Of Unknown Origin: A Short Story

When the sinkhole opened in the courtyard of La Grande Arche in Paris, experts believed it was a natural occurrence. They were wrong.

The mechanical sounds began within 48 hours, followed by the ear-splitting squeaks that drove away the onlookers. Authorities cordoned off the area. They waited and watched in wonderment, tinged in dread.

Inside the hole, the earth swirled like a whirlpool. World scientists clad in biohazard gear milled around the opening, expectantly. On the fifth day, a grinding racket preceded the emergence of a wide, metallic object. A colossal staircase extended into the clouds.

Some believed it was a gift. Others believed it was a hoax. Some wanted to possess it. Others wanted to destroy it. The planet squabbled.

“It’s evil. It emerged from hell.”

“It’s good. It reaches to the heavens.”

The world chose sides, divided. On the seventh day, as the staircase loomed, world war commenced.

This has been another VisDare photo prompt from Anonymous Legacy. It was a challenge for me to keep this at or under 150 words. I barely made it; 150 words exactly. I was supposed to try to use the word Trajectory, but I couldn’t fit it in. However, the main challenge was to use the photo. I chose La Grande Arche in Paris as the setting because the photo was taken there.

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