Supply Run

Slinking along the dark and barren hillside, pack of acquired supplies secured tight, I see movement.

Have I been caught?

I drop low, confident in my darkened out-wear, and watch the quiet, sprawling city. A flash by the edge reveals an individual stumbling past the barrier, long, unshaven white hair gleaming in the night.

I need to leave before next watch begins, but they fall.

I weigh the risks, and reluctantly return.

“Can you walk?” I ask.

They nod, startled.

“Put this on,” a shawl for their hair.

With sounds of next watch beginning, we disappear into the hillside.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner


April 8, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that “rethinks the hero.” Define the hero, comparing or contrasting to the classic definition. Break the mold. What happens to the hero in the cave? Is it epic or everyday? Is there resistance or acceptance? Go where the prompt leads!

Swift Passage

The alien planet hung like a pool of blue. Their only stop on a one-way journey.

Their vessel’s final dregs of energy concealed them in orbit while their shuttle fell into the alien atmosphere.

The violent entry rattled the shuttle, pilot and crew breathed deep lungfuls, fighting to clear their minds, to imagine a paradise so near.

Generations spent drifting through the void had corroded all memories of their world from before.

This or death.

The pilot’s expert hands flew across controls – navigating, maintaining, adjusting – to grant the first of their last a swift passage into their new world.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner


April 1 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a swift passage. You can take inspiration from any source. Who is going where and why. What makes it swift? Go where the prompt leads!

Submissions now closed. Read the full collection here.

Adrift

A youngling cast eyes skyward upon birth. Energies entered its being, strengthened its mind, its heart.

That youngling grew, phased, loved, laughed. Built together a house-family, welcomed partners and friends, life happy and full.

Years on, now-grown, they lay ready. Every village eagerly awaiting the next youngling’s birth on the morrow.

Eyes closed now, their mind drifted.

No longer amongst their house-family’s hearts, but rather above, looking down upon sprawling villages-turned-cities.

How they’d all grown.

Life flowed onward.

A new youngling cast eyes skyward upon birth, its mind and heart strengthened by an ancient energy.

Unseen, yet deeply felt.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner


This challenge is for a Special Collection over at the Ranch, to honor fellow Rough Writer Sue Vincent.

January 28, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about life as a river of consciousness. Think about the possibilities of the prompt. Go where the prompt leads!

Submissions now closed. Read the full special collection here.

Beyond

The stones of worship returned, settling into position around the throng of hopeful.

Would they feel the great Beyond this day?

Their paths carried scholars and explorers between countless neighbouring worlds, but never Beyond.

The crowd buzzed with nervous energy beneath the spread of stars, wrapping themselves up in each-other as one.

One being. One mind.

Their minds opened, connected, energy growing, reaching out and up, past clouds, skies, satellites, their sun. Other suns. Stars. Felt the warmth. Pushed further.

It came as if a whisper of an Earthen butterfly’s wings.

As one, they felt the Beyond reach back.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner


This piece is in response to the Carrot Ranch’s weekly challenge. The first of 2021!

I hope this year, everyone experiences what it’s like to reach beyond, and to achieve it.

However great or small.

January 7, 2021 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the contrasting prompts butterfly and stone. Go where the prompt leads!

Submissions now closed. Read the full collection here.

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.

Submissions now closed. Read the full collection here.

Strength in Peace

Leaves swayed at the ship’s landing. Its team stepped out onto the alien world, fully suited, protected from its thick atmosphere.

Deep violet vegetation sprawled toward the horizons ahead. Behind, an ocean of scarlet brine swelled and oozed.

“Mission here is to survey, we need to claim this world before the enemy,” the commander said.

Rustling leaves distracted the Earth-born galactic soldiers.

A creature approached.

“That’s a-”

“It has a horn.”

“Should we apprehend it?”

“Commander?”

“It’s-” said the commander, transfixed, “a unicorn.”

It eyed them, silently inspiring them to kneel in surrender.

“Stand down,” the commander said.

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner


I tapped run and the robotic creature shifted smoothly through the commands I’d coded. Satisfied, I packed it up for the presentation.

“Gonna tell me?” someone said, “somethin’ fierce, I bet.”

“A dragon, ya think?” another said.

Head held proud, I made my way to the platform.

“I chose to create something of legends,” I said, “something of the first world, something that inspired billions.”

Murmurs rippled through the crowd.

I revealed the creature.

Several scoffed, others laughed, “ridiculous.”

I tapped run and the crowd hushed, transfixed. The life-sized unicorn awoke.

“Something that’ll inspire peace through these wars.”

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Balloon

“Parcels, games, entertainment. Done. Got the coding for decorations? I still couldn’t find it in the system.”

“Found something better. But I’ll need help.”

We finished everything just as guests arrived, entry pad scanning in each individual.

The VIP was en-route, guided by my partner.

We all hid.

When they arrived, the room scanned my partner in first.

VIP in second, “why is it night-time?”

“Surprise!” we said, jumping out.

Atmospheric party lighting activated as our VIP squealed in excitement.

“I’m three now?” our VIP stared, stunned, “are they real balloons?”

“Sure are!” I said.

Everyone laughed.

© 2018-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Fireweed

My private aug showed ages beside every face in the room, but maintained each digitally overlaid, customisable appearance.

“Miss-“ the one hundred and forty-three earth-year old who didn’t look a day over twenty.

“Doctor,” I corrected.

Doubt flashed across all faces.

“Project Fireweed will be swift and precise,” I announced to the group, “replacing current programming with our new system. Individuals deserve privacy once more.”

Everyone sat up in outrage.

“A complete overhaul is insane-”

“Do you even know if it’ll work-”

I raised a hand for silence.

“Can anyone see my age?” I asked.

None could.

© 2018-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

To the Edge

“Due end of week,” she said.

I accepted the file transfer.

“Anything else?”

“Check in on the dome too, yeah?”

“Or we’ll all die?”

“Cold,” she said, her aug profile smirking.

“Mars is colder.”

“Answers for everything.”

“This trip wouldn’t work without me,” I said.

“Don’t be so sure.”

We ended comms.

I stared at my screen.

With a flick, I opened an isolated program and equipped a headset.

“Activate,” I said.

My private quarters morphed into the landscape of a digital alien world. Starships, exotic forests, grand ocean cities.

Reality wouldn’t send me over the edge just yet.

© 2018-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

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