The 2nd Marine Unit dissolved yesterday. You know, like sodium dissolves in water. Except with more blood. And corpses.
Anyway, it looks like my return planetside will be delayed. The invaders are within five hundred kilometers of the orbital base. That means they’ll be here in twenty-six minutes, plus or minus several seconds.
Let’s see: two minutes to the emergency armory, nine to don a flight suit in heavy traffic, five to reach the hangar, four to enter a fighter. That gives me six minutes to figure out how to fly it. Why did I sleep through those classes again?
Author’s Note: I decided to repurpose an old, isolated first sentence to write a story about an apprehensive marine who isn’t used to action. What could go wrong? Therein lies the story.)
Papa walked through the door, holding his side. Blood oozed down his jacket.
“What happened, Papa?” I screamed, running to him for a hug.
“I’m just shook up, Princess. My car slid off the road and hit a tree.” Papa stepped over to the fridge and pulled out a pitcher of water.
I got him my favorite pink cup from the cupboard. “Did you call 911?”
“No. It’s not as if I’m dead.” He mussed my hair. “Just bruised.”
My eyes bulged. I pointed at his chest.
Papa watched the water pour out from where his heart should have been.
Author’s Note: (This idea struck me when a podcaster recounted a story, then stated, “Well, I’m not dead.” I thought, what if it turned out he was actually a zombie. The young girl protagonist was an attempt to make it as horrific as possible.)
I’ll never forget the stories Grandpa used to tell about working in the steel mill. The labor was hard, but the wizards paid well: two hundred hours a week. He lived to the old age of seventy-four.
Pa griped about his work a lot. He started out in Grandpa’s mill as a laborer, worked up the ladder, and was eventually promoted to foreman. Even then, he only earned one hundred and eighty hours. He passed at sixty-seven.
I got a call from my boss last night. I’m going to need a second job if I want to exist until retirement.
Author’s Note: The concept of wizards selling time enthralled me. I was especially interested in how it would relate to an economic depression