Pegasus Debt – Wendig challenge

Pegasus Debt

By S Rain Lawrence

(The Chuck Wendig flash fiction challenge)

 

 

Dr. Emma Torrez trimmed the edges of the electrical tape meticulously and closed the access panel with a defeated sigh. It would hold for now. She double checked the hatch door and was relieved to find it was working again.

A soft edged explosion shook the corridor of the space station. Warning claxons blared and the few functioning emergency lights that remained in the corridor flashed red.

A string of curses preceded her colleague, Dr. Jack Hardy as he came barreling towards her.

“What happened now?” Emma asked.

“We asked for insulation!” Hardy screamed. He screeched to a halt in front of her, grabbed her by the shoulders and shouted “INSULATION! What the fuck am I supposed to do with more damn pipe fittings?”

“Yeah, I was there,” Emma sighed. “I’m asking what the explosion was.”

“Hardy! Torrez! What’s going on?”

“Landon! I’m so glad you’re here,” Hardy exclaimed as he clutched at her arm. “We’ve got to get out of here.”

Hardy had become increasingly more unhinged over the past few months and Emma was hesitant to take anything he said seriously. His tangle of brown hair was tied back from his face and his beard grew unchecked. Dr. Gina Landon folded her arms across her chest and pursed her lips. Her coveralls were worn and pieces were patched with the same tape that Emma held in her hand.

“Is this an actual emergency?” Landon asked. “I’m trying to finish decommissioning section five before it snaps off the station entirely and kills us all.”

“We have to abandon the station!” Hardy said emphatically, his eyes wide. “NOW!”

“Pretty sure we don’t get paid if don’t finish fixing this place up,” Landon said.

Emma peered down the corridor. Was that smoke?

“Hardy, what happened in the research section?” Emma asked hesitantly.

“I keep telling you! It finally happened! I was rewiring the containment apparatus so it would pressurize properly. But they didn’t send us insulation AGAIN on the last shipment. How many times have we asked for insulation? How many times did we tell them we need properly insulated wiring? But no, the last three shipments we get random shit that isn’t anything like what we asked for!”

“Hardy! Focus!” Landon shouted.

Hardy stopped and blinked vacantly at them.

“Electrical fire,” he said. “Something got into the uninsulated wiring. The whole thing is in flames.”

“Oh shit…” Emma whispered.

“Shit won’t save us now!” Hardy said with a cackle.

Emma glanced down the corridor again as it began to fill with smoke.

“Escape pod! Escape pod!” Landon chanted.

Emma turned and ran, leading the way through the twists of the space station past crumbling debris and half-finished repairs. Only a few more meters. Emma had never been so relieved to see a functioning LED panel. She scanned the readings quickly, making sure the pod was ready to go. She pulled the air lock hatch and opened the door to the escape pod.

The scientists piled into the pod and Emma sealed the hatch closed behind them.

“Do we even know how this thing works, Torrez?” Landon asked over Emma’s shoulder.

“If you give me some space, maybe I can figure it out!”

Emma scrolled through the operation screen inside the pod as it flickered under her shaking fingers. She found the launch sequence and tapped through it as quickly as possible.

The pod burst free of the space station and shot towards the moon base. Emma looked back at the station to see the entirety of the main section crumple with the flames. The pegasus logo next to neatly etched name of the space station melted before her eyes.

“What a fucking joke,” Hardy said.

“What are you talking about?” Landon asked.

“They just stuck us on there for months and expect us to fix the place with no support? The technical debt was an abomination. What were we supposed to do? Patch the holes with our PhDs?”

The pod began to shake and warning klaxons fired.

“Whose job was it to maintain the escape pod?” Emma asked.

Hardy cackled hysterically.

Yes, Chef release day

It’s book release day and I am so excited! It’s strange because I actually wrote this story over a year ago so it feels a bit distant. I’m still proud of it and of myself. It was a story that really grabbed me and I wrote a disturbingly large percentage of it in one go. I never thought I would end up writing something quite like that. It was enjoyable and freeing to do so! I couldn’t have done it without my devoted beta reader and personal cheer leader, CMR who did a quick read of it in less than a day for me! I had a fantastic editor help me through this piece. She was extremely helpful and it was a delight working with her. I would also be remiss if I didn’t thank the ladies of my writing group – Tickled Ink. Your ongoing support is absolutely invaluable.

Please buy my book! It’s a quick, sweet, m/m romance set in a busy Minneapolis kitchen. It contains a May/December couple with a problematic work dynamic, animal rescue programs, lots of delicious food and trans representation! And did I mention I shot the cover image? Because I totally did.

Thank you!

 

yeschef-f

Yes, Chef from Amazon

Yes, Chef from Less Than Three

Houdini’s Masquerade art

I finished an illustration for my story, Houdini’s Masquerade. Please enjoy!

LilaTasha

Daphne and Leua art

I drew an illustration to go with my short story, The Ballad of Daphne and Leucippos. Originally, I planned on having it done when the story was released but that ended up being overly optomistic. Even a little sketch takes some time to get done! Thank you to everyone out there for all your support!

Daphne and Leua

Haunted Hotties Volume I

The anthology Haunted Hotties Volume I has been released! My story, Houdini’s Masquerade, is included in this anthology. It’s so exciting! This one went through editing and on to publishing so quickly, it caught me a bit off guard. September and October are really busy for me with my day job. One minute I was updating the “works” page of this site with the cover, and the next – it was available!

Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this happen! I can’t thank you all enough. Everyone from my support at home to my editor on this project were wonderful. I love working in anthologies and hope to do a few more in the coming year.

Here’s a fun fact: part of my story was inspired by an episode of Drunk History I watched while folding laundry. Yes, really! Remember, inspiration comes from everywhere. I really love Drunk History…

Houdini’s Masquerade was reviewed on Rainbow Book Reviews. It was quite a pleasant surprise!

HauntedHotties_Vol1

Haunted Hotties at Torquere

Houdini’s Masquerade at Torquere

Haunted Hotties at Amazon

Houdini’s Masquerade at Amazon

Mythologically Torqued Volume 2 release day

It’s book release day! I’m so thrilled. This is the first thing I’ve published in ten years which is rather intimidating! It’s one of those times where it’s hard to find the words to say what I’m feeling so I’ll keep it short. The anthology collection is available from Torquere Press and  Amazon. You can also get my story by its self on Amazon. I’ve got a special surprise I’ve been working on as well! It’s not quite done yet but I hope to have it done next week.

Thank you to everyone for all your support! Extra thanks to CMR for all her efforts being my personal cheerleader. I’d also like to thank all the ladies of Tickled Ink especially LRD. I could not have done this without you. I believe in you. Lastly, I’d like to thank Torquere Press and my editor for their work on this project and taking a chance on me.

theballadofdaphneandleucippos200

Halloween Anthology 2015

I’m super thrilled to announce that a short story of mine, Houdini’s Masquerade has been picked up for inclusion in Torquere Press’s Haunted Hotties anthology. It’s so exciting! As a card carrying quasi goth, Halloween is close to my heart. When I heard about this anthology call, I knew I had to participate. This is the third story to be picked up for publication this year. More information to come as it is available!

Daphne Cover Reveal

It’s finally cover reveal day! I couldn’t be more thrilled. My short story The Ballad of Daphne and Leucippos is being released in the anthology Mythologically Torqued Volume II by Torquere Press. We have a cover for the anthology itself and a cover for my individual story. It’s a double cover reveal event! Let’s get to it, shall we?

mythologicallytorquediiFinalCover

theballadofdaphneandleucippos1400

Mythology Anthology – editing finished!

I have finished all the editing on my mythology story for Torquere’s anthology. I’ll have the galley review shortly and then it’s done! Because it’s an anthology of course, I’m not sure where everyone else is in the process. Editing is a lot of work! I may have mentioned that elsewhere… As far as I know, they are still slating our release for August 19th. It’s almost here! I’m so excited I could vomit!

Always room for more

As of today, I have turned in the first round of edits on both stories I have coming out later this year. While it is an absolute relief to have them off my plate (for now) there is still a residual anxiety hovering around. I’ve never been very good at relaxing and it’s quite pronounced today! Once I finished sending off my draft, I very nearly ran out of the Starbucks to get some air!

I’m exceedingly grateful to my writing group friends for tolerating me during the sea of editing crises. Editing my own work is very challenging, even with the assistance of a professional editor. Every time I receive feedback from an editor, I learn something. This time through, the insights were especially helpful. I was even able to apply what I learned from one editor to the change I made on the next piece!

The challenge now is… what to work on next? I’ve done nothing but edit for just over an entire month. I’m itching to do something entirely different, but I hear the call from a mostly finished short story in my documents folder. Only a few changes I could submit it!

I’m also thinking about looking for a few more anthology calls. I’ve found writing for anthologies to be a lot of fun lately!

Of course, what I should do is relax! Maybe just for a few minutes!