This was my entry for Cracked Flash Fiction Competition on 13 August 2016. The prompt was: ‘Next time we meet, one of us will be dead.’
There was a lot of images of space, too. And this story popped out…
By Ronel Janse van Vuuren
‘Next time we meet, one of us will be dead.’
It was hard not to roll my eyes at Billy’s melodramatic statement. He glared at me and marched out of the room; his silver suit making streaks in the light.
‘That was fun,’ Allie said softly as she materialised next to me.
‘You don’t know half of it,’ I muttered as I watched the schematics of the new moon.
‘Are you sure we have to turn it habitable?’
I ignored her as the orb turned to reveal the newest scans of the celestial real estate outside the ship.
My teeth ached as I clenched my jaw not to snap. I hated the silly name I was given.
‘It’s my job to know these things,’ I finally answered.
‘But the cost…’
Narrowing my eyes, I could see through the light-schematics that she wasn’t nearly as composed as she would like to pretend. Despite her youth, she knew exactly what has to be done; what had been done countless times; what would surely be done again in the future. Only sacrificing life could life be given. And to serve our masters… It was time to move along.
Cold hands shaking, I pressed the button.
Perhaps Billy hadn’t been entirely overreacting: the ship and everyone on it will cease to be in a matter of minutes.
As the white light took my consciousness away from the vessel I’d inhabited, a fleeting wisp of regret coiled around me. Who knew how long any of us will be in limbo until new bodies could be commandeered?
So? What do you think? I listened to The All-American Rejects with a smattering of Billy Idol in between while writing this. I think the title and the outraged character’s name hinted this strongly 😉