Spaceship Ghosts

Fyretober 2021

Welcome to day 18 of Fyretober! I hope you’re all enjoying a month of flash fiction as much as I am. Enjoy today’s writing challenge from Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

A loud thump echoed through the ship from somewhere in the crew section. Ian quirked an eyebrow up not bothering to straighten from slumping in the pilot’s chair. Not even when the string of expletives followed the sound. That thump had resembled Alex hitting a bulkhead and not equipment crashing or glitching. She’d be along quick enough. Boots thumping on the deck plate sounded before he’d finished the thought. Tucking his hands behind his head, Ian slouched further into his seat.

Hands slapped against the lock to Control. “Ian!” Somehow he managed to keep his face straight through the note of panic in her voice. Not that ignoring your engineer was usually wise, but there weren’t any alarms going off, and she’d forced her way aboard. He could dawdle a moment. “Ian,” Alex hollered shaking his shoulder.

“What’s up?” Ian cracked one eye open.

Her skin had a paler, and her bravado had slipped, revealing a slight tremble in her shoulders. Before responding, she paused, twisting to look over her shoulder. “There’s someone onboard!”

He stiffened, halfway straight. Dust, she was making it hard to suppress his grin. And too easy. “You complaining about stowaways?” He didn’t bother completely suppressing his grin anymore, allowing a half grin as he snorted.

Alex turned back to him fully then, her jaw going slack as she shook her head slightly. “I don’t mean a stowaway!” Her voice echoed through the corridors.

“Oh good, since that’s how you applied for my crew.”

Alex rolled her eyes, stepped closer, and leaned toward Ian. “I mean ghosts.” She glanced away again, her hand tightening around his armrest to steady herself as she looked back.

Ian forced the grin from his face. Raising his hand, he waved it dismissively and slumped back into his chair. “What are you bothering me for a silly thing like that. This is a family ship.” He closed his eyes.

“I know it’s a family ship. Stars that’s why I choose…” Alex cut off midsentence. “Why’s that your response.”

Ian could only imagine her reaction. Stunned, maybe a tad suspicious with that last statement. Ian shrugged. “Because family ships mean multiple generations. Where do you think their souls go? The deep?”

“Ian!” A hand smacked his shoulder, a tad too hard to be just playing and too light to be angry with him.

“Stationers,” he muttered. “Go play nice with the ghosts and let me be.”

A flurry of sputters, protests, and arguments followed his dismissal. No less than Ian had expected. Nor was he surprised when he heard her stomp away.

Ian waited heartbeats listening, but she didn’t return for another round. Sitting straight he spun toward the control board and checked the internal sensors. She’d gone down to storage this time. Good. Full on grinning Ian pulled up the circulator controls and sending a cold gust at her before activating the halo system.

Oh, she’d forced her way on his ship and proven useful. But that didn’t mean he could let her audacity pass without payback, especially on all souls night. He’d have to remember to thank her for fixing up the systems so well.

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

#fyretober #fyretoberflashfiction #fyretoberday18

“Fyretober isn’t for just writers or just artists. It’s 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.

Join the creation fun and share your work with us.

This isn’t a contest. But that doesn’t mean we won’t be giving out random prizes for amazing work.”

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