Supernova

It happened in a late night Karaoke bar on Mars. Neil had hit the high note on the Pop Remix of “Some Enchanted Evening” when he felt a white exultation, his feet lifting off the stage by a celestial breath, his eyes cracked open but unseeing. Then he fainted.

His friends took him to a doctor. They weren’t particularly worried; doctors could bring a person back from anything more than dust and Neil was still breathing. Neil was slight and pale from living underground, easy to carry into the doctor’s office.

The doctor looked at the light in Neil’s belly and told him the answer even before he did any tests. Neil had a baby star inside him. The doctor didn’t seem as surprised as Neil imagined he would be. He told Neil that people were made of ancient stardust; it was only logical that one could be born inside a person as much as in the depths of space. The doctor was very concerned. Too much longer and Neil’s organs would be consumed, already his liver was ash.

There was a cure.

The doctor took Neil to a place far underground, near the Mars core, to a room guarded by old-fashioned metal robots. There, in a sterile room, was a box, bound in black skin and iron rivets. It was a squatting, monstrous box that formed frost around it. Inside, the doctor told him, was a little black hole. The box itself was old, made by a race that had fallen into extinction far before the earth had even started to spin. It was made for eating stars.

Neil’s doctor could chain him to the wall and open the box, just a tad, just a crack, and the star would be sucked right out of him. His damaged organs could be replaced, but if he waited much longer, he would be dust. Neil put his hand on the box, his fingers stuck like magnets to the top. The cold chewed his skin like a mouth full of needles. The skin on his belly glowed with a peach light that pulsed rhythmically. The star was growing.

The hungry box waited.

Neil said he wanted to think about it, but the truth was he didn’t want to think at all; he just wanted to get out of that room, away from that box. The doctor warned him there wasn’t time, but Neil pushed out to the street, to the spaceport, where he maxed out his credit and bought a ship. By now, his fingertips were twinkling.

Neil pushed the ship out as far as he could, burning white from the inside. He inhaled toxic gases, spray-paint, glue, whatever he imaged stars ate. He lived in a pool of his own sweat, his skin as dry as sand. When he was deep in space he opened the hatch door and the cool sucking dark enveloped him. Neil opened his arms, a supernova sky.

Random Story :

  • Two Legs Bad

    Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer I look human. In …

The Past

365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.

The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.

Flash Fiction

"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."

Kathy Kachelries
Founding Member

Submissions

We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.

Voices of Tomorrow

Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.

If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact ssmith@365tomorrows.com