Flash Fiction: The Blue Ball

By Ekari Mbvundula

Craylila Xcena gazed upwards in awe. The classroom ceiling that was usually a dull, washy-green dome was now alive. An orb of brilliant glowing light drifted serenely in a wide circle, and around it were smaller orbs of varying shades.

“Alright young octoplings, focus on the lesson.” said the teacher with a triumphant grin. The lesson held their complete attention for once. “This solar system is amazing in its beautiful simplicity. One sun, nine planets, no crossing orbits. The largest planet with the red spot is Jupiter. Fun fact, the spot is a storm –“

“What’s that one?” Craylila pointed with her longest tentacalia. Everyone in the class turned towards her, and then followed her line of vision.

“Which one Miss Xcena?” 

“The one that looks like... a blue ball.”

Everyone squinted. 

The teacher laughed. “Oh, that puny thing? That planet can easily fit into Jupiter’s red storm spot! And Jupiter is one hundred times smaller than our own planet!”

The other children laughed along with him, but Craylila remained mesmerised. Her eyesight had always been sharper than everyone else’s, and she saw that planet as clearly as if it filled the whole room.

As teacher continued with the lesson, Craylila had an impulsive idea. She waited until the blue ball drifted within her reach, then without hesitation scooped it out of the air with a tentacle and hid it in her robes.

After the lesson, students made their way out the door in excited clusters. Craylila kept her distance, and diverted into the bathroom, locking herself in. She brought out her prize, and gazed at the blue pearl balanced between her reptilian tentacles. It was inundated with slices of green, white and brown.

It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.

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