Small Step

Here’s a sci-fi flash fiction I wrote for an online comp. Didn’t make the cut but I really enjoyed writing it and sometimes that’s all that matters.

Our ship, on it’s approach, skimmed over cobalt waves. They surged, like a stormy winter’s night, before crashing against the shore.

The first step was the strangest. My legs so heavy it seemed they’d sink through the foreign earth. Bizarrely, it reminded me of home; the crimson cliffs off the Scottish coast. I’d traversed vast distances, leaving all I knew behind me, only to feel like I was 17 again. In the echoing thunder of the tide, I could almost hear a haunting whisper, ‘great catch, son, reel her in.’

In the past, the imagined voice would have sent tingles down my spine. But time and space heals all wounds.

The second step stumbled, knee crashing against the ground as my ancient muscles fought the aggressive pull of gravity. Physical hardship was merely a bump in the road. I gritted my teeth, my sharp exhale of breath whistling between them. I recalled kneeling in the dirt, feebly attempting to defend my family from the bombers, firing my single rocket into a sky aswarm. It had been the beginning of the end, for me, for them, for us all.

The third step brought me to my feet, finally planted firmly. I lifted my gaze upon a new horizon, and dared to dream. Maybe this time will be different. Activating the radio, I spoke, my words sharp but distinct in the thinner air.

‘Atmospheric conditions confirmed. All clear.’

The glittering orange dawn became alight with shooting stars as the fleet broke through the stratosphere. The natural clamour of the waves was drowned out by the violent, clattering, propulsions systems of the enormous contraptions. The sight caused me to tremble, what if history was doomed to repeat itself?

I took another step. Time will tell, but I’ll do what I can.

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