Idioms: a Sci-Fi Flash Fiction Story

No. 32/100 flash fiction stories. This one features Kazran Guenever, a character from my short story collection The Drabbles of a Dreamer.

“I don’t usually hit the ground running. Instead, I greet it fully with my face in the mud. And then I get up and limp away. 

“See, that was always the most important part in my opinion. It doesn’t so much matter how you land – it’s what you do afterwards.” Kazran paused, a smile playing on his lips. He sounded pretty good. 

“Yeesh, how many times did you rehearse that?” 

With a huff, Kazran slapped a button on the ship’s console to stop the video recording. He’d have to edit Madeus out later. “You’re just jealous,” Kazran called back over his shoulder. 

“Jealous?” Kazran turned at the disbelieving scoff in Madeus’ voice. His friend swam knee-deep in circuitry, eyes focused on his hands as they untangled a rat’s nest of wires. “Jake,” Madeus rumbled. “Do you know what you’ve gotten yourself into? You’re a fugitive now.” 

Kazran laughed, if only to stave off the grave seriousness in Madeus’ voice. For a moment, he could imagine that they were young, innocent boys sitting around a campfire again. That Madeus’ seriousness was only due to school exams. He could even almost imagine that he was still Jacob Burton.

“This isn’t funny, Jake.” 

“I’m not Jake anymore. Remember?” 

Madeus let his arms fall limp and let out a long sigh, shaking his head. “This would be a lot easier if you didn’t insist on being a superhero, you know.” 

“I’m not a superhero. I just happen to think that Kazran Guenever is a great name, and even better, most people out here in the big, wide galaxy will have no idea where it came from.”

Madeus grunted and resumed his task, plucking at the wires with more vigour. Kazran nodded, convinced he’d said his piece for now, and turned back to the console. He activated the camera again and a red light on the console flashed three times, letting him know it was ready. 

Kazran inhaled slowly, recalling what else he’d written down for his message. But after Madeus’ little speech, the whole thing seemed to dissolve right into the back of his brain where it could never be found. 

What had he gotten himself into? Here he was, millions of miles from his home planet, never able to say his real name again. Never able to go back. 

“I’m sorry.” He certainly hadn’t planned that. “Mum. Dad. I can’t say when I’ll see you again, but I hope you’ll trust me. I had to leave. Can’t say why. And uh…” He struggled to find the right way to close it off. “As Dad would say, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.” 

He swallowed past a lump in his throat, finding no amusement in the silly idiom as he usually did. He looked into the camera.”I… hope I’ll see you soon.” 

He slapped the recording button before the camera could capture his tears. 

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