Today, I have a scifi flash fiction story for you! But before I give you that, a story about a story…
This week, I was struggling with what to blog about. I’ve committed to this one-blog-per-week schedule, and it’s been great, but I’ve burned through the backlog of ideas and drafts I had stored up.
For ideas, I turned to my Feedly list of author blogs, and found a fun and chuckle-worthy writing prompt on Chuck Wendig’s website, Terrible Minds.
I clicked the website he references, found a hilarious prompt, and wrote that story. It went longer than I expected—1831 words to be exact. I finished it and…couldn’t bring myself to blog it! It surprised me because the story turned out better than I expected. Random, and weird, and not my normal thing, but good all the same.
So I submitted it to a paying fiction magazine market instead. Woops.
That’s something I’ve never done before—wrote a story and submitted it in a single day. In less than 12 hours from start to finish.
Three years ago, that would have been impossible for me. Unimaginable. Unattainable.
And yesterday I did it without intending to.
My, how things change!
So, to make it up to you, I’ve written yet another story. Just for the blog here. This one is based on a scifi writing prompt I found on another blog post, 58 Science Fiction Writing Prompts.
The prompt is a line that I used at the end of the story: “We were always on the same page, even when it came to splitting for separate planets.”
* * *
Nothing and Denisela and Nothing
by M. G. Herron
My stomach fluttered. Hurtling through the galaxy with the round walls of my zorb keyed to transparent was like reclining on a great black abyss. Emptiness surrounded me in four dimensions.
I slept a lot the first few days of my intergalactic journey, but I stayed active. I didn’t like to put myself straight into stasis, like Denisela certainly did. As she hurtled a million miles an hour relativistic in the opposite direction, I knew the cover of her pod would have been iced over before she exited the atmosphere, the oxygen filter in her zorb turned down to minimum viable.
Denisela couldn’t contend with the screaming silence of empty space—it amplified the restlessness of her own thoughts.
She claimed it was the waste she couldn’t stand—stasis slowed your aging, and Denisela wanted to live life to the fullest. That’s why she bounced around the galaxy, always moving, always doing, always full of that insatiable human hunger to devour the worlds.
That’s why we worked together. She desired everything—I wanted nothing.
“See you in another split strand of time,” Denisela whispered into my ear during the last teal sunrise we spent together on Archon-83.
I accepted this. I kissed her cheek and told her she was beautiful. She smiled sadly.
I walked her to the transfer station in yet another of the dry lightning storms that Archon-83 was known for. I helped her recalibrate her smartsuit and held out a hand to steady her as she climbed into the zorb.
The attendant assumed I was there to travel as well. As I watched Denisela’s spherical craft towed into the sky by an atmospheric drone, he pulled open the hatch of the next zorb in line.
Wanting nothing, I accepted this. I climbed into the saddle and typed in my credit ID. When he asked me where I wanted to go, I shrugged.
“Do you want to go where she went?”
“No. But otherwise, feel free to surprise me.”
The attendant shrugged.
“Wait,” I said, an inspiration striking me like an atomic blast. “Somewhere green.”
He nodded and keyed in new coordinates. The harness cinched around my chest and thighs. G-forces weighed my body down as I was towed into the sky.
As I hurtled through the empty spaces between planets, I replayed my time with Denisela from soft memory at single speed. It took weeks. What did I have but time? Then I deleted all the recordings, dumped my soft memory into hard storage, and reformatted.
The attendant was right. There was a lot of nothing out here. It was empty. Peaceful. Free.
I loved it just as I knew Denisela would loved the instantaneous gratification of relativistic travel.
We were always on the same page, even when it came to splitting for separate planets.
* * *
Leave your thoughts on my scifi flash fiction story in the comments below.
Or, write your own story based on this prompt, publish it on your own online space, and link back to it in the comments.