A Sunny Day on the Ziggurat

An essay by Elize Pentra, as provided by Joachim Heijndermans
Art by Luke Spooner

Day 5 – Gyunsoth – Olli/Ka/1678

Hey. It’s me. I’m writing to you in this journal I found on the ship. I missed talking to you, so I figured this was the next best thing. Not much point to it, since we’ll be talking again as soon as you come out of the chamber. But I just wanted to say some things to you. You know, to fight off the loneliness. Talking to myself got to be so tedious after a while. Maybe I’ll even let you read this, once you come out.

Well, first things first: the weather. It’s beautiful out here. It feels amazing to wake up to that crisp fresh air smell every morning, with the light dew tickling your skin. You didn’t get to experience it after we crashed, but I’m certain you would really love it. The view is brilliant too. Each time I see it, it just takes my breath away. There’s not a day where the sun rises in the same color. You’d probably tell me it’s all because of light passing through water particles or something crazy sciency, but I’d like to think the sun changes color each morning as to surprise me. Isn’t that a cool idea? Something that just wants to be beautiful and make each day special just for you?

If I’m rambling, I’m sorry. But you’d be rambling too after four days by yourself with no-one to talk to but the Kitters and the Lobsters clinging to the side of the Ziggurat. At least the Kitters respond with a high-pitched yelp when I yell at them. I’m not feeding them like you asked, but that doesn’t stop them from following me everywhere I go.

So yeah, anyway, that’s why I’m starting this on the 5th day, so as to avoid any confusion about missing entries or anything. So, In summary, first entry; day five. Jeez, it’s only been five days since you went in, and I’m already losing my marbles from not talking to you. I’m not sure you’ll even be reading this at all once you come out, as we might be too busy with other stuff instead. Guess it doesn’t matter. It’s just so I’ll have something to do other than to twiddle my thumbs and pace around the place.

That’s all I got for now. Just spend the day watching the sun rise and set, cleaning the gun, checking the cores, and getting rid of the Lobsters every now and then. I’ll write more when something happens.

Sleep tight.



Day 6 – Gyunsoth – Olli/Ka/1678

So, today was quiet. Again. Although I thought I spotted something in the morning, flying past the sun (it was blue mixed with tangerine orange this time, in case you were wondering). It wasn’t a ship, that’s for sure. I would’ve known if it was. Whatever this thing was, it was quiet and slow and didn’t leave a trail of dark smoke behind it. I’ll try and get a better diagnostic on it, should I see it again.

Anyhow, like I said, nothing going on today. Cleaned the gun, checked the cores, and got rid of a few more Lobsters. They’re persistent little creeps, aren’t they? I hope I have more exciting stuff to write about tomorrow.

Sleep tight.



Day 7 – Gyunsoth – Olli/Ka/1678

Same old story. The sun was a mix of lavender and violet, with some red speckles here and there. Other than that, cleaned the gun, checked the cores, and got rid of the Lobsters. There were a few more.

Kitters today, but they didn’t bother me all that much.

I miss hearing your singing. When you come out, I’ve got to make you sing for me again. I like that once song you always did for me. The one you said was an Earth song? I don’t remember what it was called, but it has the line about the swimming dolphins and the kiss by the wall. I still don’t believe you about it being an Earth song. Back at home, we never sang. We just hunted and plowed what was left of the land. So not buying that one, Mr. Smartypants the quote machine, even if the song was written in Lang-one words.

Anyway, that’s all for now. No signs of anything on the horizon, so all is good here.

Sleep tight.



Day 8 – Gyunsoth – Olli/Ka/1678

There was a scream from the jungle. I’m sure of it. And it wasn’t any Kitter scream or a Lobster boiling (yes, you already told me that was just steam coming from their shells, so shush you), so I know there’s something out there.

Checked the horizon and the sky for both the thing I saw the other day and them, just in case. No traces of any vessels. I covered the wreck with some more branches and foliage just to be on the safe side. I doubt that a patrol ship will see it, so I’ll be plenty safe. But if there’s something out there in the jungle, then I’m gonna have to get ready for that.

I hope you don’t mind, but I took some books from your library. None of the old ones, I swear. Just the ones that tell you how to lay traps. (But seriously, we need to have a talk on why you have that once you get out. Going on the list!) I’ve put a bunch around, mostly around places I don’t have time to keep an eye on, and where the Lobsters don’t go, so they don’t set them off by accident.

Well, that was most of my day, other than cleaning the gun and checking the cores. Didn’t have the time to clear the Ziggurat of Lobsters today, so I’ll get on that tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you have pleasant dreams in there. I miss you.

Sleep tight.


Art for "A Sunny Day On The Ziggurat"

Today I woke up in the dark. Something blotted out the sun. Nearly crapped myself, running out of the tent, hands grasped around the gun like some wacky paratrooper.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2018 collection.

Elize Pentra is a decorated veteran of the Illium/Oligarchy war, achieving the rank of Falconeye in Barra/Ka/1670. She is a native of the outer rim world “Earth,” living on Houdom until deserting her post in Zuda/Ka/1674, after which her whereabouts became unknown to the Illium records. She is believed to act as a mercenary or servant to wanted criminal #1967-VRI, and is to be treated as an accomplice to terrorism until proven innocent by decree of the Illium. Approach with extreme caution.

Joachim Heijndermans writes, draws, and paints nearly every waking hour. Originally from the Netherlands, he’s been all over the world, boring people by spouting random trivia. His work has been featured in a number of publications, such as Every Day Fiction, Asymmetry Fiction, and Gathering Storm Magazine, and he’s currently in the midst of completing his first children’s book. You can check out his other work at www.joachimheijndermans.com, or follow him on Twitter: @jheijndermans.

Luke Spooner, a.k.a. ‘Carrion House,’ currently lives and works in the South of England. Having recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree, he is now a full time illustrator for just about any project that piques his interest. Despite regular forays into children’s books and fairy tales, his true love lies in anything macabre, melancholy, or dark in nature and essence. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility, as well as being something he truly treasures. You can visit his web site at www.carrionhouse.com.

“A Sunny Day on the Ziggurat” is Copyright 2017 Joachim Heijndermans
Art accompanying story is Copyright 2017 Luke Spooner

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