Monday, June 2, 2008

My first attempt at Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction is basically very short short stories. I like this idea since it seems to be a way to work on writing skills in smaller bites. Having such a limit on the length of the story it can allow the story to be finished in as little as a single sitting. So without further ado, here is my first attempt:


The light from the twin suns seemed to flutter in and out of the shadows in the thick dark atmosphere on the planets surface. I was having trouble with the corrosive gases that swirled like smoke from a pipe. The air of this planet was scoring the view panel of my helmet. I could only guess what it was doing to the rest of my HES suit.

We should have waited for the readings to complete before we attempted a landing. The shuttle lost altitude too fast; the pilot did not expect the odd turbulence that we experienced. It was all I could do to sit still and let him fly. But he got us down, what good it did him. Or me for that matter. He told me to wait and stepped out of the forward airlock. I heard his screams start almost immediately, then they abruptly stopped.

The airlock took forever to cycle, but by the time I got outside it was too late. The pilot had stepped from the airlock onto what appeared to be solid ground, obfuscated by the hazy fumes that passed for air on this godforsaken rock. But what looked solid turned out to be a small pond or lake of some caustic liquid. As I tried to reach for him he sank beneath the surface of the hellish acid lake his HES suit rapidly disintegrating as it sank.

Carefully I reentered the shuttle and took the rear airlock out. Using a sonic range finder from the survey equipment I was able to verify that the ground was solid so I stepped out and looked around the shuttle. Besides losing the pilot I could tell that the front of the shuttle was in the lake, and it's integrity was already compromised.

I was trapped, the shuttle losing integrity, and unable to reach the ship in orbit. My suit had maybe two days of water, supplements and air.

So I stopped the simulation and took a D in that class.

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