13: Solitude, Insanity, Company, Capture, Confusion

00:54 Thu 14 Sep 2006. Updated: 20:58 15 Sep 2006
[, , , , ]

Death seems closer in the quiet places.

Further down, near the engines, the hum makes life seem more likely. I know that this is illusory, that the end will come regardless of comforting, regardless of activity, regardless of distraction. But it is a slow death, and so stillness makes it seem closer.

Nevertheless, I find myself wanting to be undisturbed, serene and looking out at the stars. Or at the vast emptiness between the stars. All that blackness, punctuated only by dust and debris. Underscoring the hopelessness of life, because life has no impact upon it and never will. Before life, it was there, and after life, it will be there. We cross it, sometimes, never causing so much as a ripple.


I am asleep when it happens. No proximity warnings from the ship, no alerts at the breach, nothing.
One of my first thoughts is that this confirms my conception that the ship doesn’t really care about me.
“Truder Redmane?”
A voice. A voice that isn’t my own and isn’t recorded.
“Are you alone? Is there anyone else on the ship?”
Conversation. Despite talking to myself regularly, I cannot muster the wherewithal to do it.

I stare. The voice belongs to a woman, a short, lithe and tough-looking woman. She has her left hand on my shoulder and her right grips a pistol.


Two hours later, I am in her ship, an elated prisoner. My environment has shrunk from an entire luxury yacht to a cramped cabin. I wrestle with my joy, knowing that my “rescue” puts me in grave danger. If she had been sent by a friend, she would have presented some token of proof. So it didn’t matter who had sent her, or where she was heading. I could not let her take me back.

(300 words)

The above is part of a series of microfiction pieces.

Leave a Reply