Spinning to Oblivion

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Image courtesy of NASA

The acrid tang of blood was a pleasant change from the burnt smell wafting from the air reconditioners, Remy decided. He watched in distant fascination as drop after drop swirled away from his arms and body and spun across the compartment. Or was he the one spinning, he wondered, and the blood merely floated quietly after leaving him?

Drop by drop, his strength was ebbing away. He had hoped that the voices would get quieter as he got weaker, but the screaming seemed to be growing louder. At first only Lerin was yelling at him, but now Lerin was floating lifelessly beside the station’s solar-powered stabilizing array. Why had he gone out there? Hadn’t Remy warned him he didn’t have enough oxygen to be Outside for long?

Several blood droplets spun together, merging briefly into a larger globule before smashing into his left eye. Or had he smashed into it? Remy felt a wave of nausea sweep up as he caught a brief glimpse of Earth whirling repeatedly past the viewport.

The screaming seemed to be growing louder again, and this time there were more voices. A few were old friends inside his head, companions earned during months of solitary training, but the others were a mix of male and female voices he didn’t know. They were coming from all around him now.

“Remy, you need to get to the auxiliary panel!” shouted one angry voice. “You need to get the rotation under control now that the fire’s out. See if Lerin…”

He wanted to tell the voices to stop reminding him about Lerin. Lerin had gone Outside to try to save them, he reminded himself, and now he was gone. Another lurch brought him spinning around faster. His leg was tethered to a control panel that appeared to have been ripped free and was ricocheting around the module.

“Remy, where is Commander Tindal?”

Yes, there had been three of them. Three to work together, three to argue. Three to love. Three to fight.

“Remy, we can’t help you if you won’t talk to us!”

Remy felt a strange tug against his leg, rousing briefly to catch sight of a chunk of databoard guts that had smashed into him. A rising shriek drew his attention back towards the auxiliary control panel now being systematically and enthusiastically dismantled by the mission leader. Lerin’s knife drifted past his eyes.

“STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO.”

“But…you…made…us…”

Made us do it, Remy wanted to say, but his strength had ebbed away in the crazy dance of red drifting and careening around the compartment. A brief glimpse of Lerin’s suited body brought him comfort as he drifted towards oblivion. At least he wouldn’t be alone.

Copyright 2017 by Christine Clukey Reece

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Friday: Impact

Image courtesy of NASA

Image courtesy of NASA

Impact

Thermafrag bombs detonated across the surface of Minerva IV like bugs splattering across a windshield. They were unlikely to hit anything, the captain knew, but might shake up the mutineers enough that they’d make a run for it.

Minverva IV hung against the silhouette of its gas giant parent, oblivious to the misfortunes of its surface. The moon had been mined and abandoned by one conglomerate or another over centuries, and now the crew members who’d attempted to murder him were hiding in the extensive network of tunnels below.

A vagrant muscle twitched in his jaw as the chilling sound of escaping air replayed in his memory. They’d told him that they’d found evidence of sabotage along the hull, and he’d fallen into their trap — suited up and headed Out to see it for himself. Good thing for him that he never went Outside without a flexoseal kit strapped on at his waist. Bad thing for them that there was more than one way back Inside the Elloran Cee.

He surveyed the two remaining members of the bridge crew, their facial scars standing out in stark relief under the glare of instrumentation lights. They were fine officers, he thought, able to withstand any amount of physical punishment in the performance of their duties. His fingers curled around the short whip at his waist, anticipating their next training session.

 

Copyright 2017, Christine Clukey Reece

 

No Flash Fiction, Just Sadness

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I’d intended to restart my #FlashFictionFriday posts as of today, but I’m overwhelmed by the news about Carrie Fisher. I’m not sure if the press’s “stable condition” is trying to back off the alarmism of the first posts about her heart attack, but requiring half an hour of CPR doesn’t bode well.

article-1088513-0289ce2d000005dc-747_468x468She’s more than just another actress to me and millions
of women around the world. Back in the 1970s, her Princess Leia introduced us to a woman who led others, made plans of her own, tossed around witty, sarcastic commentary, and picked up a laser pistol to defend herself and others. She was fully human and strong as hell, and Carrie was amazing in the role.

Her depiction of Leia taught us we could be anything, just like the boys could be. She also showed us we could dress up and be beautiful AND dress down and engage in combat. Because women can be fully competent as people, not just as decorative window dressing.

In her personal life, she has faced down many demons and come out stronger than ever and full of life. Postcards from the Edge, both her book and her screenplay, showcase what she fought through. And then she came back to us in the form of General Leia in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, showing us that women could get older and still matter — both on screen and off.

May the Force be with her and us all, and I hope her medical team is able to help her. I’ll be picking up her latest book, The Princess Diarist, as soon as I can.

And 2016: we hate you. So much. That may make me a Sith tonight, but care not, I do.

 

Fun and Games in the ER

lfg0148xxSo. I missed last week’s #FlashFictionFriday thanks to an ER visit for a bad reaction to new medication. After days of feeling like a wrung-out dishrag run over by a tank, I’m almost back to (ab)normal.

I have nothing but appreciation for the doctor and nurses who talked me through the panic that accompanied feeling like my body was completely shutting down, even though it was the strangest ER setup I’ve ever seen. First, you go past a ‘reception’ area in the hallway, where you have to stand there to check in (I couldn’t). Next, you go into a waiting room to chill out until a triage nurse can evaluate you. Then, you finish dealing with registration at yet another reception counter (but with chairs there), and finally, you get shuffled off to the “yellow” or “green” ER area based on your symptoms.

They wheeled me off to “green” (I was shaking uncontrollably and my legs had given out), which was kinda nice in that it meant my reaction probably wasn’t life-threatening. They parked me in front of the nurses’ station, though, so they could keep an eye on me while waiting for an exam area to become available. They had limited exam cubicles, so they’d set up a couple of ‘waiting’ areas within the ER where more mobile people had to sit and wait after being examined. A bunch of people in those areas had IVs, which seemed a bit odd. If someone is in the ER and needs an IV, it seems like it’d be a good idea to keep them as stationary as possible…but who knows.

My doctor was fantastic. She’d clearly seen this type of reaction before, which was both reassuring and disquieting, but she went through a few tests to make sure nothing else was happening. They dealt with treatment fairly quickly, kept me for a while to make sure that the reaction had passed and I’d be okay, and then sent me off with a different prescription. All in all, a strange but decent experience with Canadian healthcare.

Now that I’ve mostly recovered and caught up on my workload, I’ll get more posting and writing done. Current plan is to refresh my knowledge of Strunk & White’s Elements of Style so I can work on streamlining my writing. If you haven’t read this style book, I highly recommend it.