Here’s a new writing prompt from Peter Wyn Mosey. If you haven’t checked out Peter’s site it’s well worth a visit, he’s a hugely talented writer. If you are really quick you might still be able to set him a tricky prompt for his 30-day writing challenge.
Needless to say, I’ve chosen the apocalyptic prompt choice. It’ll make a change to write a story that I don’t have to twist into a bleak dystopian end game (686 words). Why not have a crack at one of the prompts yourself or check out Peter’s disturbingly prophetic take on the prompt.
Buckle up! 😉
The warning bell sounds. The last day for humankind on earth is finally here. Twenty-two years after they’d started, the survivors would finally see their children leave this dying planet. Not that everyone saw it that way, Some were not ready to be left behind, left to die. That was the source of the alarm bell that had gone off in the final moments of the countdown.
Sara had been staring out the cockpit at the faint moon rising in a thin rust sky. Within hours she’d be close enough to touch it and from there they’d dance through the solar system before settling down for their long trip into the night. Staring across at Thomas she knew they were ready, destined to take their slumbering brothers and sisters to their new world. Her daydream was rudely interrupted.
“We have a breach, airlock #3” said Thomas, staring at the readout. “We’ll need to abort.”
“No!” said Sara, “We’ll lose our launch window.”
“We’ll lose more than that if we launch.”
“Fuck it, I’ll get down there,” she said, unbuckling her restraints. “If we don’t go now, we may never get another chance.”
“You’ve got 2 minutes, if that airlock is still open we won’t be going anywhere”
She was already sliding down the first of the ladders. She needed to move quickly the ship was vast. Twenty feet down, she keyed the unlock code into the access keypad. Two more ladders; two more hatches; she finally reached the habitat level and stood staring at an empty airlock. She heard a noise behind her.
“Don’t,” a voice said.
She turned around slowly. A shaking hand clutched a crude gun aimed right at her. “Okay, calm down.”
“I ain’t going back.”
“Okay, okay,” she said, her hands up. “I understand, but you know you won’t survive the trip.”
“I won’t survive down there,” he said, waving the gun back towards the airlock.
“We don’t have time for this,” crackled Thomas’ voice over the intercom. “2 minutes.”
“Look, if I don’t close this airlock, none of us are going anywhere.”
He nodded. She ran to the control panel and punched in the lock sequence.
“That’s got it. Sixty seconds, get strapped in,” echoed Thomas’ voice.
“You heard him,” she said.
The bedraggled stranger put the gun away and slid down the wall. She shook her head. There was one emergency seat buried in the bulkhead. She ran over to it and slid it down. “Get in,” she shouted at him.
The stranger didn’t understand at first, when he realised what she meant, he staggered over. She helped him strap in.
“What about you,” he said.
“I’ll be okay,” she said, grabbing hold of the handhold next to the seat.
“NINE, EIGHT, SEVEN, SIX,”
“Thank you,” he whispered.
She smiled at him, guiltily.
“FIVE, FOUR, THREE, -”
Thomas’ last words were drowned out by the roar of the engines. She braced herself.
She had been born for this mission. She would walk on a distant world, this poor fool would not. She pitied him, pitied the world he’d come from. The starship started its trillion mile journey slowly at first, but with each passing moment, it accelerated. Within a few seconds, the G-force was tremendous, within a minute the stranger was struggling. There was nothing she could do, she reached out a hand to try and keep his head vertical. But it was for nothing, she heard his spine crack as a pool of blood blossomed out from under the seat. She hung on as the ship continued its brutal acceleration.
The bulkhead groaned and shrieked with the terrible forces, she simply stood there in defiance to the chaos around her, eyes closed, breath controlled. Her heart slowed, as her genetic adaptions kicked in. Oxygen saturated cells could survive for hours with minimal blood supply. Her skeleton and muscles, designed for a much harsher world, could easily handle the worst hardships the journey would place on her.
She was a child of another world, a world her parents would never see, a world free from the sins of their fathers.
There’s a part two of this story using a different writing prompt: