Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Flash Fiction: An American Werewolf on the Moon

So, the inspiration came from a writing prompt from one of my favorite writing podcasts, Writing Excueses. The prompt was: "Start with a hard SF story, and turn it into a werewolf love story in three paragraphs." I think I managed to do that here. You'll have to let me know if it's any good, though.

An American Werewolf on the Moon

Mara listened to the sound of her breath, in and out, as it echoed in the sealed helmet of her space suit. On the moon, it was the only sound she could hear, and while the site before of was beautiful, the lack of sound was eerie. She breathed again just to hear the noise. Then she smiled. Despite the eerie starkness of her surroundings, she was thrilled to be here. A physicist, being a NASA astronaut on the moon was a life long dream of hers. And the reason they were here had her excited too. Oh, sure, it would have been fine to be here for the reason given to the public, and they were partially checking the site for a permanent moon base anyway.

But the real reason was no staring her in the face. An honest to God extra terrestrial spacecraft. A recent satellite sent to take pictures of Jupiter took some pictures of the moon as it went by, and what NASA saw was mind blowing. A crashed ship of some sort. Mara immediately put her name down to get in on the mission. She needed to see what these aliens were like. Did they have faster than light travel? What was their biology look like? Did they survive the crash? Where they planning on contacting us?

All of that, however, was shoved out of her head when her crewmate came into view, bounding down the lunar landscape. Mark Robbins was the most ruggedly handsome man she had ever seen. And over the fourteen days it took them to travel to the moon, the two had become close. Very close. And in that time, she had learned something about Mark that no one else knew, not even NASA. Mark was a werewolf. And he had just yesterday declared his love for her.

She still couldn’t believe it. Werewolves, aliens, the moon. It was all hard to take in. But when Mark told her four days ago, and then showed her with a partial transformation, she knew it would be okay. She loved him too, more than she had loved any man ever. He wanted to come to the moon to touch that strange night mistress that controlled his most brutal transformations. She could understand that. He even thought that he might learn something here that could help him control it all.

And the aliens, he thought, were the key.

She smiled at him as he waved her in. He had found the airlock to the ship, and it still appeared sealed. Their initial fly by had shown that the hull appeared intact as well. The hope was that there was breathable air inside. She had a new reason for hoping now, because it meant that, if anything inside was dangerous, Mark could wolf out and protect them. She hoped it didn’t have to come to that. She shook the thought from her head, and leaped forward. She still wasn’t quite used to walking on the moon, yet.

It took a good half-hour of fiddling with the controls before they both gave up and just blew the outer hatch of the airlock. Inside was another door, but this one was open. They quickly got inside and sealed the door with a new bit of technology from home. A thick, plastic sheet was stretched over the door and then sealed into place with a new poly-resin that would keep it there until a special spray was applied to it, dissolving it and allowing them escape.

They looked around. She looked at her scanner, which showed breathable air inside, if a little high on the oxygen. She nodded to Mark, and they took off their helmets.

“Well,” he said. “This is it.”

He took her hand and lead her into the alien labyrinth.

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