My muse has been all over the place of late. Usually it goes on vacations for extended periods of times without asking. Now, it’s just jumping around—ooh, look at that shiny, sparkly thing…let’s try that!!
I really appreciate those of you who stop by and check out my Wednesday Briefs stories. This week I decided I want to focus on flash fiction. I had a lot of fun in Lisa Kessler’s class, and I really want to hone writing a complete story in less than 1000 words.
The below story is sort of a sci-fi m-m story. My hope is to keep the same characters and write short pieces about snippets of their lives. I hope you like them or at least keep reading to see how they grow.
I’m getting to the story, I promise!! This week’s story is based on the prompt, “Huh, that’s smaller than I thought.” Come on, get your mind out of the gutter…well, temporarily!!! *wink*
Blaster fire sounded from behind Sid. One lucky shot caught his thigh as it streaked by. “Damn-it!” He keyed the small comm in his ear. “Gareth, where in the universe are you? I’m hit!” Sid pulled the lone stun grenade from his pocket and launched it. He wasn’t a weapons guy. Blasters were foreign to him. Besides, even if he had one, he couldn’t hit the broad side of a space cruiser in broad daylight.
A bass voice sounded in his ear. “What in the Meridan Galaxy do you expect? You tripped the Clanadies’ security on entry.” The dumbass that belonged at the end of the sentence went unsaid.
Gareth sounded really pissed. Well, Sid was just as pissed, and his leg throbbed like the techno beat in Club Paragon. He quickly typed the last of the code into the cantankerous older model Xlite processer, starting the final download to his microdrive.
His comm blared to life with Gareth’s commanding voice. “Sid, you’ve got fifteen seconds to get your ass out of there. Otherwise, I won’t be responsible for what happens.”
“Gareth, you big lunk! You’re supposed to be keeping them off of me. One more minute. Then, I’ll be done.” Sid cursed under his breath. The download was taking its sweet time. Babying the ancient machine didn’t work either.
As the guards regained their senses, Sid shrieked, “Gareth, get down here. The sentries are recovering—too quickly!” The stun grenade had a limited effectiveness, especially when battle gear protected the sentries.
He heard a high-pitched tinging. What on…At last. The big lunk he’d been counting on had finally arrived. Fire from Gareth’s weapon took out the disoriented guards.
By the time the Gareth reached him, the download had finished. Sid squealed as the lunk caught him around the waist and threw him over his shoulder. “We’ve got to go! Like ten seconds ago.”
Sid pounded the big guy on the shoulder through his armor. “Hold on, ya lunk! I need to retrieve the drive.” Stretching, Sid squirmed until he could grab the drive. “Got it! Go, go, go!”
“Bout damn time, geek!” Gareth wove between work stations, zigzagging to avoid the next wave of sentries, who even now flooded the large room.
“Don’t ‘geek’ me! How was I to know they upgraded the biometric software? I should’ve had a good ten minutes to get in and out. Clean.” Sid patted his forearm and felt the comforting presence of the drive in his spacesuit.
“Sid, I swear I’m not taking another job with you. Everything always goes to shit when you’re around!”
“Don’t worry, big guy, I know you still love me,” Sid teased, knowing how sensitive Gareth was to his size. The hybrid—Gareth wouldn’t admit to his heritage—towered over humans at nearly eight feet tall. Although, as much as he teased, Sid only had eyes for the lunk. He might be brash, and he might come off as ungrateful, but he had a heart wider than the Milky Way.
Gareth didn’t even sound winded when he contacted Nuzzie, the pilot of his ship, through the comm. “Woman, you’d better have that thing at our retrieval coordinates. We’re coming out hot!”
“I’ve been circling for the last five.” She sounded bored. “What’s taking you two so long?”
Oh boy, Sid thought. She’s gonna get an earful now.
“Don’t get me started. Activate the vaporchute.” Gareth burst through the back of the building into bright light from the suns. He abruptly ducked to avoid a low-flying hovercraft. “Damn hotshot pilots!”
“Lunk, don’t you start on me,” Nuzzie warned.
“Pipe down, Nuz. You piloting a hovercraft right now?” He didn’t wait for her answer. “No, I didn’t think so. You got nothing to worry about.”
Sid glanced up in time to spot the twinkling silver sparks of the vaporchute. “No, not the chute,” he whined.
“Rather get shot instead?” Gareth was three steps from launching them into the shoot that would suck them into the ship while it hovered. No landing required.
“I want to avoid puking on you, that’s all.” Sid and the chute had a hate-hate relationship. He never failed to get sick or lose consciousness in the stupid thing. While he embraced technology, this was one invention he could do without.
“No puking or I’ll kick your ass back to Earth. Live in a wasteland and suck polluted crap into your lungs. See if I care.” Gareth hit the chute, and Sid’s stomach flip-flopped before everything went dark.
* * * *
When Sid came to, he was strapped into a seat just off the bridge of Gareth’s spacecraft. Nuzzie and the lunk talked in hushed tones. Gareth’s voice sounded particularly tense.
Sid rubbed his eyes and then checked himself. Oh no, he thought, I’m in different clothes. Must’ve puked on the lunk. He scooted around in his chair. Nope, ass not sore. Last time he hurled on Gareth, the guy spanked the hell out of him while he was unconscious. Not that Sid complained, of course.
He cleared his throat before asking, “Um, guys what’s going on?”
Neither answered him, but he heard Gareth comment, “Huh, that’s smaller than I thought.”
Not that he had a reason to feel self-conscious, but Sid sure as hell hoped that Gareth wasn’t talking about him, especially if the big guy had changed his underwear in addition to his suit.
“Hush up, Sid, we’re busy—,” Nuzzie barked without looking back.
He reached for the release button on his harness. Nuzzie must’ve had eyes on the back of her head.
“Don’t even think about it. Gareth’s trying to hit the Zerfia Trench. Unfortunately, the ship’s taken some strikes so our thrusters are damaged. Going to be tricky making the entry point.”
And that was all she needed to say. Sid tightened the straps on his harness, squeezed his eyes closed, and prayed like he’d never prayed before.
Please let this not be the last time I see Gareth.
* * * *
Be sure to check out flashes from these other Wednesday Briefers!