by Alex Morgan
Martian explorers Jack and Norman find life on Mars, but with horrible consequences.
|Jack looked all around him at the endless rolling hills of red dirt, broken up by intermittent boulders and rocky outcroppings.
“What a boring landscape,” he said to Norman, who stood next to him.
“Are you kidding me? This is better than skiing fresh powder.” Norman’s voice came through the speaker in Jack’s spacesuit in exuberant tones. “We’re the first people to explore this area of Mars. Our footsteps are making history!”
Jack hoped Norman couldn’t see the scowl on his face. He wanted to share Norman’s enthusiasm, but couldn’t become as excited as his partner. He sighed and stepped forward, with Norman staying shoulder to shoulder.
“I don’t know what you see so fascinating—”
“Look!” Norman grabbed Jack’s arm and pointed. “Over there!”
Jack peered through the tinted Plexiglas of his visor. “It’s looks like a creature but that can’t be possible.”
“What kind of animal is that?”
“I don’t think it’s an animal, Norman. We’ve never found any evidence of life on Mars.” Jack tried to keep the disdain out of his voice. Before Jack could stop him, Norman bounded toward the object.
“It reminds me of a tribble from the old Star Trek series,” Norman said.
“Don’t get too close,” Jack said, as Norman knelt down to a furry-looking thing that moved around in a circle as if it was tethered to something under the ground.
“Nonsense,” Norman scoffed. “I’m sure it’s harmless.” He reached out for it.
“Norm, no!” Jack’s warning came too late.
The ground rose beneath Norman and a rift opened at his feet. The gap widened and, to Jack’s horror, Norman fell inside, between two rows of meter-long, sharp teeth. Norman screamed and then Jack heard nothing.
Jack stumbled backwards to escape the frightening creature, running as fast as he could.