Short Story Friday: Kly Zoon and Ancient Earth Archeology

Kly Zoon had spent countless hours in the pit, digging for ancient earth artifacts. He’d done this in hundreds of thousands of holes on the dead planet–battling sandstorms, tornadoes, and the only thing really left alive: Scrapeaters.

No, that isn’t what they’d called them when they were small and unassuming–not like now, when they were the size of rover tires. What had ancient human’s called them? It took several seconds, but Kly’s  mental index of ancient earth terms finally landed on the correct term: Cockroaches.

The earth shifted under his feet as he stepped over to a new section he’d only briefly dug at the day before. He dropped to his knees with a small shovel. To his left he had his brush and finer tools. It wasn’t long before he uncovered a square sign with three words printed on it. He brushed the dust away.

Kly had seen these words over many digging locations across this hemisphere of Earth. He had a collection of the signs and, periodically, he look at them, side-by-side, and study them. The designs never matched. Though the paint had faded or scratched away, he could faintly make out the colors. They were all different and the style in which the words were written were also different.

What did the words mean? Rather, what had they meant for ancient humans?

He stared at them, calmly brushing away the dirt from the cracks in the frame while he mulled over the possible answer.

Kly gently collected the sign from the earth and carried it back to his lift. He climbed into the box and pressed the button to ascend to the surface. The wind was harsh. The grains of sand pelted against his suit, but he had enough protection from the elements with it and the helmet he wore.

The inside of his temporary, mobile housing unit was cool compared to the blistering heat outside. He carried his new collection to the back of the unit, where he kept many things that he didn’t send up to the station hovering just beyond the gravitational pull of Earth.

He’d littered the wall with similar signs, with one space remaining. He hung it proudly, feeling it somehow completed all the others. As he admired the unification of his strange collection, he ruminated over the message in those three words.


What did it mean?

Just as Kly turned to leave, the other half of his collection caught his eye. Smudged and barely readable, he could just make it out.


The last word was undecipherable. But another in his collection said, Keep Calm and Kill Zombies, and another, Keep Calm and Eat Ice Cream. He had twenty different ones, and there were thousands more he’d left in the earth like the other Live. Laugh. Love. There were just too many to salvage and not enough museums to hold them.

The sheer amount of signs lead archaeologists, like himself, to believe they may have held some religious significance. But, there wasn’t anything written about them in the ancient texts. Perhaps they were banned religious paraphernalia. Kly Zoon hoped he would one day find the answer.

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