Drabble #18

The slow spin gave Lee time to think. Any faster and the capsule will miss the target. Any slower and they’d have to abort. The dying star came into view via a porthole-shaped monitor. The capsule itself was solid and sensors created the image of the outside. 


Lee wondered about that during launch. They searched “Claustrophobia” and wondered why they had never known the word. Their life was the cargo bay, rolling in and out, loading and unloading, the sky always simulated. Lee wondered if even the capsule were true. They searched “Recalibrating” and turned toward the impostor star.

Art created using Dream by WOMBO

Drabble #17

“With the upgrades in your father’s heart, we offer a yearly subscription that covers all maintenance and replacement parts.”
“So, if anything goes wrong?”
“Yes. Anything. Even if your father deliberately destroys the heart, we’ll replace it for free.”

“Has anyone done that?”
“Has anyone deliberately destroyed their own heart?”
“Oh.God no. But if they did…” She waited, eyebrows raised.
“They’d get a new one.”
She pointed a vintage ball-point pen at me. “Precisely.”

Through the back window, I watched Dad and my youngest play catch.
“What happens if I miss a payment?”
She clicked the pen. “Don’t.”

Art created using Dream by WOMBO

Drabble #16

Sitting outside while the pod auto-cleaned felt like hell to Jinca. She shivered in her robe and drug her fingers through her black hair, demanding it lay flat against her head. Her eyes, sallow and veiny, unused to seeing true depth, watched the blinking numbers on the timer.

Spending four hours dry left her helpless. If she wasn’t inside, wasn’t part of the team, then who was she? Jinca thought that “dry time” was really for drying out your head, not your skin. She didn’t care. An alarm sounded and the pod slid open. She leapt back into her life.

Art created using Dream by WOMBO

Drabble #15

When Nelson said they’d land with a “hard bump,” I didn’t think he meant jamming my balls into my spine and coughing up my bladder.

“You’re too fussy,” Nelson said, slamming me hard on the shoulder. All my organs fell back into place. “This was one of my softest landings.”

“Guess I’m lucky,” I said, fumbling with my straps. The old Crowstar made for fast lunar transit, but not comfortable. I needed to hide, not relax. And I needed to stash a bag of diamonds.

Nelson’s grip tightened, holding me in place. “Let’s talk about your cargo. Sorry, my cargo.”

Art created using Dream by WOMBO

Drabble #14

Shelby saw the rainbow but decided to stay in bed anyway. She knew they’d all be talking about it by lunch. And later in the day, the first sketches of “Martian Leprechaun” would be shared all over the M-web. It would spread on Earth too, but interest there would wane fast. The Martian settlers were no longer news, but slotted below “entertainment” on most social platforms. 

People thought Mars would be a terraformed promise land, alleviating the pressure on Earth’s resources. Shelby wanted to tell people the truth. Mars was alive when they landed. It made the rainbow for her.

Art created using Dream by WOMBO