Sometimes I write fiction. A hobby, really. Usually, it’s tiny little vignettes and ideas that I publish on this site under the general Prose category. Fine enough. But, on occasion, I will churn out a full-fledged short story that stands up on its own, deserves its own publication.
January 2015. Space horror, hard sci-fi. Written in October 2014 for an unpublished horror anthology.
Download this story:Â To Dust (epub) and To Dust (pdf).
Synopsis: The crew of the Paladine, on a trading run to a remote outpost, pick up a transmission from the lost ship Janus, last seen orbiting the holy planet of Salim. Captain Sternbridge diverts his mission to give help to Captain Dupris and his stranded research crew. What the Paladine and her crew gave was more than they expected.
Staren points a finger at Abel, using his other hand to stabilize himself on a handhold. â€œHave you been telling them your ghost stories again?â€
“The story of Salim is no ordinary ghost story. Have you forgotten your cultural history?â€
â€œLike everything else, it’s bullshit–â€
Able interrupts, â€œPelanese tribal lore tells us Salim is the destination of the dead, where all the good souls go in the afterlife.â€
â€œYeah, I remember that fairy tale,â€ Staren remarks. â€œThey told it to us in school to keep us in line, what with all those do-good be-good tales. They’d put on masks and point up at the sky every damn year on the HÃ¶lwegen holiday when the orbits of both planets aligned.â€
â€œRight. And on that day, all the souls would ascend.â€