Day 25: Graveyard Pocket Universe

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from Fyrecon's Fyretober Writing Prompt 2023-10-25

During October I am bringing you extra flash fiction or poetry in celebration of the season and inspired by Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Enjoy my twenty-fifth entry into Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Fyrecon's Fyretober Daily Prompt List

1. New neighbors
2. It’s Alive
3. No Exit
4. Walk in the cemetery
5. Door in the wall
6. Mirror
7. Space visitors
8. The Monster Is
9. Anti-magic costumes
10. Skeleton’s battle cry
11. Djinn party
12. Space dwarves
13. Zombie fireball
14. Possessed guild house
15. Lorekeeper’s mask
16. Dragon sight
17. Alien scryers
18. Trick-or-Treating Shapeshifters
19. Disguised spellbook
20. Screaming trapdoor
21. Ghost weaponsmith
22. Jack-O’-Lantern avatars
23. Phoenix light sail
24. Sparkle castle
25. Graveyard pocket universe
26. Sentient wand
27. Haunted Skyhook
28. Pirate space elevator
29. Disguised terraforming
30. The Witches’ Laws
31. Precognizant cats

Bonus Fanged griffin

Brandell hoped that whoever had invented the marketing for Tearfall IX had been awarded a great lump of money from the company. He doubted that a better marketer had ever lived. He’d certainly been sold on the lie, and their agent hadn’t tried that hard. He supposed a doomed world lent to the desirability of the world which otherwise might be more difficult to come by.

Brandell hadn’t meant to be the citizen of a doomed world. He hadn’t picked the planet he’d been born on. That choice had been his parents’ brilliance. They’d selected a planet just a touch too close to a black hole. A phenomenon which had yanked at the planet’s orbit until it left the Goldilocks zone. Or rather was irrevocably on the way out. A slow process which left plenty of time for evacuation, but not an equal number of preferrable locals.

Giving up his world for one he’d never known had also not been Brandell’s idea of a good time. He would have preferred to live and die there, but the government loudly protested this plan. Those who complained the loudest had someone ended up at the end of the lottery. Brandell had landed among that lot.

Forced to leave with nowhere good to go. Or so he’d presumed when he’d sat down with the agent who would sort out his relocation details.

Brandell quickly pushed aside the swamp planet. He’d never been a fan of bugs and didn’t relish having his blood sucked by ones he couldn’t even name. The desert world was another quick discard. The sun and him had never particularly been friendly, and he didn’t want to learn how to endure it now. The agent presented five other planets. Four more rejections from Brandell. One he placed in a maybe pile. Then she’d shown him Tearfall IX.

“Don’t let the names deceive you,” the agent said watching him with an intensity which borderlined psychosis. “Tearfall IX was named after the gentle rains which mark the spring and fall season. The world is quite lovely. Temperate with a industry solid base and vital industry already developed.”

Brandell pulled the file close and lazily swiped through the satellite imagery. He didn’t expect anything astonishing. There were cities, not insignificant ones with parks and housing. Everything looked green. Beautiful, but not so green that he’d be eaten by bugs. The world looked perfect.

Perfect had to have a catch. “What’s the catch?” He drummed his fingers over the edge of the pad.

“Catch?” the agent asked, widening her eyes, and blinking as if she could not comprehend the question. “What catch?”

Brandell chuckled mercilessly and set the pad on the table. “I’m at the tail end of the lottery.” He shoved the pad back towards her. “Every other planet left has obvious flaws, and yet, Tearfall IX is paradise? What’s wrong with it? A high mortality rate?”

The agent pursed her lips and turned the pad back to him. “Do you see any graveyards in those photos?”

Glancing down, I perused the photos again. There were graveyards, but only what you’d expect from a colony. The whole point was to move to a place until you croaked. But not enough if Tearfall IX had been around long. “How old a colony?”

“She’s a newer colony. Just three decades.” The agent folded her hands in front of her. “One with a thriving industry that desperately needs additional personnel.”

Brandell ran his finger over the screen before he let his mind catch up with his impulses. A new colony with in-demand products? One that looked arguably paradisical. At least better than the other options. “Send me there.”


Brandell packed up and caught the next ship to Tearfall IX. The planet looked as tranquil as the photos when the ship hit orbit. Landing, Brandall followed the line with the rest. Processing, quarter assignment, and work arrangements followed quickly. The last stop finally revealed the catch.

Tearfall IX needed citizens, truly. Desperately. For the second Brandall received his work detail he learned another secret of the whole sector. A secret his agent had withheld, and he hadn’t guessed. A secret they didn’t want to get out and meant no transports out.

Too many colonies in the sector were failing, and Tearfal IX’s claim to fame was being the mass graveyard for them all. How better to hide the dead then in Tearfall IX’s other feature: A plethora of pocket dimensions they’d turned into graveyards. One no one ever saw from space. But ones vaster than the planet already.

Brandall retreated to his quarters at the end of the first day. A basic setup for entertainment, and one he could work with. They should have checked his relations before sending him here. Brandell’s uncle had been the greatest hacker in the sector, and he’d taught Brandell. They setup was enough he could hack the comm network and get a signal out.

With time.

Since the dead were the only tourists in the place, Brandall had the time.

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

#fyretober2023 #fyretoberflashfiction2023 #fyretoberprompts2023 #fyretober2023day25

“Fyretober is for everyone who loves to create, and this month we’re looking to see your flash fiction, poetry, and illustrations every day. We’ll be providing daily prompts for the month and want to see what new concepts and wonders you can make with them.”

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