Journey’s End

For Sherry’s prompt at Real Toads:  An Unreal Fairy Tale in which we retell a fairy tale or make up a new one.

Journey’s End
Listen children:
It is raining on Saturn.
The rings weep crystals of ice that fall upon
the remains of a traveler
through space –
Alone.
It came here twenty years ago –
Cassini.
Bravely it dove and dove again and took pictures of the
Great Planet Saturn
and its impressive rings.
Alone and silent it travelled
and alone and silent it sent back
images to earth.
Twenty years later it was time for Cassini to die,
all the way down until it plunged to the surface
it filmed the planet that was
to become its grave,
becoming one with the methane lakes.
The last image –
down it plunged through the rings.
Against a full harvest moon the
the ghost of an owl spreads its wings
and soars.
Listen children:
It is raining on Saturn.
Cassini tasted the tears
of that rain.

This image of Saturn’s northern hemisphere was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017. It is among the last images Cassini sent back to Earth.

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sherry Blue sky
    Oct 11, 2018 @ 00:16:37

    Wow, this was a wonderful tale. I especially love the ghost of an owl spreading its wings.

    Reply

  2. Sherry Blue Sky
    Oct 11, 2018 @ 14:30:26

    p.s. I LOVE those closing lines!!!!! Wonderful, Toni! Thanks for writing to my prompt. I thought we might need a fun one this week! Smiles.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 11, 2018 @ 14:37:13

      Sorry this is solemn. I have been closely monitoring Cassini for the full 20 years and was sad when it died last September. I have seen incredible pics and footage through the years. I am a space nerd.

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  3. anmol(alias HA)
    Oct 11, 2018 @ 15:35:12

    Ah, this is a wonderful amalgam of science and storytelling — Cassini is a lovely subject for this fairy-tale. I loved how you talked about the tears and the death by the volition of its own subject, its own motive of existence. It creates, yes, a melancholic picture, but also something hopeful and kind.

    Reply

  4. whimsygizmo
    Oct 11, 2018 @ 19:41:41

    So lovely, Toni. Love those last lines, especially.

    Reply

  5. sanaarizvi
    Oct 12, 2018 @ 09:18:23

    Ooh this is such a stunning write, Toni ❤ Especially love the ghost of an owl spreading its wings. 😊

    Reply

  6. coalblack
    Oct 12, 2018 @ 10:32:05

    That is the most fascinating thing, and is not a fairy tale at all, though it certainly seems like one. Rain on Saturn. I love it.

    Reply

  7. Kerry
    Oct 12, 2018 @ 13:01:47

    It’s raining on Saturn.. What a wonderful opening line. And I love how you juxtaposed the tale against this image;
    Against a full harvest moon the
    the ghost of an owl spreads its wings
    and soars.

    Reply

  8. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Oct 12, 2018 @ 16:51:10

    That closing… the rain on Saturn, and though not a fairy tale, not less fantastic

    Reply

  9. grapeling
    Oct 13, 2018 @ 11:17:56

    cool. though not dystopic, reminds me of the Rutger Hauer monologue in blade runner ~

    Reply

  10. kim881
    Oct 14, 2018 @ 04:49:25

    I enjoyed your modern space-age fairytale, Toni. Although Cassini is the name of a French astrologer, it sounds as if it came from mythology or a traditional tale.I love the way you start with:
    ‘Listen children:
    It is raining on Saturn.
    The rings weep crystals of ice that fall upon
    the remains of a traveler
    through space’
    you had me sitting on the floor cross-legged!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 14, 2018 @ 10:19:42

      Cassini was named for the Astronomer. I followed its 20 year mission from launch to end. I am a true space nerd and was an engineer. So….

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      Reply

  11. purplepeninportland
    Oct 15, 2018 @ 08:24:19

    A fairytale for the new age. Sad, but informative.

    Reply

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