This is one of those days when I feel why bother? Not many new visitors from the A to Z challenge, so should I keep explaining? OH FINE.
1. There are TWO A to Z posts here, folks. This one and the next: a 250-word short story and a serialized story about the alphabet.
2. BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Andrew Leon has published a short work, "The Magic Cookies," which features a great story that's something of a change of pace for him -- despite the title, there's no magic here -- and the book, available for 99 cents, has an extra story in it from ME, so it's quite a deal. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.
3. Free Books! Or, book: every day, a free book from me. The current free book is my collection of short stories Just Exactly How Life Looks, which has (among other amazing stories) the first short story I ever wrote, "Thinking The Lions," about a couple (maybe?) on safari. CLICK HERE to get it free!
And now, your 250-word short story:
A Single Moment Of Red.
Mars had been coming up on the Earth, orbit-wise, when it exploded. Some people thought that gave us a chance, to outrace the fragments before they hit us.
Cal knew better. It felt too right: his life bookended by meteorite strikes. The moment he’d heard it on the news he knew that a piece of Mars was going to hit Earth and blow it up.
I was born in a meteor shower: it made a great story at parties and the capper was that a meteorite had actually struck his family’s house while his mom waited for the ambulance to get there (his dad off on the rig) so that fire engines, red and gleaming, followed closely after the paramedics, arrived to a half-collapsed, half exploded house finding his mom sitting on the front lawn holding him wrapped in a Pittsburgh Steelers beach towel.
Videos now online– why were people still posting things online? Probably hope – showed the piece that hit Venus and showed asteroids exploding when they collided with chunks of Mars.
And then one piece had the right angle, was caught by Earth’s gravity, and Cal’s grim certainty was proven right. The piece glowed in the sky for a week, larger, redder, each day. On the final day it was a second sunrise sped up impossibly fast. Cal, who had quit his job seven weeks before, was out walking in the woods, trying not to tell himself this would make an excellent story.