Reads: 363  | Likes: 7  | Shelves: 3  | Comments: 8

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Cover image:


We had expected to land on a barren planet. All the readings had indicated that there was no life of any sort. It had seemed that the information was correct; at first, that is. We certainly never anticipated that the landscape would evolve before our eyes.

Within minutes, what had appeared to be a dusty, predominantly flat surface began to heave. While the rest of the crew were busy trying to maintain our stability on a moving, tilting surface, I stared out of the window.

Jagged, rutted, uneven rocks had pushed their way up through the powder-like dust. In spite of their differences in shape, there was a worrying similarity in size. If they had been smooth, ovoid shapes I would be thinking that perhaps they were some kind of alien egg, but the variety, the lack of smoothness, worked together to make me discard that idea.

Maybe even more disturbing was the grass-like growth around each one of these objects. How could something that had simply not been there a moment ago be so flourishing now? Unlike the grass of Earth, it was almost blue in color, and in just a few minutes it resembled the growth of uncut verges.

The landing pod was no longer rocking around. Either the crew had managed to get the auto-stability sensor going, or the ground had stopped heaving and our craft had simply settled.

I was already suited up when Jax pushed his way through to the control hatch. “You’re going out?” he asked.

Pulling on my helmet, I nodded. “We need to get some readings from the surface,” I said, scanning those that were showing up on the screen for signs of anything. The total lack of line activity pointed to there being no life forms of any kind; that was a finding that was clearly wrong.

Jax stood next to me and looked out. “Could be something was damaged in landing?”

He didn’t sound convinced even while he spoke. We should have picked up some kind of readings well before we landed.

I moved towards the doorway, but Jax held me back. “I don’t like this. Be careful, okay. Any sign of a problem, head straight back.”

He should have known me better than that, for I would get those readings if it was the last thing I ever did.

The readings I was getting once outside the pod were chaotic. The numbers kept coming so fast I couldn’t make sense of the data at all. Everything seemed to be in conflict, impossible for this all to exist simultaneously.

Are you getting all this?” I spoke into my helmet, waited for Jax’s reply. Nothing.

Turning back towards the pod I frowned. How was it possible that I was so far away from it? Like everything else on this place it defied any logical explanation.

The grass-like growth now seemed to be dying at my feet. It looked as if it had all nourishment sucked out of it. From being like straw, it turned to dust. I could only hope that the filters would prevent me from breathing so much as a single particle in to my lungs.

I don’t know what came first. The flash of light that caught the corner of my mind, or the garbled static from the ship. Tiny little fragments of a voice made it through to me, but nothing that made sense. No words, just sounds.

And then the sky erupted in lights that flared across the sky. Comets? They had to be, I told myself, even as I watched one of the rocks split apart to launch some kind of missile into the air. The planet was attacking us. We had landed in some kind of minefield.

I began to run towards the pod. We needed to get away and fast. “Jax, get ready to head on out of here as soon as I get back.” I seemed to be taking way too long. The pod looked no nearer, and the sky was alight with flares. “Get out now! You hear me, Jax? Don’t wait!”

The explosion knocked me from my feet. I tumbled over, crashed against one of those lethal rocks. The pod had been obliterated. Once the flash of light cleared there was nothing to show that the pod had ever stood there.

Suddenly all the activity stopped. There was no fading of the lights, but rather an abrupt stop. I was conscious of my pulse, pounding, pounding... and then I saw it. The fabric of my suit had been torn, my protection compromised. The dust seemed to swirl towards me, funnelling towards the rip, and where it worked its way through to my skin, I could feel it withering. Just like the grass, I was being desicated.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. It’s strange the thoughts that pop in to your head when you get to watch your own death descend.

Submitted: October 04, 2019

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Mike S.

Excellent, Hull!

Fri, October 4th, 2019 6:52pm


Thanks, Mike. Sci-fi is really a bit beyond me - the fiction part is fine, but I'm pretty clueless with science.

Fri, October 4th, 2019 1:26pm

The Eldritch Author

An enjoyable read. I truly felt like the planet's nature was chaotic and even alive in its unpredictability. Excellent work, as usual!

Fri, October 4th, 2019 7:15pm


Thanks so much for reading, MA. A bit out of my comfort zone.

Fri, October 4th, 2019 1:21pm


Wow! Your metaphors are now planetary in scope..

Fri, October 4th, 2019 8:02pm


Haha! Sci-fi is a bit beyond me really, but I found the PIC and was determined to use it.
Thanks, Adam.

Fri, October 4th, 2019 1:20pm

Joe Stuart

When it comes to sci-fi, anything is possible, Hully. You let your imagination run wild with this one. Good story.

Fri, October 4th, 2019 9:11pm


Thanks for giving it a read, Joe.

Sat, October 5th, 2019 12:04pm

Sue Harris

Great story, Hully. A hostile planet indeed... I do love the way your mind works!

Sat, October 5th, 2019 6:02pm


Haha! Thanks, Sue!

Sat, October 5th, 2019 12:25pm

Keke Serene

A nice sci-fi read, though definitely a hostile planet set to destroy. If it wasn't life that killed them, then what? A lot of unanswered questions here.

Sun, October 6th, 2019 5:11pm


Life, but not as they knew it. Signals that their equipment could not receive - or something like that :)
Thanks for reading, Stars!

Sun, October 6th, 2019 12:10pm


Well, I think you write sci-fi very well, I wouldn't at all have thought it beyond you, and I think this would fit perfectly in a sci-fi novel.

Tue, October 8th, 2019 12:29pm


Thanks for the encouragement, Obscure!

Tue, October 8th, 2019 12:29pm

Robert Helliger

A good, well written, science fiction story.

Sat, October 12th, 2019 2:32am


Thanks so much for reading, Robert.

Sat, October 12th, 2019 1:01am

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