Spacewalk


"I'm cold, do you read me?" She radios into mission control.

The only response is veiled static as she floats further and further from the ship. This was the end. Her security cord had been broken away by some debris. She knew she didn't have long. A limited supply of oxygen. Her suit would only keep her warm for so long, and that time had passed. She couldn't hear the ship, and she wasn't sure they could here her. But she stopped being warm a long time ago.

They say in space, nobody can hear you scream. She wondered if they would hear here her cry. Death had always been a possibility. People died in space, people died trying to get to space and trying to get back. She just didn't think it would be her. Nobody ever think they'll be the one to die in space. Maybe it was the arrogance that sealed her fate. Maybe it was just her time. How would they do her funeral? All kinds of morbid thoughts entered her mind.

Would she run out of oxygen first? Would she freeze to death? Which would be less painless. Being an astronaut was never easy, but it was relatively pain free and that was an upside for her. It had been a good career. A good life. She got to do a lot of things that many people didn't. But it was coming to an end now.

"Hang tight, we're going to try to grab you," she heard over the radio. A blessing. She had accepted her death, but she would like to avoid it.


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Megaannum


The weight is crushing down on my chest. I have to climb my way to the top of whatever is crushing me. It feels as if I'm swimming through flesh and machine. A shock here and there. What is this mess? Still I fight to free myself and make it to the top.

Fresh air rushes into my lungs as I make it to the top of the pile. The scent of burning flesh and oil burning enter my nostrils not long after that. I take in my surroundings. Man and machine lay across the battlefield. A few men begin to stand, it is clear we've won this battle. But what were we fighting for?

I can't even remember. I remember every part of the battle. It ended when we set off an EMP and it dropped most of the machines. A few activated self destruct and made sure to take a few humans with them. But why were we fighting in the first place? A large metallic ship becomes visible over the battlefield. I reach down and pry a laser rifle from the hands of a dead man.

"Congratulations, humanity, you have won the extinction tournament, and ensured the survival of the human race for another Megaannum. If you don't wipe yourselves out first," a voice echoes from the ship.

I remember now. We're fighting for the survival of our species. The aliens, the bad aliens. They force different species to fight to the death. We get a few months to prep, then we're sent to some remote location to fight it out. It was all some kind of sick television show for them.

Sucks for them. Humans are a hateful lot. We won't hesitate to put a bullet in another bloke but when we're united we're scary. Now we've got a common enemy. We won't stop until we find them. They better hope we do wipe ourselves out, otherwise we'll wipe them out. We've done worse to each other. This is nothing. We've got a whole megaannum to find and kill them, whatever that means.


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What is Happiness


"Sir, what is happiness," Cube my butler bot asks me as he serves me my morning toast.

"It is an emotion Cube," I respond simply. This isn't the first time Cube has asked me something about humans. Part of his learning algorithms or whatever they call it.

"Yes, I am aware that it is an emotion. Could you tell what happiness feels like," a second question from Cube. Now that is odd.

"Why would you like to know?"

"I feel that understanding human emotion is an integral part of my job."

"Happiness is a lack of sadness," I say stuffing my mouth full of toast.

"Please elaborate," Cube presses me harder. What has gotten into this bot?

"Happiness is when you're not in need of anything. It's when you know everything will be okay. You're not lonely, and you feel like everything will be okay in the world, even if only for a moment. Nothing matters in that moment, because right then and there is enough," I give him the answer he's looking for.

"Thank you sir," Cube says taking my plate.

I make my way to the living room and load up my favorite television show and settle in for a long weekend of binge watching. I hear cube walk into the room. He doesn't ask any questions, just watches me as if he's waiting on his next command.

"Sir, may I ask you one last question," Cube asks as the first episode ends.

"Sure Cube, one more for the now."

"Are you happy?"

I don't have an answer for Cube. I should be happy. I own a home, have a good job. I'm financially stable. I should be happy for sure but am I happy? I don't know.


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The Crystal Fields


The sound of whistling echoes from the jewels in the crystal fields. These weren't any crystals, these were enchantment crystals. They're created to trap magic and imbue weapons, armor and everything else with them. The prince loved these fields. Nobody ever came here except for harvest season. That would be soon and he wanted to get once last visit in.

"Stop that whistling," his father yells out from across the field.

The prince was unsure how his father learned that he was here. He was supposed to be away at council. After last year's attack by the Orcs talks of war had started once again. The prince had no interest in war. He wanted nothing more than to live a life free of royal duty. Free of military strife. If anything he'd like to be in a lower class. He could do work, he enjoyed carpentry. Yet, he was too important for his practice to continue. His uncle used to teach him how to build things, but his uncle had been sent to the kingdom of the humans in hopes of forming an alliance. Everyone in the family was subject to royal duty.

"I have told you to stay in the castle. You do not know who is watching you," the king yelled snatching at the prince.

The prince didn't resist, he knew the reality of the situation. He knew it would only make his father angry. Instead he left the crystal fields for the time being. Hopefully, next year there would be a crop, and not a war. If only his father had taken the time to get lost in his thoughts while running through the fields, he wouldn't be so angry all the time.


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Bed and Breakfast


"Hey Mat, wasn't this door locked when we came in," Judy called out to her husband.

"What door," Mat asks rounding the corner. "Oh yeah, that door was closed tight."

"Should we go in," Judy asks inquisitively.

"I mean we rented the place for the weekend. It's ours," Mat said flinging the door open with a laugh.

The laugh was quickly wiped away as they got a glimpse of the room. Peeling wallpaper, a deep contrast from the modern insides of the home. The smell of mildew, mothballs and cigarettes. Decoration for the room consisted of graphic and erotic paintings spaced erratically along the walls. Three guns laid neatly in the center of the floor amidst the grungy carpet of the room. Strangest of all was a typewriter. Every key had been replaced with a tooth, a letter carved into each.

"What the fuck is this," Judy asked.

Mat didn't answer, he couldn't. He had already been subdued, held tightly by the butcher. He struggled but it did him no good. The arm across his windpipe slowly put him to sleep. When he awoke he would be living in a world of pain, not the one he had once knew.

"We said not to open the door," a woman's voice whispered into Judy's ear while sliding a cloth over her nose, and letting Judy drop to the ground.

Be careful of something that's just what you want it to be, a phrase Judy's mother had told her repeatedly played over and over again in her head. This seemed like the perfect romantic getaway. Now it'll be the last they take together. They won't be the last couple lured into this trap. They aren't the first either.

Blackport Butcher
Black Widow of Blackport

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Shutdown


Shit shit....FUCK this can't be happening. The company can't be going out of business I just got promoted. We just bought that other company. This has to be an April Fool's Day joke or something we can't be going out of business.

I just bought a house, what am I going to do now? I've got a car payment, insurance, student loans. What the fuck am I supposed to do now.

"FUUUUCK," someone screams out from another cubicle across the office.

The news is spreading like wildfire. Everyone here is screwed. They can't blindside us like this. This has to be illegal in some way. A loud thud rings through the office as a plastic trashcan slams into a glass window. Screw it, I'm leaving. I've got a week to find another job and I'm not going to waste it here going crazy with everyone else.

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Sunday Morning Blues


"Why aren't you out of bed yet. Hurry up and go eat so you can get ready," mom yelled into my bedroom.

I roll over and cover my head with a pillow as she leaves. I'm going back to sleep, I don't even get up for school this early. I can play Paper Mario all day in my pajamas. That's all I want to do today.

"Boy, I told you get up," she pops back into the room.

"I'm not going," I say back to her.

"You gonna tell Jesus you ain't going to church," she asks.

"Dad doesn't have to go to church."

"Is this where you want to be when Jesus comes back?"

"Yes, that's fine with me," I say burying my face deeper into my bed.

She snatches the sheets away from my bed and grabs me by the arm before leading me out of my room and down the stairs. She sits me at the table and pours a bowl of cereal before handing me a spoon. I eat slowly as my younger sister smiles at me from across the table. Of course she's ready to go. My mother rushes back in with church clothes and dress shoes. I hate dress shoes.

"Hurry up and go put these on so we can go," she says shoving them into my arms.

"But I'm not finished eating," I try to argue. Maybe if I take enough time she'll just leave me.

"If you had gotten up when I said to, you would be. Now go get dressed and I'm not gonna tell you again."

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Coin Flip


"So, what should we do" she asked nervously turning to her boyfriend for an answer. She had always turned to him in these situations. He'd have the guidance she needed, that's why they worked so well. She was the free spirit who could flow through any setting. He was the analytical mind that always made the right choice.

"I don't know," he answers staring away from her. He didn't know what to do. He never knew what to do. He always just said what he thought she wanted to do. There was no magic book of answers he held. He was enchanted with the way she moved through life effortlessly and only wanted to be part of it.

"We have to do something," she said taking his hand within her own.

"We can flip a coin, it's all we can do right now," the only suggestion he could muster gripping his hand.

He took a quarter from his pocket and handed it to her. The choice was hers to make. He had heard that 1000 times but he wasn't sure. This could alter his entire life, and he had no real say on the topic. An accident in a short moment, all coming down to a coin flip. She rolls the coin between her index finger and thumb, feeling every groove in it. Finally she places the coin on her thumb and flips it into the air. It floats for an eternity before coming down. She catches it in her palm without looking. She lays the coin on the back of her hand anxious for the fate that life has chosen.

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