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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
If I describe the story, it will ruin the ending.

Submitted: May 10, 2007

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Submitted: May 10, 2007



It's a Nightmare Out There!

Copyright by Larry Leighton

Kristi leaned back, her eyes half closed, gazing dreamily at the space around her. Miles and miles of space, spreading out through the vast universe in an endless flow, without walls, barriers, or time. From the earth it had looked majestic. Now Kristi could find no words in her teenage mind to describe it. She was alone in it, a minute body floating in the vastness of space, which seemed oblivious to her as she drifted through it.

Excitement raced through her as she viewed each star, planet, and asteroid as she had never viewed them before. From earth they were mere pinpoints of light, some were small, some were bright, but mere pinpoints, nevertheless. Now she realized they were all different sizes, shapes and colors. Here a bright, red round one; there an oblong soft blue. Some were even drab and gray. But all were beautiful and all beckoned her to come closer, and closer. They seemed to become even brighter than before, until their brilliance nearly blinded her.

 Suddenly there was music all around her; softly at first, but growing stronger with each note. Music among the stars did not appear strange to her. It seemed only fitting. Now there was something different.

Of course! She was traveling faster. Each time she would approach a star, it would get just so close, then suddenly, it was gone. She looked behind her, but there was nothing there. Just a black void. She continued to look ahead as the heavens raced past her. Soon the stars lost their shapes; their colors blurred as reds became blues, grays became yellow. She was becoming confused, disoriented.

She tried to remember how long she had been here, when she had left earth, but time had no meaning. Distance was a fleeting thing as the stars continued to fly by at an amazing rate of speed. She was moving so fast she could feel heat, as though the friction of her great velocity was searing her clothing. She became alarmed. Is this how it will end? Will I burst into flames, turn to ashes and drift back to earth?

Perspiration formed on her forehead. She wanted to wipe it away, but found she could not move her hand to her head. Her palms were beginning to sweat. Wondering why she could not move them, she looked down, and discovered the perspiration on her palms was turning pink, then red. Horror filled her when she realized it was blood. Her perspiration had turned to blood, and was draining from her body!

She opened her mouth and screamed, but her ears heard not screams, but laughter. Her fears turned to bewilderment as she searched the heavens for the source of laughter. Was it her? No! It was the heavens! The stars were laughing in a loud, hideous way. She tried to hold her hands to her ears, but she could not move them. She closed her eyes tightly, but, as though they were wide open, she still saw the laughing stars. They were no longer majestic, but ugly and distorted; their colors were no longer beautiful, but harsh and unpleasant.

 A jolt shook her body, and the universe slowed down. She watched as the stars slowed until they were no longer blurs, but solid bodies of harsh colors floating in the vastness of space. They closed in on her, tighter and tighter until they all shared one small fragment of space. So solid were they it brought to her mind the theory of the Big Bang.

Of course, that's what she was experiencing! She had raced through space in a timeless vacuum back to the beginning. She felt the irony of it. She was in a time before time began. Would she experience the beginning itself? For a moment her fear was gone, replaced by excitement.

Her body had stopped moving. She was motionless and the stars held their position. Their laughter had died out, but the music was still there. Not loud, but as clear as the heavenly bodies which seemed to stare at her. They were staring at her! It began to frighten her and she wanted to yell at them to stop staring, but her mouth would make no sounds.

She suddenly felt cold. The perspiration had stopped. Her hands were no longer bleeding, but were turning a pale blue. She felt her body begin to freeze. She rubbed her hands to warm them, but there was no warmth. It was like rubbing ice between her palms.

 A new fear gripped her. Would she freeze to death in space? She looked from one star to another. How did she get here? What propelled her into space? She tried to think, but couldn't. She had an enormous, throbbing headache. Her body continued to turn cold, and she wanted to weep, but could not, for her tears had turned to ice. She was now near panic as her head continued to throb. The pain built up until she could no longer bear it, yet she was helpless against it. The music had grown louder. She had never experienced anything as loud in her life.

 It was no longer music, but just a loud, blaring single note. She felt her ears would fall off and her head would soon explode from the pain within it. She tried to rub her hands again, but her fingers broke off. They had turned to ice. Her heart was pumping wildly, about to burst from her breast. How can your heart beat so strong, and your body still be so cold, the thought, strangely logical, broke through her terror.

She tried to breathe, but the vacuum called space has no air. She watched as the stars seemed to dim. There were not as many as before. She stared at them as one by one they grew dimmer, then faded, and disappeared. She wondered where they were going and kept a vigilance on them. The pain in her head was slowly leaving,the loud one-note music had become just a buzzing in the background. Her body was no longer cold. Nor was it warm. It merely existed.

The stars were rapidly fading and disappearing, until there was only one. For a few moments it brightly swung back and forth as though on a pendulum. Then it, too, disappeared. There were no more stars, no more music, no more pain, no more frozen body, no more fiery scorching body, no racing heartbeat. . . .

 "Dear God, no! Please, no. Don't leave us, Kristi. We love you, honey," the woman's voice broke, her shoulders heaved with uncontrollable sobs. Her husband tried to console her, but the sobs rose to hysteria as the paramedic turned off the small flashlight he'd used to search for life in the teenager's eyes. He pulled the sheet over the bluish face of the drug overdosed girl, then turned and left the parents to face their nightmare in solitude.

© Copyright 2019 Larry Leighton. All rights reserved.

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