The Unfortunate Recorder – a short science fiction story

Reblogged with kind permission of Robert A Vella.

The Secular Jurist

The Unfortunate Recorder

Renna Mercelli sat motionless as he absorbed the telepathic message from his distant relations.  When the meaning became clear, his worst fears had been realized.  He lowered his head into trembling palms, but shook off the impulse to weep.  He was Reticulan, after all, and grief was not part of their nature.  Picking himself up with deliberate intent, he considered his plans for the time remaining.  Four hours, four short hours to reconcile a lifetime.

The clock in the den chimed six times indicating the earliness of the day.  Renna thought it was a peculiar instrument of regimen, and so unique to this planet.  But from his fifty-five years of living here, he had come to understand its necessary role for these ephemeral beings.  Suddenly, a rush of mammalian empathy tingled down his spine as he silently exclaimed, “My family, my friends, my son!”

The phone rang…

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