inspired by twitter prompt: #vss365
The silver dollar danced up and down the stranger’s fingers, tumbled from his knuckles in a brilliant flurry of bright flashes, cutting light and sticky curses.
Max was suddenly sober for the first time in twenty-three months. More even, the feeling of sleepwalking fell off of him as soon as that silver light pierced his eyes.
The presence of the coin dragged him into this bar and slammed him into that seat near the stranger. It put him back into his place. Fifty-four years old, profusely sweating, diabetic, a man without a home or family or a penny to his name – that was his place, the only one he merited. It brought back the insecurity, the impotence, the numbness in his hands and feet, the inadequacy, the being alone. There was tingling in his crotch. He saw the stains on his pants for the first time.
Continue reading “all that is beyond”
Finally, the coin snapped him into the present heartbeat, like a bungee cord attached to his bum ticker.
Chapter 1: Part 1/ part 2 Chapter 2: part 3/ part 4 Chapter 3: part 5/ part 6/
We went for a little walk on the scrap metal ball, aka the not-fancy mining satellite. The scans showed, there were nominal pressure and a thin atmosphere in several chambers, but not in the center. The heart of the structure was occupied by a heat source with strong magnetic fluctuations. Whatever was causing it, it could most likely produce a devastating explosion.
If Bayard was caught in it, the fuel onboard would start a chain reaction with all the methane and hydrogen clouds around that particular area. Even a fart could ignite it… So no farting on the job! It occurred to me, it could also be a high-energy weapon the size of a glider, or just scrap metal holding an unstable reactor together. Still no farts. Anyway, we shouldn’t stick around for longer than necessary. Holding in farts wasn’t healthy, so there was that.
Continue reading “Chapter 3: Mutiny Shuffle”
On my way from the barkeep to the patron hungry eyes clung to my hips and tail like leeches. The lighting dimmed so all the gold ornaments had a chance to glow with the warm spectral light. “Zeke’s Gate House” was famous for this special feature. Gold without alloy shined like bioluminescent creatures bursting into sparks. The upbeat music softened, changed rhythm and lowered in volume as soon as I approached the end of the curved counter. I flashed my best smile at the thin male Terran and brought him his 8th Old Fashioned. He kept the drinks coming, tipped more than generously. Patrons like him were my favorite. Hopefully, he had more on his mind than getting drunk. His hand connected with my lower back, before he even looked me in the face.
“Come, keep me company for the last one,” he smiled back. Oh, this went smoothly. Zeke, my owner, had plans for this man. By his gleeful look, the plans were deadly. “Your wish is my command.” He downed the drink I just brought him and signaled the bartender. “Tell me a sad story, gorgeous.” He took the ice sphere left in the glass and rubbed it to his temple. “Even if it comes with solace?” I purred. He smiled tiredly, took his hand from my lower back.
Continue reading “eyes in the dark”
Part 1 Superstition / Part 2 Names for Blades/ Part 3 Sin-eater / Part 4 Threshold / Part 5a Tainted blood
Triggerwarning: cruelty, injury, predatory behavior
Part 5 b
“He was searching for a human child. Your handiwork?” I growled at its gaping mouth and its pulsing tongues. Its tiny eyes fixed on the glowing markings on my flanks. If it had brows or a forehead, it would have looked suspiciously.
“Yes, intruder,” it sizzled with a hollow thrumming in its throat flaps. Continue reading “Devil’s Peak (5b)”
Chapter 1: Part 1 / Part 2 Chapter 2: Part 3 / Part 4 Chapter 3: Part 5
The day started out to be a boring one. I was tempted to search for entertainment, but the mind-numbing duties on deck yanked my chain. I had my clipboard, paper, and a crayon. Yes, they gave me a green crayon to do the work I was allowed to. I never liked green. My crewmates lacked trust. I’d never sabotage the ship, or harm myself, at least not with a pencil.
I had to tick off a bogus checklist. Shepherd had me check the tanks on board, not just the oxygen and nitrogen tanks, but also the algae tanks, the pressure control, preparation plant tanks, and finally updating the star charts. Dull! Duller, dullest. I could try to program all screens to broadcast one of my favorite songs from Earth simultaneously. The Surfin’ Bird was destined for greatness!
Continue reading “Chapter 3: eh, some plans”
(Part 1 / Part 2 ) Chapter 1; (Part 3 / Part 4) Chapter 2
I despised the med bay by now. Nobody could blame me for that. A month in quarantine coma had been enough to resent every hint of that particular shade of green. Mother and I were back to engage in another excruciating hour of exams. Scanning, fidgeting, neurological and psychological testing, drawing blood, and other unpleasant procedures, I endured them all. Who else was the guinea-pig on board? At least he took down the images of my eye, my brain, and that parasite inside my head, so I didn’t have to look at it.
Cricket’s appearance made Mother suspicious and quite worried. He wasn’t expecting it to appear so fast, he told me during tomography. The parasite had taken over one of my eyes and the connected neurological tissue all the way to my visual cortex. So, it could make me see things, among other inconveniences. Like taking over the rest of me, for real, kill my personality, maybe even my body.
Parasites didn’t kill their hosts, did they? I imagined myself as a puppet, moving through the ship, vacant look on my dumb face, drooling like a proper zombie. Couldn’t hide the shivers. Mother stopped what he was doing and asked if I felt fine. “A bad thought, buddy. Just a bad thought.”
Continue reading “Chapter 3: Cricket”
Chapter 1: (Part 1/ Part 2) Chapter 2: Part 3
“Big K, you look like shit,” Shepherd put my coffee mug filled with hot steaming caffeinated bliss on the table in front of me. This was my first breakfast with the whole crew since I was allowed to leave the med bay. Of course, I had met everyone while navigating my way through the ship one eyed. Well, not really one-eyed, but my bandaged one didn’t technically belong to me anymore, so… Yeah.
Continue reading “Chapter 2: K- Black”
Trigger warning (eye injury, body horror, grief, strong language, dissociative behavior)
Chapter 1: Part 1 / Part 2
“UV-irradiation in progress.”
My body felt absolutely whacked. Had I lost a boxing match against a grizzly? Somebody said something. I swear, I won’t accept any more bets from Shepherd. No way I’d ever keep up with her chemical implants. I was the one doomed in this drinking match, felt like death already. My head hurt, my eyelids were glued together, and it felt as if I licked the ashtray. Worst hangover ever.
Continue reading “Chapter 2: K Black”
“Let’s deal with one catastrophe at a time, shall we?” I had the feeling Mother Goose rubbed his forehead after a face-palm I didn’t hear. “Is the sample secured?”
“Uh-huh.” I answered the best I could.
Distant typing came over the comms. “Poe is fifty yards to your left, pacing up and down a corridor. And… I see, darling.” I felt his annoyance ooze out of my ear piece. “Shep, it’s a Kong Green. I owe you fifty. You stay put, I’m sending Shepherd to collect you.” Great! One-woman-army was coming to save me, like a damsel in distress.
Continue reading “Chapter 1: scenario green”
“What the?!” Pomona stared back at me, hands helplessly outstretched. The soft empty shell disintegrated with her body heat. “How? No, wait. Why?” Her lower lip started quivering, her eyes welled up. Here we go. I shut the bulkhead and locked it. At least we were safe in here from the guards, until we got picked up. “Poe! Pull yourself together. Nobody got time for the waterworks.” She let the thin fabric that contained the sample fall to the floor and covered her face. She shook.
Great. What did I do this time?
I felt another sensitivity training looming.
Continue reading “Chapter 1: Scenario Green”