Author: Kemal Onor
Captain Dean returned home late. The welcome party had already made coffee and spilled through the halls and rooms to talk in bursts of stories. There was the initial buzz of salutations and welcoming home. Cups were raised and health was toasted. The captain did not slow his long-legged gate and went to the living room. He said nothing.
He leaned forward, his elbows on his knees, as though listening to some distant sound. He still wore his royal blue uniform, and he ruffled his hair, giving an audible sigh. Dean blinked long blinks, and his mind lingered on distant planets. Planets that drifted frozen as a lake in January. He pulled a folded picture from his pocket. Opening the folds, he smoothed it in his lap. It was a picture of a blue planet. Green, blue, white, and dark. The planet was spinning, always spinning without end. He had been gone a long time and had forgotten the sensation of constant movement.
He had spent too many days and nights in perpetual days, or everlasting nights. Now, as he closed his eyes and took in the familiar smells of his earth home, he wondered if he might be coming down with what many called earth sickness. He stuck his thumbs in his mouth and bit down hard. He opened his eyes. Everything looked to be spinning. His hands gripped the chair, and he tucked his feet under as well. He remembered suddenly the feeling of lifting off in a rocket. The terrible shaking, as numbers counted down. The jumping and jolting. He felt to be lifting from his very seat now.
He stood, holding his arms out, as though to catch himself from falling. He teetered in his stance. Feeling a terrible urge in his stomach he staggered to the bathroom and threw up. After rinsing his mouth, he looked at his reflection in the mirror. He was sweating, and thin in his face. His eyes looked to have shrunk. His lower lip still held the impression of his teeth. He grimaced and returned to his chair, collapsing as though fatigued. Looking before him, Dean saw a number of children had gathered near his chair. They looked with anticipation in their eyes at the space captain.
“What’s space like?” asked one of the children.
“It’s empty and dark, and cold,” said Dean. He now looked like a drunk man, struggling to keep his head up. The room was spinning. The world was spinning. And captain Dean knew that as he sat in his home on that blue planet that it was spinning and silently moving. Through the cold, and through the dark.
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 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."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org