Thursday, July 14, 2011

Entry #10

Destiny
by Annabel Sheila


With the exception of a near miss by a sizeable piece of space junk, likely a burned out satellite, the routine flight of Destiny, billionaire Rick Alison’s private space exploration venture, had so far been normal. At five million dollars a seat, Destiny offered weekly exclusive tours of the Red Planet to a select group of wealthy, adventurous billionaires. After only five years in service, the one point five billion dollar price tag on Destiny had been recouped twice over! Rick was a happy man, albeit one who had no interest in taking the flight himself. For a man with such vision, Rick Alison feared the unknown! He liked his feet planted firmly on terra cotta; in fact he rarely flew in an ordinary aircraft. So, quite out of character for him, he’d decided at the last minute to take this flight and for the most part had enjoyed every second.

The thirteen passengers had moved to the left side of Destiny for one last look at Mars before the booster rockets kicked in to propel them back toward Earth. The clarity of night in the velvety blackness of space gave the passengers a breathtaking view of the fiery planet. Expensive digital cameras flashed like fireflies in a dark meadow!

Suddenly out of nowhere a fiery entity, as if hurled from the very bowels of the planet itself, began closing on Destiny. And for the thirteen passengers, a millisecond became an eternity as their lives flashed before them.

19 comments:

Aimee Laine said...

An obvious ending, but very fitting to the photo. And cool that you fit in the words 'clarity of night'! :) Awesome!

j a zobair said...

I also smiled when I saw the clarity of night reference.

I feel like you captured Rick's joy. Maybe the experience was (almost) worth it for someone who hasn't stepped out of his comfort zone?

SzélsőFa said...

i too, smiled at 'the clarity of night', hee-hee :)
you gave us quite a vivid description of Rick's last minutes/seconds.

supu-larue said...

I like your interpretation of the photo. Also the line "as if hurled from the very bowels of the planet itself."

Cath Barton said...

Unlucky thirteen perhaps? Vivid story.

Jade L Blackwater said...

did you mean terra firma?

I think what I really want to know, the story I'd love to hear, is what happened to change his mind that day. The ironic destruction can be a given - I want to know more about Rick Alison's mind that day.

Mikki said...

Great world building here; you packed so many details in such a short space, I felt as though I understood your characters and their world. Very nice.

Thanks for sharing!

pegjet said...

I'm with Jade; what made Rick change his mind?

fairyhedgehog said...

I'm joining with those who smiled at the "clarity of night" reference". I assumed terra cotta for terra firma was deliberate and I wondered what it told us about the character. Interesting stuff.

Aniket said...

Bonus points from the judge for CoN mention!
No, I really have no authority to make such announcements, but you surely deserve it.

A well written piece, this.

Peter Dudley said...

Like some others, I also felt the real story lay elsewhere. It's definitely a starting point for a plot, though--why does he create this venture in the first place? What makes him go on this particular trip? And is there no golf course on Mars? :-) Seriously, the possibilities are great. Especially wondering why the creature or whatever it is chooses this time for its attack or contact or whatever will happen.

One final note: Too many exclamation points. I think you'll find that you don't actually need them. Simply replace them with periods.

bluesugarpoet said...

The ending could be the beginning of a Sci-fi series... I like how the ending leaves room for something else. ~Jana

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Cool use of the clarity of night, and the burst of fiery entity from the bowels of the planet.

Dottie :)

wrath999 said...

Nicely Done ! I enjoyed your tale

JaneyV said...

He liked his feet planted firmly on terra cotta;

I loved that line. It made me hoot with laughter and it told us so much about his 'wide-boy' character.

Old Kitty said...

It really read like an epic movie - thank you! take care
x

yamini said...

Mention of "Clarity of Night" was indeed clever. I liked it.
Awesome take on the prompt!

Linda Ryan-Harper said...

I understand why you didn't get too much into motivation with the creative restraints one incurs by the 250 word limit...while flash fiction certainly helps tone and tighten the writing muscle, I find there is a huge difference between the story I tell in a flash piece and the one I want to tell—and that huge difference equates to hundreds of words (half of my comments to my fellow contestants are embarrassingly longer than the stories.) I think this the writing here is good, but I can only imagine how much better it would be if you were free to develop it further—and I hope you do. Anyone who attempts to write science fiction has my profound respect.

jason evans said...

I especially like when the current action kicks in at the second paragraph. We always minimize the dangers. Solid pacing.