Author : Nic Swaner

Scents from inside the suit intertwined their intentions with the sights of tangled and tessellated hair illumed by firefly LED’s, spiking my circulation with memories and murmurs of dopamine.

I took her by the gaze; she steered her sight away from mine. I led her through a glance that involved no scuffling of hands.

She was one of two wayward strangers passing in the cosmos; two separate glances met as objects in motion tending to motion. People aren’t the same however.

Drifter was the term we were known as, people cast off of vessels and ships, mostly by accident, condemned to trudge about the universe until starvation kicked in or their oxygen-starved filters were finally incapable of operating. My unplanned departure from the mysteriously flaming vessel, Surveyor, had left me careening towards the scorching of the sun.

The communications spoon-fed me the same spitting static and ever constant resonant hum of electromagnetism. Hers must be damaged. Which wasn’t all that uncommon. The micrometeoroids fed on us like gnats, their holes sealed up with a layer of gel immediately on impact. Just how the suit design was intended to operate.

We didn’t need communications; her expression was that of one knowing and who admitted and was committed to their fate. I was still terrified of the thought. I hate the sun.

The days on most civilizations were spent brewing a rivalry with the native sun, to see if the star had survived another night without my swelling and underwhelming opposition. It is like a race, the sun laps me while I lapse, as tiredly and resignedly I rest. Parting glares and glances at dusk are commonly shared and misinterpreted between us in streaks of blighted crimson, cyan, and maroon.

Ahead of her I know she only sees the citronella-stained pale mauve and navy of the hemming of unraveling nebulae, and she is acquiescent of this fact and resigned to be reigned by stars.

We are a momentary retrograde of celestial bodies, then she has passed by. I can no longer block out the sun with my thumb at arm’s length. I know that it would cover her figure from the nebulae.

The adrenaline rush begins to lessen and the cortisol continues to burgeon like embalming lighter fluid in my veins and vagus nerve. The ever-present resonant hum chanted cicada-like rites over the buzz of static. I stared down the sun as I marched toward self-evident immolation.


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