[Short Story] Question of Survival

This is a story that I wrote two years ago. It has made the rounds to magazines, e-zines and other sources. It’s time for it to see the light of day as it was my first flash fiction I had written. Enjoy

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Honestly, survival had never been promised or guaranteed. Actually, David’s recruiter had expressed the sentiment in no uncertain terms, but he still decided to sign up. Was it his youth that made him think he was invincible? That nothing could kill him?

Well, the answer was obvious now, sitting on a dying world, watching the last friendly dropships race for the sky, without him.

The world was broken, the mission had failed, and three minutes to slow to the dropship made him a permanent resident. Now, the only friends in this world were broken, red, exotic trees among the eon worn rock and the irritating beep of the low oxygen warning as his new friends.

Had it all been worth it? That was the question that was running through his mind as he made himself comfortable on a low rock. Honestly, David was surprised he was not feeling more emotions about the fact that he was going to be dead in thirty minutes or so. He had fond thoughts of his family and their smiling faces over Christmas dinner, but there was no fear. No sign of the aching panic that would well up inside.

Maybe it was the cross he wore around his neck and the continued promises of his mother that there was something on the other side of this life. In a way, he hoped that she was right. That was the only emotion that flitted across his tired mind, his mother. Should would be devastated when they got the notice of his MIA status. Missing in Action, what a way to end his life.

David sighed and let the pulse rifle slide out of his hands as he mulled over what could be on the other side. Actually, in a way, he was rather curious to see what would be waiting for him. Another final frontier that he could explore just like what drove him to join the Terran Stellar Army. Maybe, there would be a way for him to see his mom, just one more.

There was only one way to find out.

David reached for the clips to his helmet.

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