Short Shocktober Day 6 – Stars

Nothing Between the Stars

Something thuds against the hull. Spencer freezes, shock overwhelming his system for a second. He leaps over to the observation bay and flicks through all the cameras.

               There’s nothing there except slightly fuzzy, black and white images of the outer hull, lit by the external lights. Nose, nothing.  Midsection, nothing. Airlocks, nothing. Aft and engines, nothing.

               There’s another thud above his head; the metallic noise reverberates through the ship. Spencer flicks to the dorsal nose camera – it shows the outside of the ship.

               There’s nothing there. There’s nothing outside but the deep black of space. There aren’t any planets near. He’s travelling several thousand miles an hour, and there’s no atmosphere out there. There’s nothing there.

               He listens, frozen once more, to the sound of something walking across the hull. Nothing on the camera. The sound walks towards the nose and stops at the three panoramic windows in front of the flight controls. Spencer watches the window with growing dread, but nothing appears. Still nothing on the cameras.

               Spencer steps over to the life support and integrity desk. The hull’s intact, none of the warning sensors are going off, none of the electrical systems are compromised, there are no leaks detected. Could a loss of structural integrity, a series of panels buckling, cause the walking noise? All the instruments are green; the structural integrity of the ship is perfect.

               His head whips up at the screeching noise, and he watches, trembling, as a long, thin white scratch is drawn across the outside of the right hand window, like someone dragging a nail across it. It stops as suddenly, leaving a metre long scratch.

               Something thuds back along the outside of the ship, heading to the midsection and the first bank of airlocks.

               Spencer races to the emergency locker by the door, drags out the orange suit and begins donning it as fast as he can. If there’s something out there and it decides it wants to be in here, he doubts it’ll wait for the airlock to cycle before it makes its ingress.

               He’s got the tight weave overalls on, and is putting the boots on, sealing them tight, when an alarm begins to sound. He ignores it; gloves next, and then fishbowl helmet. Safety first, Spence.

               Over at the howling integrity desk, he can see a big red mark on the holographic readout of the ship. Something punched straight through the airlock doors and into the corridor. The doors to the adjacent rooms have snapped shut already, but he strides to the helm door and slaps the emergency closure. The door scythes shut beside him, sealing with a mechanical whirr.

               There’s a noise on the outside of the hull by the window. Spencer’s head snaps around.  There’s two?

               The window with the scratch shatters and Spencer scrabbles for a console as he and the air are ripped from the ship.

               He smashes his head on the ceiling on the way out, and the black engulfs him.


Prompt: Stars

Words: 497

Day 6 of Shocktober over! It’s hard to consistently produce something different each day that you’re happy showing to the public, but it’s also rewarding and teaching me to ditch my perfectionist tendencies. They’re normally what stops me from doing the thing. Anyway, enjoy space horror, brought to you by Alien and Jurassic Park (did you make the connection?)