Ants and Butterflies – SFRB October Showcase

 

Welcome to the October Science Fiction Romance Brigade Showcase!

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October is Indie Month! I’m going to highlight an indie publication done every year by the Queer Sci-Fi blog and Facebook group. It’s an anthology of Flash Fiction (stories less than 300 words), written mostly by independent writers. Writing a story in 300 words is a great challenge. From aliens to space ships, romance in the stars and exploring new worlds, this year’s anthology, FLIGHT, has something for everyone.

I didn’t participate in this year’s anthology, FLIGHT, but I did have a story in last year’s anthology, DISCOVERY. I can now share that 300 word story with you.


ANTS & BUTTERFLIES

Ants marched up his skin in rows; tiny feet tickling and harsh jaws biting. He couldn’t move to wipe them away. He couldn’t move at all.

“Captain?”

The man’s voice sounded familiar, but the word barely registered. Ants. He was covered in the damn things and they were eating him alive!

“Hold on, Travis,” that familiar voice spoke with concern. “The effects of the H-38 will wear off in a moment.”

H-38. Travis knew what that was. Did. A lifetime ago. He’d slept since then, and now there was only the ants.

“Can you open your eyes?”

Who was that? Travis knew… That voice… Mornings in bed. Snuck kisses in the simulator. The bittersweet goodbye that was more like goodnight.

Asleep. He’d been asleep. Was he still asleep? The ants bit in and his hand twitched.

“Almost there, Trav. Come back to me.”

A warmth pressed against his lips. A kiss? Jonathan.

The ants vanished as Travis opened his eyes. A gasping breath. His arms moved. “Jon?”

“Welcome back, Captain.” Jon smiled. “How do you feel?”

Travis tasted the air with dry tongue. “Like I’ve slept for ages.”

“It’s only been eight years,” Jon winked. “The H-38 will have your motor functions back up to speed within the hour.”

“Did you kiss me?”

“Couldn’t resist.”

“You better not plan on waking the whole crew that way, Doc.”

“Just you, love. C’mon, you have to see it.”

The harness keeping Travis’s body in place against the hull released, sending him floating into zero gravity. Across from him a single porthole beckoned. Beyond its thick acrylicite, an unexplored planet with a textbook name orbited a yellow star.

“It looks like home,” Travis whispered, memories surfacing of a distant Earth.

Jon took his hand, the ants becoming butterflies. “We are home.”


Pick up your copy of FLIGHT and support the Queer Sci-Fi group in their effort to broaden the spectrum and representation in science fiction.

Click here to visit the other great blogs in this month’s SFR Brigade Showcase!

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