NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Round 2!

Here is the second round in the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Contest.

My category: Action/Adventure, an international border crossing, a bathrobe

I will say that I wasn’t too happy with the ending; if I had the chance I would go back and change it, but I do hope you enjoy..

Happy reading!

Even Love Has Boundaries

She dreamed of the perfect wedding, but she got more than she bargained for.

It was after midnight when Cassie finally stumbled back into her hotel suite. Her bridesmaids were still out enjoying themselves, but she was too excited about the wedding to stay; in less than twenty-four hours she would be marrying her love, Alan, on the white sands of Andalucia, Spain. Cassie let her purse and key card fall to the floor. All she wanted to do was get into bed, but her clothes wreaked of nightclub smoke and sweat, that showering became a priority.

She made her way into the bathroom and felt along the wall until she hit the light switch; warm recessed lighting cascaded down from the ceiling. She fumbled for the shower handle and waited until steam covered the glass stall. Cassie undressed and carefully stepped into it; she exhaled as the hot water touched her skin. She scrubbed the remnants of her bachelorette party from her body and watched them collect in a soapy swirl over the drain. She still couldn’t believe she was getting married to a man she had only met a few weeks before, but it all seemed right to her.

Cassie’s shower was cut short when she heard the phone ringing in the next room. She slid into a plush bathrobe that had been hanging behind the bathroom door and rushed to her phone. “Hello?” she answered.

“Hey, honey,” Alan replied.

“Alan!” Cassie sunk into the bed and curled her feet beneath her.

“How was your bachelorette party?”

“It was fine. The girls are still out there getting drunk as hell. I was ready to get back to the hotel room. Big day tomorrow,” she fidgeted with the tags on the comforter, “Do you think we’re rushing into this?”

There was silence on the other end, “Yes,” he said finally, “but I want this. I want you to be my wife, and I want us to go on adventures.” That was all Cassie needed to hear. “Well get some sleep. I can’t wait to see you.

“Okay, can’t wait,” she ended the call. It wasn’t long before she had drifted off to sleep.

***

In the morning, Cassie, still half asleep, could hear birds squawking, and she thought she could even hear frogs croaking; they were so loud she swore she was sleeping outside. When she finally opened her eyes, she was startled to find that she was indeed lying outside in the middle of a jungle. “What the hell?” Cassie was still in her bathrobe. She stood up and headed for one side of the jungle thinking her friends might have played a small prank on her. “Okay, funny guys! Come on, we have a wedding to get ready for,” she called, but as she began walking around she realized she wasn’t anywhere near the hotel. Cassie was lost in the middle of a jungle. “Don’t panic,” she said to herself, “Damn it, I’m panicking!” she ran to one side of the jungle, but it extended for miles. She ran to the other side and could see no end to it.

She fought her way through thick vines and crawled under leaves larger than her body. She walked, then ran, and sometimes cried in small spurts before telling herself to shut up and keep going. By mid-morning her bare feet were black and her bathrobe was tattered. Cassie stopped when she heard people behind her.

“Oh thank goodness, they found me. Over here!” she walked toward their voices, but she didn’t recognize a single person. Five men dressed heavily in cargo pants and military jackets, knives strapped to their belts, and guns at their sides flagged her down. When they lifted their guns she bolted in the opposite direction weaving between uprooted trees and heavy branches. They shot at her and bullets whizzed past her head. Cassie screamed but pushed on. They were fast, but she was small and could fit in places that they couldn’t easily go. She heard them yelling, but she couldn’t understand what they were saying. Cassie backed away until there was nowhere else to go. They closed in on her with guns aimed for her head. Cassie backed into a thicket; it splintered against her weight until it gave way, and she crashed down a river canyon.

Cassie cried out when she hit the water; the current swept her under and she struggled to come up for air. She grasped at vines but they slipped from her fingers. She was quickly losing her fight against the current, and she let it take her.

Finally, she caught a break as the rapids pushed her against tree roots jutting from the river bank. Cassie dragged herself onto it. Her body ached but she limped away from the river. Then she heard a familiar voice.

“I think she’s coming,” it was Alan’s voice. She hobbled toward it and trudged up a small hill. Once the trees cleared, Cassie saw the white sands of Andalucia’s beach; she saw their wedding guests, and Alan was standing before them all. Her bridesmaids were perfect, wide-eyed, and grinning through shiny teeth. Cassie’s teeth felt gritty. Everyone applauded as she approached.

“What’s going on?!” Cassie asked.

“I wanted our marriage to start off with an adventure. Something you’d never forget. So I put you on the Portuguese border.”

“Adventure? You had me chased across the border so I would end up here like this? In my bathrobe, in front of all these people?! I’ve been shot at. I slid down a river canyon, and I almost drowned!” Cassie looked down at herself, “And am I bleeding? I think they shot my leg!” She looked around at the guests. Their big smiles had turned to awkward glances.

“Honey, you’re overreacting a little,” he whispered.

“You are an asshole!” she barked. “Now please excuse me, I have to get myself to a hospital.” Cassie limped past each row of guests, and they watched her head for the hotel. She never looked back.

***

Earth Chronicles: The Space Expedition

Earth Chronicles: the Space Expedition

By Joanna Wolford

2013: During the year 2013, two planets resembling earth were located nearly 22 light years away. This was a profound discovery and meant a possibility for other life forms symbiotic to humankind. However, earth had not yet achieved light travel and destination to these twin planets was improbable. Normal ETA to reach the twin planets was projected at 3.26MYR. Researchers began working on a theorem for light speed travel probabilities.

3124: In May 22, 3124, space travel has been perfected with vessels modeled after the likeness of science fiction and unidentified space crafts reported throughout earth’s history. Prototype ES1 (Earth Systems 1) would be launched into space on May 24, 3124. The advancement of light travel was unsuccessful and a proposal for a new space mission was born. Operation: New Birth, was to be the first space expedition that would allow authorized personnel to live in space, raise families and build an entire civilization.

3125: On January 17, 3125 21:32, an asteroid collided with ES1 destroying its entire starboard side. The damages were irreparable and all twenty-four members of Operation: New Birth were reported to be terminated.

Last transmission from Captain Bergstrom dated 01.17.3125.21:00:

“Base command, this is Captain Bergstrom. The date is 1.17.3125 and the time is 21:00. We have been in space for approximately 215 days. We have not been able to sustain our resources. CO2 levels have increased which signifies a dysfunction in the O2/N redistributor. We have… (Audible explosion can be heard) “We’ve been hit! God…what’s?!” (Inaudible) “Base…”

End transmission.

3186: Sixty years following the tragedy of ES1, prototype ES1.0 was developed. The concept for oxygen scrubbing; the return of CO2 to its O2 state, and hydrogen harvesting; the collection of water particles in space, has been tested and approved.

3188: The space colony maintained space life for twenty-four months. This was the longest recorded space travel for its time.

ES1.0 first recorded space log:

“Oxygen scrubbing has helped us to survive these atmospheric conditions. A synthetic food product has been developed in order for us to survive. We have been able to harvest water through hydrogen cannulas stationed on the outer portion of our ship. We will soon begin the procreation phase of our voyage. After careful preparation and conditioning, five males and five females were selected for the procreation process. Their adaptation to space life has been optimal. Tomorrow begins grade school education for children ages five to eighteen years of age. Our curriculum will include operation earth 2.0. The purpose for this course is to prepare each generation for the final mission. The ETA has been projected for 3.2MYR.