Home > Writing > Five Minute Fiction (repost)

Five Minute Fiction (repost)

January 6th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’m a fan of the San Diego Chargers.

The wife is a fan of the Green Bay Packers.

Needless to say, our Sunday was completely booked.

Please enjoy a repost of an earlier Five Minute Fiction story.

Enjoy?

…oh, and go Chargers!

Space Madness

The mining cruiser Europa and her crew of five had been adrift on the far side of the Promethius system for nearly one standard month, having lost engine control after colliding with an uncharted asteroid.  With supplies running dangerously low none of the crew expected to survive to see rescue, but no one verbally expressed this shared opinion.

Standing by the airlock, Doctor Conrad was examining a complex series of mathematical equations on a holographic tablet when Corporal Kishore approached.

“Evening, Doctor,” Kishore said, feigning courtesy.  “Still intent on survival, I see.”

“Corporal.  I’m sorry.  I didn’t hear you approach,” Doctor Conrad said, tapping a corner of his tablet, allowing the holographic imaging to fade away like the dying embers of a spent firework.  “But since you’re here I was hoping we could discuss the matter of our current air supply.”

“Of course, Doctor, but we both know where that stands.  We’ll be lucky to last another twenty cycles.”

“Yes, yes.  But I’ve been running some numbers and I believe I’ve come up with a unique solution to our…problem,” Doctor Conrad calmly said, tapping the tablet once again.  Graphs and equations bloomed and floated above the screen.  “As you correctly stated, our current oxygen supply will sustain our compliment of five for roughly another twenty cycles, yes?” he said, handing the tablet to Kishore while reaching behind his back with his other hand. “But what if we didn’t have to sustain a crew of five?”

“What do you mean, Doctor?” Kishore said quizzically looking down at the hologram spinning lazily above the shiny black surface of the tablet, and in that moment that the good Doctor swung his fist into a high arc, bringing it and the neural shunt which it held down on to the exposed neck of Corporal Kishore, who instantly went limp and collapsed to the metal grating of the floor.

Unable to move but acutely conscious, Kishore felt the rough metal of the floor grate against the side of his face as the Doctor slowly dragged him into the airlock.

“As I said, Corporal,” Doctor Conrad deadpanned as Kishore’s eyes rolled crazily around in their sockets, “what if we didn’t have to sustain a crew of five?”  Exiting the airlock, he knelt down and whispered, “Don’t worry.  I’ll tell them you died a hero,” as he closed the airlock door and waited to hear the telltale echoey whoosh as the atmosphere inside was coldly lurched into space.

Doctor Conrad picked up the still active holographic tablet and began to make changes to the floating equations, making allowances for differences in supply demands, pursing his lips and furrowing his brow as he lost himself in the updated output.  Madly engrossed in his work, he was startled to hear a low, authoritative voice above him calmly state, “You should be in your quarters, Doctor.”

Looking up, he was greeted with the creased, calculating face of Captain Kelly peering down at him with those eerie, unblinking blue eyes.  “Of course, Captain,” he stuttered.  Pausing to analyze his tablet, Doctor Conrad took in a slow, deep breath to steady himself and reached behind his back.  “But since you’re here I was hoping we could discuss the matter of our current air supply…”

Categories: Writing Tags:
  1. September 19th, 2011 at 03:38 | #1

    I am NEVER going to discuss Air Supply with anyone! EVER

  2. September 19th, 2011 at 04:53 | #2

    wow, you did great to write so much and so well in 5 minutes. enjoyed it; felt like i was reading a book.

  3. September 19th, 2011 at 05:16 | #3

    This is excellent!

  4. September 19th, 2011 at 06:12 | #4

    Five minutes? Wow! How long did the cleaning up take? Still, however long it took it was still a good read.

  5. September 19th, 2011 at 08:25 | #5

    WOW!!!!!!!

    Again, your endings ALWAYS blow me away!

    BRAVO, buddy. This was faaaaaaaaaaabulous!

    And as V shared…..I felt like I was reading a book!

    Have a great day!

  6. September 19th, 2011 at 16:32 | #6

    What a dead-on depiction of modern commercial air travel.

  7. September 19th, 2011 at 18:54 | #7

    Fireblossom :

    What a dead-on depiction of modern commercial air travel.

    Now you know why I never want to sit in the “emergency” aisle…

  8. September 19th, 2011 at 18:55 | #8

    Ron :

    And as V shared…..I felt like I was reading a book!

    Thanks for the kind words! Yeah, this does have a long-format feel, and can definitely be expanded upon. Who knows…someday I might just do that :-)

  9. September 19th, 2011 at 18:57 | #9

    Valerie Daggatt :

    Five minutes? Wow! How long did the cleaning up take? Still, however long it took it was still a good read.

    Whelp, the basic idea came to me while on a run Sunday afternoon. I got home and typed out about half of the story just to get it down. Later that evening I spent about 30 minutes expanding on it and cleaning it up. That’s the typical pattern when working on these weekly short stories…

  10. September 19th, 2011 at 18:58 | #10

    Mama Zen :

    This is excellent!

    Woot! Thanks, Zen! It’s far from perfect, but for a quickie it’ll do in a pinch :-)

  11. September 19th, 2011 at 18:59 | #11

    v :

    wow, you did great to write so much and so well in 5 minutes. enjoyed it; felt like i was reading a book.

    Yeah…5 minutes for initial “get words on paper asap!”, then another 30 to flesh out the full story and fix it up. It’s a weekly burden which I’m happy to bear…

  12. September 19th, 2011 at 19:00 | #12

    @dianne
    What’s the matter? You don’t like Air Supply. Well sure, some of their songs don’t resonate well, but overall they’re a heck of a band ;-)

  13. January 6th, 2014 at 07:12 | #13

    It was good to read this again… still got that creepy feeling though, the sort that makes me want to check who’s behind me… grins.

  14. January 6th, 2014 at 08:24 | #14

    Your wife and I can mourn together.

  15. January 6th, 2014 at 08:31 | #15

    If I ever tell you I’m headed into space please remind me to check and see if there’s a Dr. Conrad in the crew.

  16. January 6th, 2014 at 09:47 | #16

    I got the same reaction I had when I first read this.

    BLEW ME AWAY!

    Brilliantly written, buddy! Gives me CHILLS!

  17. January 6th, 2014 at 14:16 | #17

    Doctor Conrad would definitely be a darkly comic character if this were a scene in a movie. I would cast Eugene Levy in the role.

  18. January 6th, 2014 at 23:47 | #18

    Mama Zen :

    Your wife and I can mourn together.

    Believe me, she’s been walking around the house in stunned silence for the past two days.

  19. January 6th, 2014 at 23:48 | #19

    Gorilla Bananas :

    Doctor Conrad would definitely be a darkly comic character if this were a scene in a movie. I would cast Eugene Levy in the role.

    Little does anybody know, but Eugene Levy is one of my personal heroes. To see him play the part of a psychotic spaceman would be nothing short of amazing. Heh…

  20. jenny_o
    jenny_o
    January 7th, 2014 at 10:41 | #20

    SO GOOD!

    But I’m imagining a different end to the Captain/Doctor scenario. After all, the Captain seems creepy enough on his own – and tall enough – to give the Doctor a run for his money …

  1. No trackbacks yet.