Friday, August 10, 2012

On Borrowed Time

Would this be the day he finally summoned up the nerve to end it all? The previous 247 days hadn't been, but every man has his breaking point.

It didn't have to be today or for several thousand todays yet to come. The dome was secure, with fusion power that would last forever. The replication terminals could sustain twenty people for over a decade...far more than would ever be needed.

He'd watched his men die one by one, the same way the research team had. The alien microbe was no respecter of age, gender or capability. All too soon, he was left alone, unable to explain how the contagion had begun or why it had left him unaffected.

In the end, he abandoned the last vestiges of his world and strode naked into the forest primeval of a strange world.  Inevitable death in the embrace of the unknown promised to be more desirable than the bitter solace of living on borrowed time.

This story was written for Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday Snippet. This is an ongoing weekly forum for genre pieces with a length of ten lines or less. 


  1. Not quite clear whether this is the 247th day since his companions all died or the 247th day after he strode into the forest.

  2. You certainly have a talent for the macabre.

  3. Sue, I imagine this is the 248th day, his companions having been going for that length of time and him having strode into the forest somewhere in the middle of that time alone. This man lives in a terrifying world, Jeffrey. And you paint it vividly. Fantastic.