I got a little sidetracked the last few weeks. We were getting ready to go out of state for a week to visit family. Then, of course, there’s all the clean-up and such afterward. So, yeah, I’ve been gone for a bit. But I do have several things drafted up so hopefully I can get a few more scheduled regularly here. In the meantime, here’s a little flash piece I scribbled out for the #SwiftFicFriday prompt over at Trials & Tribulations of Writing Fiction. There are several other great responses to this prompt, so be sure to check them out!
Beware the Trees
It had been a cryptic message when Major Hankinson received it. Beware the trees. That’s it. So, homing in on Major Sanders’ last landing site, Major Hankinson landed his ship near a massive lake. North and east, the forest spread for thousands of kilometers while south and west, a smaller grassy plain stretched between the lake and the ocean a few hundred kilometers away.
Once on the ground, Hankinson donned his battle armor, grabbed his pulse rifle, and set foot on the alien world. The silence that reigned felt wrong. Not a single natural sound filled the air, despite what looked like paradise for fauna. Hankinson set off toward the clearing his scanner showed, anyway.
He paused at the edge of the trees. Nothing seemed amiss despite the dire message. Halfway to the clearing, something lunged through the trees. Ivory teeth the length of his forearm snapped as claws and greenish fur filled his vision. It knocked his pulse rifle away. Hankinson sprinted toward the clearing, hoping it would give him room to fight.
His heart in his throat, Hankinson burst through the trees. He whirled around, but nothing followed him out. A minute passed. Then another. Still, nothing ventured into the clearing.
Hankinson looked around and spotted an incongruous bench that looked too large for humans. He made his way through the lush greenery, drawn to the bench. With each step, his limbs grew heavier, fatigue washing through him.
As he made it to the bench, Hankinson had no energy left. He collapsed into the springy vegetation. His vision dimming, Hankinson saw two things. First, the grass was growing up to cover him way too fast, consuming him. Second, he saw a bit of a flight suit sticking out of the moving grass with a name tag—Sanders.