Friday Flash Fiction: Shadow

Gareth L. Powell, a science fiction writer and fellow blogger, has started a trend. Every Friday he posts one of his Flash Fiction stories on his site, for free.

It’s only the second week and he’s already been joined by fellow writers/bloggers Paul Raven, who has story called ‘Downtime’ on his blog Velcro City, and Martin McGrath, with ‘For Aleppa’ on his blog.

And yes me (go easy – it’s my first time):

Shadow
By Neil Beynon

Transmission Starts – Recording From Crewman Doyle’s BioRecorder

I’m not sure if this thing is on but I can’t afford to check anymore than I can take the time to understand why the others are still asleep when I’m awake.

The room is dark save for the low, cool glow of the Cryo-chamber. I can see Riley’s face from here, her aquiline resting faces and her smooth, soft curves. For a moment I’m tempted, she’d never know, but then I’ve heard stories… I push the thought from my mind.

The fog of sleep is slow to leave me, I feel like I’m looking at the room from the end of a telescope, my thoughts come crawling through the dark, viscous treacle of the receding tide of my sub-concious.

Something shuffles in the darkness.

It is not a loud noise but a quiet, insidious sound. If there was more noise than just the hiss of the chambers at work I would not have noticed it.

I twist slowly onto my side. I strain to see into the corner of the room where Jones’ unit lies and the blackness is at its deepest. The glass of his chamber is dark, covered in a crystalline lattice work of ice.

I can see his profile. He is quite clearly dead.

Something clicks. It is not a computer nor a Cryo-chamber nor me.

I am gripping the side of my chamber so tight my hands are bleeding. I don’t think I can move. I can make out a shadow in the corner of the room. It is…wrong.

My eyes feel like balls of sandpaper in my skull as my senses try to paint in a shape to the shadow. My heart is punching at the inside of my chest.

Two orbs of light appear in the midst of the shadow. The lights are flame orange and looking straight at me.

We stand frozen, looking at each other draped in shadow.

It moves…

Transmission ends – File damaged

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