Flash Fiction | Geraldine

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This was a flash fiction that I wrote with my kids. We rolled dice for random ideas we used to create our story. I got:

  • Ugly toad
  • Desert landscape
  • Lost in space

As she searched, her movements were frantic. The ship’s alarms were blaring. The same phrases were ringing out, over and over.

“Fuel levels low. Oxygen levels low.”

Geraldine–oh how she hated the name her mother had given her, 20,000 siblings and she got Geraldine–looked at her scanners. An hour ago her ship had dropped out of the skip lane early and now she was lost.

Well not exactly lost. The ship knew right where it was, in the Epsilon Quadrant of Galaxy 1323. That did her no good though. She was light years from the galaxy that she had been shooting for and Galaxy 1323 was completely unexplored.

A quick look at the monitors told her everything she needed to know. Even if she entered into hibernation she had less than 2 hours of oxygen.

She poured all of the ship’s power into the sensors, expanding their range to their limits. She shot her tongue into her food bag, pulling a couple of insects into her mouth. The one thing she still had plenty of was food.

Thirty minutes later Geraldine had accepted the inevitable. She had broadcast a farewell message to her mate, Xerxes, telling him how sorry she was that she would never return. She remembered the pained look on his face when he had seen her off. The venom glands behind his eyes had been weeping.

After sending the message, and wiping her own glands, Geraldine gorged herself on the rare larvae she had brought to celebrate. Now sated, she sighed, it had been a good life, though rather shorter than she had planned.

A siren sounded. Probably going to tell me that oxygen levels are dangerously low.

“Habitable planet detected. Classification 3-m-h. ”

Geraldine’s eyes snapped to her scanners. A 3-m-h was ideal, almost identical to her home planet. She keyed in the coordinates, set the autopilot and then entered hibernation sleep.

As she faded off into hibernation sleep more warnings played over the loudspeakers, but she was too far gone to hear them.

“Signs of advanced intelligence on all major land masses. Advanced technology present…”

Geraldine woke to crushing pain. Both her left legs, front and back, were pinned and she couldn’t move them. She looked around frantically, trying to get her bearings. It was always disorienting upon waking from hibernation sleep.

Her ship was in complete disarray and the visor screen was visibly cracked. Hopefully the computer was right about the breathable atmosphere.

All the ship’s systems were down.

After a few minutes of moving she was able to unpin her limbs. She positioned herself with her back to the visor and kicked at it with her powerful hind legs. After a couple kicks the screen broke free from its mountings and fell out.

She sniffed at the air experimentally and then flicked out her tongue a couple times. The air seemed safe.

She crawled from the wreckage and was bombarded by a fierce heat. It seemed she had landed in the middle of a desert. The land was barren and parched with little growth.

She looked up at the sky to the sun. It was almost directly overhead. She needed to find shelter soon or she would overheat and die. She climbed back into the wreckage and pulled out her survival kit. She took a sip of water and checked her rations. She had enough food and water to survive for a couple days. That should be enough time for her to find water and maybe something that wouldn’t kill her if she ate it.

She moved away from the wreckage of her ship directly east according to her compass. It seemed that this planet had magnetic poles not unlike those on her home planet.

She had been moving at a brisk pace for less than ten minutes when the ground started to tremble.

Earthquake. Well at least I’m out in the open where nothing can fall on me.

Just then she looked up as a shadow engulfed her. In moments something crashed down around her. She rammed into the sides of it, hoping to break or dislodge it but it held solid. It was clear but surrounded her completely. She was trapped!

“Hey Billy, check this out. I found a frog…and it’s wearing clothes!” Tommy was dancing around the upside down Mason Jar on the ground.

Billy walked over to where his younger brother was dancing and squatted down on the ground to get a better look.

“It’s not a frog Tommy, out here in the desert it’s a toad. But there’s no way it’s wearing…”

Billy’s voice faded off as his eyes grew wider. Under the jar was a good sized toad, wearing what looked like a space suit and carrying a little backpack.