FridayFlash, Space Blues

I’m participating in something called #FridayFlash. It’s a weekly compilation of flash fiction by several writers. If you like a good read I can recommend that you check out the full list at,

Space Blues

Ace could see Earth. A dead sphere floating in endless space. He could see continents and mountains. Once the Earth had been blue and green, full of life and covered in clouds. That was how Ace remembered his home planet. But things had changed after The Effect. Earth had fallen in decay and died. It was sad.

“Ace, are you alright?” Dave asked. He stood by the table, a whiskey in one hand and a glass of water in the other. Water was expensive in the Earth Satellites.

“Yeah, I’m okay. What are you doing here?” He was lying. Ace wasn’t okay, far from it. Seeing Earth made him think of all the people he left behind, his family, her. Most of all he thought about her.

“I’ve been tracking you for days” Dave sat down and slid over the whiskey glass to Ace. Dave had been Ace’s best friend, once. Things happened, people moved on. Ace still had the scars from where the bullets had ripped through him.

“How did you find me?” Ace didn’t look at Dave. He didn’t take the whiskey. He didn’t drink. Dave knew that, or he had forgotten. It didn’t matter anymore. He kept looking at the dead rock where he had been born. Kept thinking of the woman he had left behind. Or had she left him?

“I’m the man” Dave chuckled. He sipped his precious water and watched Ace. Ace could see it in his peripheral vision. Dave was waiting for the right question, and he knew Ace was going to ask.

“Why are you here Dave?” Ace felt suspension crackle through the air. It was as if everyone in the restaurant stopped their conversation only to hear Dave’s reply.

“She’s dead” Dave said. His voice had a tinge of nerves. “I killed her.” He was watching Ace, studying his face for a reaction. There was none. Ace kept watching the Earth as they slowly orbited around it.

“How did it happen?” Ace’s voice was flat, almost bored, like he already knew the answer. She had been the woman for him, the only person he had ever loved. She had been his dark heart. Now she was dead and that was okay. So much had changed.

“I rigged her shuttle with explosives. She died instantly.” Dave emptied his glass of water and put it down on the table in front of him. “You’re the last one, Ace” he said.

“I know” Ace replied.

In a moment of blurred movement both men reached for their pistols. Both men fired a single shot.

Ever since they had been kids learning to survive Ace had been the better gunslinger. He had been a gutsy kid, constantly getting into trouble with the big boys and the hard cases. Dave had always been there to get him out of it. Dave had been the first of them to kill someone, and he had done it to save Ace. Together they had bled like brothers. Not anymore.

This last moment Dave had been faster, but Ace’s aim had been truer.

A thin streak of blood trailed down Ace’s cheek from where the bullet had rushed past. Dave was staring at him with dying eyes. He had been shot through the heart and blood bloomed like a rose on his jacket.

Ace got up from his seat. “So long, old friend”

© Isaac Liljedahl


~ by Heartigan on April 29, 2010.

16 Responses to “FridayFlash, Space Blues”

  1. Great transition from apocalyptic sci fi into thriller. And there’s a lot of suggested conflict here, stuff in between the lines. Nicely done.

  2. This really is well crafted. Nice & tense and great scene development, a series in the making for sure.

  3. Leaves me wanting more – well done, sir!

  4. I wonder what happened.

  5. Really well written story. Taut and thrilling!

  6. Ooh, tingly chills up my spine! Very well done, my friend. So much conveyed in so few words.

    Excellent story… and is this part of your new serial? 🙂

    Just loved it.

  7. What a wonderful piece of sci-fi! I really like the hints of backstory throughout this piece – I have so many questions, you’ll have to write more of this!

  8. I’m not a sci-fi fan but this one worked for me. The first thing that caught my attention was using the name Dave. I was instantly back at 2001 Space Odyssey. Very intriguing and tightly written.

  9. Thank you all for your lovely comments! I’m very happy that you enjoyed this story so much. And actually, I’m very much considering turning this into a weekly series =)

  10. I think Dave would be a great series character, as broken as he is. I loved the choice of goodbye at the end. “Old friend” Was Ace trying to make him feel guilty for killing him? Or was he truly letting him know he still considered him a friend? Lots of questions, but just makes me want to learn more. Really enjoyed this story.

  11. I hope you turn this into a series. I love that this sci-fi has the old western gunslinger feel… very cool.

    The dead Earth gives me chills.

  12. Good tension throughout this one. I’m guessing that if things progress, space will become like the old west from stories–gunslingers and whatnot. Good story!

  13. Well written, but I have so many questions! Why are they shooting each other? Why did the woman, Ace’s love, have to die?

    I agree that the tension was great in this too. Well done.

  14. Part two of Space Blues has been written and will be posted on Tuesday =) It may not answer all of your questions, but I’m confident that as the serial goes on, most of them will be answered.

  15. I love the line, “You’re the last one.” It carries so much weight and it really hits you as the reader. I suddenly want to know more. I can really feel for Ace here, and likewise for Dave and the loss of their friendship. I want to read more. 🙂

  16. You have a good start. I enjoyed your dialogue, and I liked how you dipped in and out of summary and scene to condense the moment. For example, these three sentences contain and entire short story:

    “Dave had been Ace’s best friend, once. Things happened, people moved on. Ace still had the scars from where the bullets had ripped through him.”

    I hope the next two sections are as well constructed, and if you ever delve into longer work, I hope you revisit those three lines.

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