The Human Genre Project

Cold Sleep

Deep down the recesses of the memory silicon lanes, a photograph lies in digitized silence.

It´s a small photo, though larger than a thumbnail. Yellowing borders. Originally not digital, now instantiated in the form of a file in the mainframe server of a spaceship.

In the center of the image, a father holds his infant son. The photo is a black and white picture, and faded, of all things. Sloppy analog job.

The father is smiling; he looks nervous. This is his first child. It will not be his last, but he doesn´t know it yet. (He will have a daughter three years later, but his wife will get pregnant in-between and will suffer a miscarriage. Some things are better left unknown for now, however).

The father is standing between two well-tended bushes in a rose garden at his aunt´s house. The father is a very tall, thin man, and he´s wearing a well-cut suit. The father looks rather uncomfortable in it, but handsome all the same.

The son is just a baby. Forty years after that snapshot, taken on a world that doesn´t exist anymore, the son, a poet aboard the ship, will write a story about that photo. About those two people frozen in time, in the cold sleep of memory.

In the cryogenics of remembrance, father, son, roses and Earth are still alive, and will forever be.

Note: This story, the author says, 'can be related to Chromosome 18 — to its Trisomy, to be more specific.'

Fabio Fernandes