Flash Fiction Sci-fi Story: Landings

Here’s a small science fiction piece I wrote a little while ago. I was just playing with some sci-fi themes in short form, never intending to write a long saga (like the novel I’m slaving away at now). I’m looking to upload more premium content soon, but I thought it might be nice to share a little something free for all to read. Enjoy!

Landings

Ella Salome

The whistle of high-pressured vapour escaping from the puncture is shrill, piercing. It cuts through the quiet afternoon like a child’s scream. My pulse spikes, adrenaline floods my system.

My heavy leather gloves seem to fight me, stiff with cold and greasy with lubricant. I work to pull them on as I nimbly hop between the tools and semi-dismantled engine parts which lie scattered across the leafy forest floor. The small entry wound in my ship’s hull is just above head height. I hastily gag its squeal with a gloved thumb.

In the fresh silence, I hear the cooling meteorite utter tiny plinks which echo inside the metallic shell. I picture it nestling into my ship’s machinery like a tick, slick with coolant spilled from severed capillaries, illuminated by sparks jumping between frayed wires.

The pressurised chambers which separate the craft’s interior capsule from the outer hull are very delicately calibrated. This damage could set my repairs back by days. 

I lean my forehead against the cool metal of the ship, releasing a long and heartfelt sigh. 

I need a better plug for this leak. Stuck as I am, I have limited options.

I manage to get the toe of my boot into the mouth of a nearby plastic bucket, spilling it towards me. A dull grey disk tumbles out, the magnet I use to clear away metal shavings. After a few failed attempts, I manage to awkwardly lift it with my foot, bringing it within hand’s reach. I smack the magnet down over the puncture a second after pulling my thumb away. 

It holds, for now. I’ll have to work up a flight-worthy patch for it later.

I stand back and glumly appraise my wounded spacecraft; once a shiny, silver orb of perfection, now scratched and weather-worn from our stranded days in the wilds of this unfamiliar world.

Another tiny space pellet comes zipping from the sky. It lodges itself firmly in the trunk of a towering, wide leafed tree. The ancient giant shudders from the impact, shaking off several ripe fruits, which land in a sweet and pungent mess on the ground. 

Long limbed creatures, disturbed in their canopy homes above, fill the air with low bellowing calls.

I raise a finger to the small node under the skin of my right temple, to rewind my vision-capture feed. I note the timestamp in the corner of my eye for each meteorite landing. Only ten minutes apart. More frequent than yesterday. 

In the sky above, tiny streaks of light sizzle in and out of existence as the smaller debris burn up upon contact with the atmosphere. Bright harbingers of the coming storm.

I trudge back to the mossy log at the rear door of my ship. I sit, and heave the familiar ink-stained repair manual onto my lap. I jot a quick entry into the log of events I’ve been keeping on the inside front cover.

Then, I shoulder my make-shift soldering rig and get back to work.

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