Twenty-Fifth

Routine suit-up. Routine airlock cycle. Routine tether anchorage.

Her crew-mate let her step out first. The field of stars took her breath away, as always, even on her twenty-fifth spacewalk.

Everyone left her in silence, letting her enjoy it as they said she should. Someday, it will be her last.

Then she spotted her tether, drifting ahead of her, loose. She turned, quick as the propulsion bursts let her.

No warnings. No comms.

No ship.

Alone in that field of stars, heart pounding, mind racing, she was lost.

Lost.

Then they arrived.

She never dreamed she’d visit another world.

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner


December 10 2020: Flash Fiction Challenge: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something a character never dreamed would happen. The situation can be fortuitous, funny, or disappointing.

Raven

> 2237 – 03 – 07

Starship Raven.

Departing Earth orbit.

Onboard systems reduced.

Power rerouted to propulsion system.

Maximum acceleration.

Destination arrival time: 42,327 Earth years.


> 44,564 – 07 – 23

Destination reached.

Asteroid mining drones dispatched.

Planetary entry sequence complete.

Metamorphosis protocol activated.

Generational fleet arrival: 27,424 EY.


> 57,309 – 04 – 14

Sea levels 62%.

Atmospheric composition: 12% oxygen, 81% carbon dioxide.

Surface vegetation 77%.

Habitation modules 4%.

Fleet arrival: 14,679 EY.


> 71,988 – 10 – 17

Ecosystem 100%.

Habitation modules 100%.

Human fleet population 72%.

Starship Raven shutdown.


> 73,651 – 03 – 07

“Raven, help, activate.”

Systems rebooting.

Ecosystem: critical.

Human population 2%.

Repair protocols activated.

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Ice

“It’s ready. Transferring now,” says the VR technician.

“Thanks,” I say, studying the new data floating in my vision.

I equip a well-worn headset.

Ripples of code give way to a silent darkness, only a lone light shines from behind onto icy ground. I’m pulled along by a gradual acceleration, subtle but present.

A chunk of ice breaks and passes by amongst shimmering dust.

I watch it disappear.

Behind, I see the ship, my body somewhere inside, on the bridge, watching this drone study this icy world.

“Now we can walk on comets,” I say, taking a step.

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Gathering the Harvest

Picturesque Earth lay peaceful, to the untrained eye. 

One final pod slid up its cable to a ship in orbit.

I peered down from the viewing deck.
A streak of fire. Then an explosion. The cable rocked.

Another streak. Closer.

Pod integrity lost. Passengers compromised.

Ship sirens wailed. Incredible engines rumbled to life. The cable detached and drifted loose.

“Human harvest complete, hey?” a man stepped in close, watching the Earth shrink away.

“Failed, more like it,” I said, distancing myself.

“Ah well,” he winked, “I’m happy with the new Mars crop.”

My stomach turned, where’s the training deck?

© 2017-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Porcelain

Waves hushed sounds of traffic far behind. Tiny fingers grasped mine, pulling past flowers and trees, little feet skipping over loose stones.
I took one step for her four.
She hadn’t told me our destination; “it’s a surprise Mummy.”
She glanced back, round eyes gleaming and all smiles, “we’re close!”
I couldn’t help but smile with her, adoration running deep.
Her pace slowed and I looked up.
I froze.
Upon a bed of grass, decorated with turquoise waves, lay a porcelain tea set; the one from my first birthday.
“Surprise, Mummy,” she beamed.
I hid tears in her embrace.

© 2015-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

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