Perihelion Science Fiction

Sam Bellotto Jr.

Eric M. Jones
Associate Editor


Stolen Dreams
by Joseph Green
and R-M Lillian

Boon’s Mutiny
by Harold R. Thompson

Dancing in the Right of Way
by Cyn C. Bermudez

Esterhazy’s Cadence
by Guy T. Martland

Ghosts of Space Command
by Milo James Fowler

by Jeremy Szal

White Russians and Old Lace
by K.C. Ball

Shuttle 54, Where R U?
by Jack Ryan

Shorter Stories

Faraday Cage
by Timothy J. Gawne

Rose Coloured Tentacles
by Gareth D. Jones

Screaming His Scream
by Tim Major


Making Real Life X-Men
by E.E. Giorgi

Taking the Temperature
by Pierre Duhem



Comic Strips




Dancing in the Right of Way

By Cyn C. Bermudez

I USED TO BE A DANCER. THE ALEGRIAS QUEEN of La Lomita. I danced in my backyard when the lights of the night sky were the streetlamps of Gypsy Road. Most of the time I spent my nights dancing at Bailar Contigo, performing with Mr. Martinez for our turistas, a crowd of well-to-dos who aped around our choreographed blend of tangos y milongas. Burgundy lycra swished across my legs as I wisped side to side. I loved the dance: getting lost in the music, the way it got under my skin and saturated my cells, under a moonless night, like a speck of dust in a limitless ocean of stars ready to coalesce into something greater.


Now, I look up at the sky one last time before the jump. Thick and yellow clouds, impenetrable by the sun, cover the once beautiful blue hue. “On my mark,” I say to my small band of guerrilleros as they line up beside me. Each of them tired and hungry, with the days that felt more like years stacked together in their eyes. Toddy Boy, our newest squab, trails behind the other two. He shifts his weight from one leg to another, face pale. The wind beats against my helmet. I’ll be the last to jump.

“Stop fidgeting kid,” Basi says. She grabs Toddy’s suit midriff, balling what she can grab in her fist. His pale face reddens with anger as he yanks himself free.

“Kicking sand again in the playground,” Reza says. Basi gets in Reza’s face, their noses almost touching.

“Enough, both of you,” I say. I turn to Toddy whose face is now a contorted mess of nerves and irritation. I put my hand on his shoulder hoping to calm him. “Relax, kid, or you’ll have me pissing my pants.”

I signal the jump.

Basi is the first, her caterwauling moving with her as she falls through the sky. Reza next, she flashes the peace sign to the sky, the wind on her back. Toddy pauses and closes his eyes. I can see his lips moving, but I can’t hear what he’s mumbling over our comm. I figure it’s a prayer because he gestures the cross on his chest, sealing it with a kiss.


In my old life, I ruled the dance floor: La Reina Del Baile, Mr. Martinez would say to me before a performance. My stomach always knotted as a dull ache rode up my calves. Sometimes my leg muscles twisted in a fury, wrung out like old rags. I would bite down on my lower lip hoping to trick my mind into thinking the pain I was feeling wasn’t there. Of course, it didn’t work, but I did it every time. Mr. Martinez would take hold of my hand as we went onto the dance floor. He’d pause at the threshold, bow his head in a quick prayer and then a cross and kiss. He’d step out onto the floor, clearing the way for me, defining our pathway, a space for us alone. He held me as I was, a delicate creature, his La Reina Del Baile. It was the first time I had ever felt love. Every part of me wanted to breathe him in. When he asked me to be his wife, I thought I was the luckiest woman on Earth. Mr. Martinez was my first everything, my first love, my first lover. On our wedding night, he asked me, “le duele?” I told him no, even though it felt like he was ripping me open. I held any sound of pain from my lips because I loved him, and because he enjoyed me. I only pressed my fingers into his back.


“Does it hurt?” Toddy asks.

“What?” I ask. Toddy taps his helmet.

“Does it hurt as bad as they say?”

“Yes,” I say. No use lying about it because he’ll know soon enough. And it’s better that he brace himself now than experience the shock of the drop later. Toddy takes in one last long and slow breath and finally plunges into the air.

My turn. There are a few seconds right before I leave the plane when my lungs tighten, as if my body is remembering and trying to shutdown to avoid the pain. I close my eyes hoping the action will somehow shield my lungs. Of course it doesn’t. It never does. When I drop down into the throughway, the uptake of the wind pushes against my suit making it hard to breathe, but that’s nothing compared to what’s coming next. Small oxygen tanks are attached to our suits but that only makes the drop a little less unbearable. We think, Basi thinks, it has to do with their ventilation system, something the aliens put in the air to make the drop of their cargo ships easier. It seeps into our suits and our tanks and it burns like hell when it hits our lungs.

Whatever it is, we use it to our advantage. The air is lighter. Basi corrects me whenever I say that, reminding me that it’s not the air that gets lighter, that it’s what they put in it that gives the air slight anti-gravity properties. I really don’t care what it is, only that we can use it. With the air the way it is, antigravity or whatever, we don’t have to use ’chutes and that makes our drops more clandestine, not to mention cheaper in resources. Basi insists the filters meant to protect us in our helmets are useless, that the air is eating up our lungs, because how can we protect against something we know nothing about. I think she’s right, but we have to at least try.

I feel it, a slow burn in the beginning. Like smoke that rises from a pit, eating away at my lungs, penetrating the alveoli one by one. I grab my helmet tight, bracing for what’s coming next. Right before the landing—it’s like breathing fire. I’m almost there, almost onto the road, and I hope that perhaps this time I’ll make it before the burn begins. Never heard of that happening. The air sears into my lungs and nothing else exists for a time. An eternity, it seems. Blackness is all around me and I wonder, maybe I’ll die this time. I feel weightless in the air for a few seconds before I touch ground. By the time I do, the others have already stripped away their outer suits. I turn my back to my crew as I strip away my suit.


I never showed my body to Mr. Martinez. During our love, we became a tangled mess of legs and sheets. “Déjeme,” he’d say, pulling the sheet from me as he spread me across the canvas of our bed, always wanting to see the places I kept secret from him. The pillows and sheets were my guards. Even when he tasted me, I would only reveal just enough to feel the warmth of his mouth.

The first couple of years after our wedding were a mixture of bliss and lunacy, amantes apasionados, and we were infinitely passionate. We went through several dishes in a month—that was my passion, the shattered pieces of stoneware ricocheted off the walls. Eventually I stopped buying sets. Whenever a man, any man, spoke to me at our club, red marks soon followed, adorning my arms like jewelry. That was Mr. Martinez’ passion. Our battles were extreme, shouting matches that he’d lose, and shoving matches that I’d lose. But we were never like our neighbors, Michelle and Luis, who we could hear almost every night. Sometimes I wondered if he had killed her when the noises stopped, but the next morning I’d see her checking the mail covered in a long sleeve robe and large rounded sunglasses.

When Mr. Martinez inherited the club from his uncle, I found out I was pregnant. His jealousies calmed somewhat after that. Our days grew more blissful. My life was perfect, mi cuento de hadas, my fairy tale.


“Basi, our position,” I ask, kicking my discarded suit farther away from me.

“About two klicks west of target,” Basi says.

“Move out along the edges, and stay close to the ground,” I say.

The mission is the same every time: drop in, gather intel, grab any supplies we can find, and then drop a frag. Inside the throughway, the road lanes are wide, bearing large cargo ships. It sits about ten feet off the surface of the ground, with no visible anchors, and it’s partially enclosed in an opaque glass structure that arches around the edges of the roadway looking like crooked wings. Only large drilling platforms placed at intervals along the large alien highway touch the surface. Their cargo ships shuttle material they harvest from their drilling wells: minerals and water and soil and animals—everything—even people. They’re not stripping our planet dry; they’re consuming whole.

We have a theory, my crew and I. We think the aliens are fighting a war.


“If they were going to enslave us, they would have already,” Basi said. The squabs, new jumpers, survivors we found hiding in the city who didn’t have any other use at the camps, gathered around her, enthralled in the old timer’s wisdom of our uninvited guests. An old timer who was barely out of her teens.

“They’re conquerors, obviously. It’s only a matter of time before we’re working alongside their drones,” Reza said.

“What was there to conquer, Princess? They knocked out our cities as easily as we breathe,” Basi said.

“It was the way they did it,” Reza said. “No communication, nothing. They just came, and took. It’s like they don’t even notice us.”

“Maybe they don’t notice,” I said. “Do we notice the insects?”

“It’s more than that,” Basi said.

“How do you know, little miss know-it-all?” Reza asked.

“Look at the urgency of it,” Basi said.

“Urgency? What about this feels urgent. It’s all la-de-da if you ask me. Look at this cool little blue planet. Let’s add it to our collection,” Reza said.

“I saw one of them,” Basi said. The room quieted. Only the flaps of the tent broke the silence. Now everyone was listening. “It saw me too.”

“And,” Reza said.

“And nothing,” Basi said. “It looked at me for a moment and then continued what it was doing. But it was the way it looked at me.”

“And from that you got they’re not here to conquer and enslave,” Reza said.

“Yes, Princess. I know it’s hard to think beyond your mirror,” Basi said.

“Come on, Basi,” I said. “What happened?”

“It spoke to me. Not with words. With ... images, emotions. They’re fighting a war, a long and ancient war,” Basi said in a low voice. Her gaze became distant, a hollow, faraway haze that matched the sorrow of her words. “It was like I was somewhere else, a different world. Their buildings and structures were gone, nothing left but rubble as far as I could see. The dead were countless, bones upon bones, covering the landscape under the blackened sky. It was unbearable, the sadness, and it burned heavy within me. And when I thought I couldn’t witness it any longer, the whole planet began to shake. The ground fell apart, as if the whole of their world had been undone somehow. In the aftermath, I saw a few ships that stood at a distance, looking upon the rocks and dust that lay scattered in space. As they departed, their numbers severely diminished, I could feel their sadness turn to anger. There was a time they would not have harmed another living thing, let alone an entire planet of life, but there’s not many of them left. They’re fighting against a powerful enemy and against their own extinction, and we have the resources they need for survival.”

“Why our planet? They can get resources from any planet in the solar system,” one of the squabs said.

“But we have one thing the other planets in our system don’t have,” I said. “We have life.”

Silence took the room. Basi’s eyes were wet and reddened, but her breathing returned to normal, her gaze no longer weary. I never heard her speak like that before or since.

“We’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, so to speak,” another squab said.

“Now we’re fighting our own extinction,” another said.

“I don’t care why they’re here. They had no right, extinction or not,” I said. “I just want them gone.” The forks clanked again, and a multitude of conversation continued.


“One point five klicks,” Basi says. She’ll do that every half klick we go until we reach our target. It’s like clockwork, ticking down and down until we stop and start all over again. Basi is a good kid, a former military brat. She insisted that we use the proper names of our mission procedures: klicks, recon, intel, and others, though I don’t think she knew them all.

“Movement,” Reza says. “Northwest, by the waste outlet.”

“Drones,” Basi says. “Three of them.” Small, oblong shaped spheres hover above the waste outlet.

“Keep moving, stay low,” I say. The drones have seen us before when we’ve tried to hide in the roadway, but I’ve noticed in the past that they pay little attention to us, like ants at the feet of giants, unless we become a nuisance, like when we attack one of their drones.

“They might see us,” Reza says. “Take us down.”

“Basi, how many frags do we have?” I ask.

“Eight,” Basi says. “Five destiny, three sheep.”

“Let’s drop one in their direction,” Reza says.

“No,” Basi says. “It’s a waste. They’ll just be replaced.”

“Just do it,” Toddy orders.

“Don’t listen to her,” Basi says. “She doesn’t know what she’s doing”

“None of us do,” I say.

“Princess is gonna get us killed,” Basi says.

“We can spare the frag,” I say to Basi, but I know, just as Basi does, that there is always a possibility we’ll annoy the aliens with our presence. “We’ll clear this area before they can track us.”

“You’re always sticking up for her,” Basi says to me.

“Please, just do it,” Toddy says, his voice shaking. Basi looks to me and I nod the approval.

“It’s just one, Basi. Not even enough to wake them,” I say and Basi concedes. We clear the trajectory location in enough time. The fire of the explosion extinguishes almost as soon as it starts, but the drones are gone. We move in silence until Basi calls the next klick. Three more drones arrive to take the place of the three we took down. Basi turns and stares at Reza who ignores her, and then she looks over at me with her I-told-you-so expression.


I knew Reza before the invasion. Reza came to Bailar Contigo la crema y nata, the cream of the crop, Mr. Martinez’ description of her. She walked into our club tall, lean, and wearing skinny jeans and a tank top. I was preparing for a new performance, a solo act, my first, and my pregnancy wasn’t showing yet. Mr. Martinez was okay with one last dance before the baby grew too big in my stomach. Reza stared at me while I danced, and I wondered what she thought of my performance. Her classically trained status made me nervous. Afterward she told me to swing my hips wider because dancing was a sexual act—what the crowd wanted was more sex. I nodded, smiled, and said thank you. But my dance was more than gratuitous. My dance was like a sensual dish to savor, a slow build of touch and kiss and pleasure until an exquisite death was made. Should I have told her the truth, corrected her, help her to understand? I dared not. I could not speak my mind to Mr. Martinez’ new protégé.

“I almost made it into Juilliard,” Reza said to me. Her long hair hung over her shoulders. “But the selection committee is a bunch of has-beens and wannabes. I mean, what do they know? Nothing. And besides, they have no relevance today.” I nodded, unsure of what she was talking about, let alone how to respond. She corrected me a lot, and I was tiring a lot faster because of the pregnancy. Between her critiques and the changes in my body, I felt weak and clumsy. I began hating the times Mr. Martinez would come to the club. She would perform spectacularly when he watched, her lean body moving to the music like water, fluid and formless. My stomach knotted every time I saw them together, the way she laughed at anything Mr. Martinez said. Or the way she listened to him speak, like his words were wrapped in gold.

Sus hormonas,” my mother said to me when I called her venting about Reza. “Don’t be jealous, mija.”

“It’s not my hormones, and I’m not jealous,” I told my mother.

“Aye, mija,” she said. “That’s how men are. Be a good wife. Cook and clean, and he will always come home to you.”

I told myself that my mother was right. That I prepared the food he ate. That I cleaned the bed he slept on. I was the one with the ring on my finger. I was the one carrying his child.


A larger drone drops down onto the roadway. Basi thinks they’re searching for us.

“I told you.” Basi looks like she wants to kick Reza’s ass. Back at camp, I think she would, and it wouldn’t be the first time.

“Screw you, Basi. I’m here busting my ass with the rest of you.”

“Is that what you call busting your ass? Carrying the water. How would we get along without Princess,” Basi says. “We’d be safer if you’d keep your tuti-lala back at camp. Do your nails or whatever princesses do.” I can understand why Basi has it in for Reza. She can come off a little too nose-in-the-air, se cree mucho. I realize now it’s how she protects herself.

“Fuck you,” Reza says.

“I don’t think it’s here for us,” Toddy says, still fixating on the large drone.

“Princess used a bad word.” Basi’s walking up to Reza, getting in her face again. Damn it these girls. Their bickering is what’s going to get us killed.

“Knock it off,” I say.

“Always sticking up for her,” Basi says and turns from Reza. “Pisses me off. I don’t know why you protect her. She’s not one of us, never will be. I’m sure there’s a place for her in some trading post back at camp.”

“Guys,” Toddy says. He’s staring at the larger drone. I can see confusion spread across his face. “I don’t think they’re here for us.”

We all look at the drone to see what Toddy is observing.

“What the ...” we say in unison.


Our dinners came from Don Paco’s, the neighborhood taco truck, until Reza told Mr. Martinez that it was probably unsanitary, and that “you know how those people are.” And even though Mr. Martinez was one of those people, and even though he knew Chon, the truck owner, and Angie, Chon’s wife, and even though he grew up with them both, he stopped going.

“Are you sure you don’t want to join us,” Reza said. Her arm linked into Mr. Martinez.

“Angie’s made my burrito already, just the way I like it,” I said.

“That sounds wonderful,” Reza said and turned to Mr. Martinez. “Doesn’t that sound wonderful? We’ll miss you then.” She pouted her lower lip in mock sadness. Before they left, Mr. Martinez smiled at me sheepishly, mouthed I love you, and blew me a kiss. My chest felt heavy as I watched them leave. I told myself it was the damn ring making me uncomfortable, the way it was cutting into my finger as my flesh wrapped around the gold band.

No te preocupes, mija. He’ll be home soon,” I said. I felt her, mi preciosa, as she moved around in my belly.

I waited for them, as I did many nights. I passed the time in our little studio apartment above the lavandería, Rosie’s Wash-N-Go. The hum of the dryer’s chorus soothed me somewhat. When I felt settled enough, I secretly watched the old Julliard tapes I had found at the library. The precision of each dip and turn and step left me feeling winded. Afterward, I stood in front of the mirror and examined my arms and legs. When I touched them, whiteness spread around my fingertips. I rubbed my hands over the red marks that lined my belly like a tiger’s scratch. I cried that night, like I did many nights.

Mr. Martinez came home in the early morning before dawn. The smell of alcohol and perfume wafted in with him. Though Mr. Martinez no longer kissed me on the mouth, I felt him press his lips onto the temple of my head.


“What the hell are they doing?” Basi says. The large drone is spraying a mist onto the roadway, melting it into a shiny silver liquid. Soon we see more dropping from the sky and spraying the mist.

“They’re leaving!” Toddy begins jumping in place. The throughway was deconstructing, and the large platforms disengaging were going back to their ship.

“Stop that,” Basi says. “They’ll see us.”

One of their motherships broadcast on every television once, when our satellites were still working. They’re stationed just beyond our Earth while their drones do the work on the surface. They rarely come down to the surface. I only know of one person who ever saw them, and that’s Basi. Our satellites are all gone now, and most broadcasting, too, except for shortwave radio. Basi found a telescope in one of our runs. She use it to look up at them as if it somehow gave us intel on their whereabouts.

“Is that it? They’re leaving just like that?” Reza asks.

“Does it even matter now, our planet is dead,” Basi says. “They’re leaving us to our death, a slow one.”

“It does matter,” I say. “We can try and rebuild. And it gives us something we didn’t have before. It gives us hope.”


Lily was her name. Mr. Martinez and I named her after his maternal grandmother. He stayed with me those nights after her birth. Reza became a memory, and I was glad for it. It was the happiest time in my life even though I danced no longer at Bailar Contigo but at home with Lily in my arms. We hit a stride in the years after, our daughter the center of our life. It made the trouble of our past seem trivial. Most of the time I’d pick up Lily from school, except for the days that I had class at the community college. Those days Mr. Martinez would pick her up.

A month before our daughter’s sixth birthday, I was learning about the commutative and associative laws of arithmetic in Mr. Aguirre’s refresher course. I enjoyed staying late to hear him talk about science, about chemistry and biology. I loved how he got excited when he spoke about it, moving his hands with fervor and animation. His passion reminded me about my time as a dancer before Lily was born, and it made me miss dancing a lot.

One afternoon when I arrived at Mr. Martinez’ club, it was empty. After calling out for Lily and Mr. Martinez, I almost left until I heard something crash to the ground. I found Reza and Mr. Martinez in his office, empinado. He had her bent over his desk. It startled them to see me. Mr. Martinez wailed his innocence, that it wasn’t what it looked like, that she meant nothing to him, una cogida, he said.

“Yes, oo-na co-gee-da,” Reza repeated, not knowing what she was saying. I swallowed the vomit as it rushed to my mouth, never wanting to show my weakness. It was like all the things I didn’t want to admit to, the late afternoons, the familiar scent she wore, long strands of hair on his clothes, came rushing into my mind. In the chaos of it all, realizing that I had known all along, I almost forgot why I was there.

“Where’s Lily?” I asked.

“She’s with you,” Reza said.

Cállate la boca,” I said. “This doesn’t concern you.”

Es tu día,” Mr. Martinez said.

When I was young, there was a story about a young boy named Adam. He was alone for a few seconds in a store and a man took him. They found part of his body in a creek, and the parents were devastated. I remember their anguish, though unfamiliar to me, like a dark folk tale of warning and dismay. But that was all it took. A few seconds, waiting outside her classroom alone, and she was gone. A few seconds unguarded and my life came crashing down, unbound and pulled apart, shattered into inconsolable pieces. The voices and pleads of despair, the police officers and news reporters, Mr. Martinez and his protégé, the concerned neighbors and letters from strangers, muffled together like the breaking of concrete and metal at the fall of our world.


Back at camp, we wait with hope. The last of the drones has finished dissolving the roadway, along with the departure of the rest of the drilling platforms. The atmosphere feels thick with anticipation, a mixture of constipated joy and worry as their motherships still hover above our Earth.

“Why haven’t they left yet?” Basi asks, her eye still peering through the telescope.

“What’s that?” Toddy says looking up.

Something that looks like a long black cylinder sails across the sky, sailing ghost-like through the grimy, yellow clouds. When it stops, it hovers there until the bottom opens.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” Basi says.


I returned to Bailar Contigo, working at the bar against my family’s wishes. Reza was gone, and I wondered if she was truly out of my life for good. It didn’t matter because I knew I’d catch her sooner or later. What my family didn’t know was that while I mixed drinks for Mr. Martinez and his customers, I was also busy hatching a plan. It was amazingly easy to buy sodium cyanide from Mr. Aguirre, a grad chem student, who was only moonlighting as my teacher. Luckily, he had a thing for me and a gambling problem, and the extra cash, whatever I gave him, helped ease his own debts. He told me just a few drops in Mr. Martinez’ morning coffee, and many mornings I stood above his coffee cup hoping for one slip of the hand. Each time I watched it hug the edge of the vial and slink back into its bottle a coward. Eventually I stopped trying.

My mother once told me, be kind to those who hurt you because it’s only a matter of time, llama a la muerte, death comes for us all. It seems she was right and fate stepped in and dealt the hand for me. I wasn’t the only one who had it in for Mr. Martinez.

Reza came to the funeral, bold of her to do so. She stood next to the coffin like a proud widow, her hands rested on her rounded belly that protruded out from her skintight black dress. Even after Mr. Martinez died, it seemed that their love affair flaunted itself in front of my face. Difference was she would have her child while mine lay buried next to her father.

When the aliens arrived, Reza and I were arguing in the club. Because I was still Mr. Martinez’ wife, the club was mine. Reza came to plead her case: She felt that it was only right that she should have half; she had Mr. Martinez’ child. Our voices clamored together, shaking, it seemed, the walls of the club. What happened next came fast. She could have let the light fall on me. She could have chosen to walk away. But she didn’t. She pulled me out of the way. The light hovering above our head crashed to the ground with the ceiling. She saved my life. I wonder if I would have done the same. I hated her, blamed her for everything. It didn’t matter that Mr. Martinez was the other half of their affair. Part of the ceiling fell on her in the process. Blood was everywhere. I took her to the hospital and waited. When the doctor told her the news about her baby, I was standing just outside the door, but out of view. I stayed there even after the doctor left. The onslaught of people who rushed to the hospital after the first wave of attacks muffled Reza’s anguished cries. I never said anything to her about it, and she never said anything to me. The absence of her growing belly was truth enough. We shared something that few understood, though we never spoke about it.

I knew that Reza thought it was some kind of cosmic punishment, losing her child the way she did. She stuck by me, doing everything for me, and I let her. It didn’t give me satisfaction to see her pay her penance to me, and she did save my life. I found that I even wanted her around sometimes, like a bittersweet reminder of my old life.


Black spheres drop from the cylinder and form a uniform line across the landscape as they hover above the ground. They are countless in number and stretching far beyond the horizon, as far as I could see. A strange low-key hum emanates from them. Reza grabs my hand and squeezes it in her own.

“Sorry,” Reza says. She never uttered those words to me before.

“I’m sorry, too,” I say.

“Don’t say those words," she says to me. "I don’t deserve them. You know it and I know it."

"It was a long time ago, Reza. We were different people then. You’ve had your own pain in this life, like we all have. You don’t have to keep punishing yourself for things that happened then."

"I know," she says. I squeeze her hand too.

Strangeness gnaws at me as the black spheres hum their madness. I have to make a choice now. I look at Reza, at the dark circles under her eyes that puff out, almost camouflaging a greater darkness in her eyes.

“Thank you for saving my life,” I say. “Never got around to telling you that.” Reza shrugs, and I wasn’t sure if it’s because of modesty or because she regretted doing so.

“I’d claim credit if I could. It all happened so fast. If I’d known ...” Reza trails off. I know what she was going to say. If she’d known that it would be at the cost of her own child, she wouldn’t have.

I know what she wants from me. Maybe I kept her with me for so long because I wasn’t ready to give it.

“I forgive you,” I say. Reza looks at me and lightness spreads across her face. It’s what she has been waiting for. She smiles and wraps her arms around me.

“Thank you,” she whispers to me. I put my arms around her, too.

A low-pitch rumble resonates among the black spheres, getting louder and louder, like the blowing of a horn. The Earth shakes. The ground begins shifting under our feet and crumbling like delicate candy glass. I see what is left of our world plummet away into the darkness, into a deep chasm of the Earth. We fall away like porcelain dolls succumbing to gravity, as the whole of our world becomes undone. The black spheres sing loudly among the broken pieces of our planet. We dance together, my crew and me, in the silence of space. Each of us together and alone, specks of dust in the eternal waters of the stars. We become something greater. We dangle under our star, dust in a limitless ocean. END

Cyn Bermudez is a writer, nerd, comic con enthusiast, and coffee fanatic. Her stories have appeared in “Middle Planet,” “Fiction Vortex,” “Bewildering Stories Quarterly Review,” “The Milo Review,” “The Red Line,” and more.


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