Recently on The Mad Genius blog there was a challenge called Picture Postcards. You send them an email, and they send you a picture. And you are supposed to write a 50 word story about the picture.
Well, I tried, and I failed. I wrote the story, all right, but it’s way over 50 words. So I decided to post it here, where I can make my own rules.
The stars went out and fluorescent lights came on, turning the heavens into the vaulted ceiling of a hanger. The airlock door to the control room opened and Dr. Haver came in, shaking his head sadly at the scene. The pilot of Earth’s first FTL starship sat in his command chair, staring at his bloody hands.
On the floor beside him, the body of his first mate and wife lay still, her head a smashed ruin.
The pilot looked up, mute with shock.
“It’s over, Eddie,” Dr. Haver said. “The mission, the flight, everything. It was a test, a trial to see if human beings could take the stress of prolonged isolation. You failed.”
“Not as badly as you did,” said the corpse, sitting up and pulling the bloody prosthesis off her undamaged face. “You sat there in your office for three years, watching things in this pretend spaceship get worse and worse, and never once even suggested that the project be stopped.”
Eddie—now perfectly calm—turned to face Haver. “I’m disappointed in you, doc. You were the best of the lot, but in the end you let your intellectual detachment overcome your humanity.”