This story was written in answer to Fandango’s One Word Challenge. The word I had to use was ‘Dogma’
Dogma means: A principle or set of principles laid down by an authority (often religious) as incontrovertibly true.
Here’s what I came up with. I hope you like it …
The Orion Coordinates
“Tell me, why we’re blundering through —” Lucky caught a foot in the barley growing around him and plunged to the earthy ground. He was Laurence really but everybody called him Lucky – he didn’t feel so lucky tonight. “Bugger this! Why are we in this field after one in the morning?”
Ahead, archaeologist Rayne Silverton chuckled. She faced him, shining her torch over the field. The beam illuminated every stem in crisp shadowy detail. She saw his neat bob of titian hair appear from the barley as he stood up. “You okay, Lucky?”
“I’m fine.” Lucky shook himself and trudged to her side.
“Good, I need you in more ways than one.” Rayne made his skin tingle as she ran a hand over his forearm, touching her blueberry-flavoured lips to his.
“Mmm, can you need me somewhere else?” Lucky pouted and sighed, his eyes on her as she shook her golden locks with all the excitement of a child. Above her, the stars twinkled, mesmerising in the velvety sky. He could see Orion’s belt overhead, the plough over his shoulder and a million constellations besides.
“Not tonight, sorry. Come on, let’s go! You saw the cave paintings; it’s going to happen tonight.” Rayne took his hand and bounded onward through the barley.
“I saw them, they’re three thousand years old and could have been drawn by kids for all we know. Why are you taking them as a religious dogma or scientific doctrine?”
“It wasn’t the paintings. I saw something — Ooh, look tawny owl.”
“I see it.” Lucky smiled at the bird swooping in her torchlight. It screeched like a creepy ghost and vanished into the night. “What did you see?”
“I didn’t notice until we returned to the hotel. The paintings were covering ancient drill holes.” Rayne stopped and took a photo from her shoulder bag. It depicted paintings many creatures extinct and living, found in the British Isles. They were drawn around the perfectly aligned stars of the Orion constellation She put her torch on the photo, showing him the circled holes. “See, I went right back to the cave to verify.”
Lucky looked and saw hundreds of the holes all in separate clusters. He’d thought they were just evidence of miners sampling the rock. “What of them?”
“Each cluster gives a number. When decoded, they gave today’s date, 2 AM, and coordinates in this field.” Rayne’s eyes were alive with energy. She was desperate to see something amazing.
“They didn’t have GPS three thousand years ago. What could possibly happen?” Lucky sighed, stumbling again. He was sure nothing would occur, accept him breaking an ankle in the damned crops.
“We’ll soon find out.” Rayne grinned, increasing her pace until her phone told her she was at the coordinates.
The allotted time came and went with Lucky stood hugging Rayne. He had to admit it was rather romantic; him and her alone together under the sparkling lights of heaven. “On the thirtieth of July 2020 in this Salisbury field – precisely nothing happened.”
“Huh! You’re funny.” Rayne playfully thumped his chest.
“I know you do, Lucky. And something is going to happen.” Rayne turned to face him with a cheeky wink. She unbuttoned his shirt as she kissed his neck and lips. A passionate heat rose between them and before long they’d made a bed of their clothes in the Barley. All thoughts of witnessing a celestial event vanished as they lay as naked as nature intended – wrapped and absorbed in each other.
The notion of time was lost to the besotted archaeologists; at least until the air was rent asunder by a ferocious crackling. All around them the barley was being bent and fractured.
Lucky snapped-up, bathed in sweat trickling down his back and biceps. The air had taken on a blue haze. Panic gripped him as he dived for his trousers. “Son of a —”
“Farmer …” Rayne suggested, her breathing laboured from exertion and tension in equal measure. She was aglow, holding her hoody against her chest and peering over the crops.
“I was thinking something blunter, but that’ll work.” Lucky felt his eyes widen with shock and disbelief.
“I noticed. Get dressed!” Lucky stood, swore, and threw himself to the ground. An orb of dazzling blue light skimmed the top of his head. “What the hell?”
“There!” Rayne pulled her trousers to her waist and nodded to a triangular craft, hovering fifty feet from the ground and forty yards away. A second violet orb flashed straight at her.
“Shit, duck.” Lucky pulled her down. It whizzed overhead as silent an owl. The orb and its partner whirled about at tremendous speed. Lucky could tell they were causing the barley to snap and bend. “We need … to get … out of here,” he breathed, noticing the triangular craft heading their way.
“No!” Rayne whispered, now taking pictures on her phone. “We need to see everything — get proof!”
Lucky swore, “Proof doesn’t help if we get abducted or murd —”
The orbs stopped swirling over the field and came together – rushing the archaeologists.
Rayne screamed, hitting the earth a graze away from being decapitated.
“Erm … we might’ve pissed them off.” Lucky hauled Rayne up and they ran, eyes locked on the murderous orbs.
The triangular craft turned bat-like to pursue them.
“I guess they didn’t like us having sex in their field!” Rayne’s face turned blue – she hurled herself to the ground.
Lucky was too slow. The violet orb slammed into his shoulder and spun drunkenly away. He hit the ground in an explosion of barley stems
“Argh! So that’s what being hit by a cannonball feels like,” he complained, with blood oozing through his shirt.
“Come on, get up!” Rayne pulled on his arm, straightened, jinked aside, and rolled on to her belly. The blue orb cutting between her and lucky like a laser-guided knife.
The sinister, triangular craft hovered overhead obscuring the stars.
Rayne cried out
The craft emitted a flash of white light – nothing.
Lucky’s vision was dazzling white. His heart raced in his chest – he was falling. His body slammed into a patch grass. Something landed on his chest driving the wind from him … perfume – it was Rayne.
“Gah! What … happened?” Lucky rolled on to his side, hitting his head on a rock. He opened his eyes and swore. He was looking at a famous sarsen stone. Sitting, he put his arms around Rayne and gawped at the mighty trilithons all around him. It was dawn and he was sitting in the centre of …
“Stonehenge!” Rayne stood and placed a shaking hand on a nearby magical bluestone. “We travelled two hundred miles, inside that triangular craft.”
“Holy crap, we did! What did we leave behind?” Lucky climbed to his feet, amazed to note his shoulder showed no sign of injury.
An hour of hitchhiking and a helicopter flight would reveal the barley field decorated with a stunning array of crop circles to which science had never seen before. From that day forward, Lucky always took every sign, symbol and painting he found as dogmatic fact unless proven otherwise.
Have a great day!