on and gave the dash of the ship a gentle pat, then disappeared back into the cozy living quarter.

The single-person bed had the covers thrown open, but it wasn’t a mess. The area around it, however, was filled. There was a simple wooden desk with a computer and several empty soda cans laid out on the desk, an open notebook to the side of the cans with several torn out, crumpled up pages and a pen. The page the book was open to had some freshly laid ink reading, “You gotta go with the flow, baby.” He crawled under the light blue sheets and blanket, pulling them tight over him as he yawned loudly, as he had been doing since he had woken up, and started to drift off, his eyes finally shutting. The gentle steel guitar lulled him into a dream.

The page continued to read, “Life is like a river.” In his dream he found himself floating gently down a surprisingly warm river. “There’s a strong current, too strong to stand still, too strong to move against.” He floated down the river, shirtless and tired, with a rather faint smile on his lips. “You have to keep moving forward. That’s how you live, survive, thrive.” The river flowed, flowed, flowed, for how long he couldn’t tell. When the young man washed up on the grassy shore, wherever he was, he stood to find himself looking at a long, winding road. It seemed daunting, dangerous, scary, but he simply shrugged. This is where the river brought him. It obviously had an idea of where to take him. “Fighting the current results in exhaustion. It leaves you too tired to float, too tired to keep fighting, and then you drown.” The page had some lines with too much scribble on them to be read. It was almost as if someone was frustrated, angry, fed up.
“You aren’t good to anyone dead. You have to give up fighting and just move on. Forget about the river.” The man, if he was one, began walking down the road with confidence. He didn’t know where he was going, necessarily, but he knew he was going somewhere, and that somewhere was forward. What was behind him laid behind. What wasn’t, ahead. “So do me a favor, baby.” There wasn’t anything left written. No more scribbles. “Don’t die. Let’s float on.”

A gentle laugh escaped the dreaming dreamer’s lips. The steel guitar was replaced by a warm acoustic strum as he awoke. He had a feeling it was time to wake up. He rolled out of bed and stumbled over tiredly to the page. He picked the pen up and jotted down a quick line before moving back to the restroom to shower for the morning, afternoon, or whatever time it was. “It’s not that bad floating alone,” The new line read. The warm water was cascading down. “But it’s better to float with others. It gives the journey more life.”

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