Dirigible

Avatar Author: Jim Stitzel I dabble a little in a lot of things -- writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I'm a full-time code-wrangler and a part-time farmer with 40 acres, a lot of animals, and far, far too much to do. Read Bio

The dirigible floats a hundred fifty metres above red sand and twisted metal. Engines that haven’t fired in a dog’s age are corroded and quiet, and the craft wanders the sky aimlessly, the shifting air currents the only thing now to give it direction.

The giant airship’s envelope ripples and billows, the airbags contained within filled with barely enough gas to keep it aloft. It floats lower in the sky now, and soon enough the dirigible will find itself on the ground.

The craft carries only a fraction of its original payload. The remaining ordnance is tetchy and volatile after lying dormant for so long, and the dirigible’s inevitable landfall will be a sight to behold — were there anyone left to see it.

A lone mechanical voice from the burned-out husk of a city below is all that heralds the airship’s passing.

“Greetings, Loyal Customerâ„¢!” it calls out — but only for a short while. Soon, it too falls silent.

The wind howls, blowing sand in cherry clouds.

The dirigible sails on, indifferent.

View this story's details

Sequels

Comments (2 so far!)

Average Reader Rating

  1. Avatar Reaver19

    This piece made me envision a world ravaged by a global war and was left barren and charred. The sky once filled with war machines and floating fortresses created to level the earth with it’s destruction. This and payload were awesome Jim.

  2. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    You’re not far off on that envisioning, my friend. There were once many such airships sailing the skies. This one may well be the last.

Inspired by

Sand blew through the broken glass and ticked against the metal skin of the clockwork mannequin behind it. Dressed in a tattered waistcoat, i...

The Clockwork Mannequin by Jim Stitzel

This story's tags are