The Word


Click… click… click…

 Gerard sat in an uncomfortably stiff chair, which matched his mood perfectly as he stared at the ancient orrery before him. 

 Click… click… click…

awruh-ree, or– ]


  1. A mechanical model of the solar system, or of just the sun, earth, and moon, used to represent their relative positions and motions.

Let’s Write…

** Either a story beginning, a story ending, a piece of flash fiction, a poem–inspired by the word, orrery, where does it take me? Where does it take you?

Click… click… click…

 Gerard sat in an uncomfortably stiff chair, which matched his mood perfectly as he stared at the ancient orrery before him. 

 Click… click… click…

 The gears of the machine ticked on, one second at a time, as they’d done for centuries. A simple turn of one cog, powered by a simple motor, and an entire solar system of planets and moons would click in harmony to their next calculated position.

 Click… click… click… 

 Those sounds used to give Gerard comfort as a child, and the planets a sense of wonder; but, now he knew what it really was, what it always was: a countdown. 

 Click… click… click…

 Gerard stood up from his seat and leaned over the railing, looking down a near-perfect line of moons and planets. Within the hour, the effects would start–if they hadn’t already. Perhaps they wouldn’t feel them for a month or more–he figured–but they would feel them eventually.

Click… click… click…

 The extra pull of the outer planets on Earth, aligned against the Sun in a tug-of-war for their orbit. Just a slight shift, and they’d feel a profound change in Winter cold and giant shifts in Summer heat. They could all survive it; yes, everyone could. It would require unity, a collective pursuit to conserve and share and work together. 

 Gerard turned away from the orrery and walked down the line of growing vegetables and grains. His son ran towards him from the end of the long room, and Gerard scooped him up. 

 “How long will we live underground, daddy?”

 “As long as it takes, but I built this place so you won’t even miss the stars!”

 His son laughed, and it was that smile, that laugh, which helped Gerard through his decision years ago. It gave him peace now as well. 

 The world just wasn’t ready for unity. All that mattered was this smiling boy and his wife. Gerard carried his son to the end of the indoor farm, set him down, and watched as he ran through the underground park beyond.

 Gerard turned back, the line of the planets visible. Did he still hear the sound, over all the other noises? Or was it in his mind?

 Click… click… click…


 Went a little dark with this one, lol. Did it “click”? He decides the world isn’t ready for unity, perhaps sealing the fates for millions or billions, and in turn, becomes his own “proof.” His lack of concern, or belief in unity, causes him to separate and worry about “his own.”

 Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it! I tried to give this story a bit of finality. A piece of “flash fiction.” Also, I decided to go right at the word this time.

 I tinkered with some other initial thoughts at first, like maybe setting up some character-driven story where everyone revolves around a central conflict. Something like the movie Crash. 

 Then, I had the visual of an older man and an ancient orrery, and some secret that the machine held. Naturally, that led to a world-ending doomsday thing! 

 This could turn into a longer story too, and what I wrote here could be the beginning, or it could be an end. It depends on a lot of other factors like, what message do you want the story to convey? But, that’s what I want to hear from you!

What do you think of Orrery?

Leave your thoughts, your own story beginning/ending, flash-fiction, or whatever in the comments! Where did orrery or my story take you?

If you enjoy a little bit of a “darker” sci-fi/fantasy story, check out my short stories The Devil’s Tri-Tone or Bent.

Today’s word is from Word Genius.

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