He was falling slowly through the darkness
|Word Count: 1106
He was falling slowly through the darkness of interstellar space. He could feel his personal spacecraft tumbling head over heels carrying him toward the rim of the Milky Way galaxy. Each time he inhaled, he could taste the stale air of his spacesuit filling his lungs. Each time he exhaled, he could hear the voice in his head laughing and whispering, This is your last breath, Commander Johnson, you will die of oxygen deprivation. You will die alone, with no one to hear your final scream. Your body will float forever between galaxies; it will remain unburied for eternity depriving your soul of paradise.
Commander Calvin Johnson, inhaled the sour aroma of recycled oxygen, held his breath for a few minutes, and then exhaled. He attempted, with little success, to push the voice of his fear into his subconscious mind. He wanted to seal the voice into an airlock and then dispel it into deep space. He knew that was impossible, he knew there were no ships or airlocks within a parsec of his location. He knew he would die a slow and painful death sometime within the next few days or weeks. He knew there was only one way to prevent the death he feared most.
For the first time since the loss of the Sunset Lily, Commander Johnson contemplated the possibility of his own insanity. He thought about the events leading up to the loss of his ship and crew. He tried to remember the precise moment when he realized the ship was doomed, but the only thing he could remember was waking up in an airlock dressed in his spacesuit and watching in horror as the outer door opened. He remembered the fog of air as he was expelled into space.
"It's odd," he said aloud, "that I can't remember the Sunset Lily's destruction. I know it and the crew must have been destroyed, but..."
"But what," said a sultry female voice in his ear.
"Who are you?"
"Who do you think I am, My Love." She laughed, "I am your ship, My Sweet. I am the Sunset Lily, the woman you abandoned in your terror." She laughed again, "I have tasted your blood, Commander Johnson, and I am not going to let you escape my embrace."
His suits alarms sounded and then he felt something attaching itself to the umbilical cord that stretched out behind the suit. He felt himself being pulled backwards toward an object he knew was there, but could not see. "A dream," he shouted. "This has to be a dream... A nightmare! I'm asleep in my cabin; yes, that's it. I'll wake up in a few minutes and this nightmare will be over." Commander Johnson tried to pinch himself, but the spacesuit prevented him from touching either his arms or his legs.
"Shit!" Harvey stared at the computer screen rereading his last sentence. "This stupid story is going nowhere." He automatically pressed save and then turned off the computer. He opened the top drawer of his desk and removed a pack of cigarettes, a lighter, stood up, and stomped toward the front door.
"Smoking again," said Doris as she passed him on her way to the kitchen. "When are you going to stop?"
"When I finish that damn novel!" He opened the door and went outside.
Outside, he lit a cigarette and then sit down on the porch swing. It was a clear afternoon and the sun was hot, soon Harvey's head fell forward and he dropped the cigarette on the wooden porch. The cigarette rolled off the porch and into Doris' prize rose bush where it smoldered for a few minutes before the front door opened and Doris stepped onto the porch carrying a large glass of iced tea.
"This," mumbled Doris walking to the edge of the porch and pouring the tea on the cigarette. "Is why I should never have married a smoker who writes novels." Sitting the empty glass on the swing next to Harvey, she went back into the house being careful not to wake up Harvey by slamming the door.
About two hours after sunset Harvey woke up and looked around. Picking up the glass sitting next to him, he stared at it for a few minutes. I must have been thirsty to drank a 16 oz. glass of tea without remembering it. He got up and started to go into the house.
"Sir," came a female voice from behind him. He turned around and stared at the blond walking onto his porch. "I wonder if you could tell me where Doris Parker lives."
"That's my wife," he smile.
"Then you must be Harvey," the woman smile revealing a beautiful sit of white teeth with slightly over-sized canines. "I'm Lois, her sister."
"Sister?" Harvey frowned, I thought she told me her twin sister was dead. He leered at the exquisite creature standing in front of him. This can't be Doris' twin, she looks nothing like my homely wife.
"May I come in?"
"Yes," he smiled as he opened the door. "Please, go into the living room and I'll get Doris."
"Don't wake her up just for me," she placed her hand on his bare arm and a slight shock went through Harvey's body. "It must be almost midnight." She winked at him, "I'll see her in the morning."
"All right, Lois, I'll show you to the spare room." Leading her down the hall, she opened the door across from the bedroom Doris and he shared. "Do you have any luggage?"
"It's still at the airport," she walked to the bedroom and turned the covers down. "Are you going to watch me undress?"
"No,.. Uh..." he blushed, "I'll be in the room across the hall if you need me." Harvey went into his bedroom and closed the door behind him.
"Well," said Doris sitting up in bed and turning on the nightstand light. "I see you finally decided to come to bed. Did you lock the door?"
"I'll do it myself," she got out of bed and left the room. Outside she waited until she heard Harvey snoring. Then she went to the room across the hall, knocked on the door, and then went in. "Lois," she said hugging her sister. "Death certainly transformed you."
"Being a vampire has its advantages," she smiled. "So that's your loving husband."
"That's my writer husband, Sis. I believe you turned my loving husband into a vampire."
"What do you want me to do with this one, Doris?"
"Inspire him to write a best seller or continue giving me the money for the mortgage payments."