Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Snippets: Departures

Today's Saturday excerpts are all about departures.

My excerpt takes departures to the extreme. If you know me, you know I love what my kids term "end of the world movies". Picture "2012", "Knowing", "Independence Day" and "Day After Tomorrow" to get an idea.

Astronaut Major David Randolph is the last human male alive after Earth blows up. Colonel Genie Siska and David witness Earth's explosion from their space ship. In shock and despair, the couple run through a myriad of emotions. Although Genie's always been highly attracted to the major, he's also fourteen years younger than her. Even though he's literally the last man left alive, she still doesn't know if she can take a man so much younger than her as her lover.

David's always been in love with his commanding officer, and he's frustrated that even now, she resists him. They are literally mankind's last chance for survival. Or are they? When they are "rescued" or is it kidnapped by aliens, the whole picture changes. However, they are not sure if it's for better or worse.

Excerpt from: Last Man on Earth

USAF Colonel Genie Siska gaped at the blinding lights pinpointing the Earth. In shock, she wasn’t sure if she was speaking aloud or thinking, “My dear God. What’ve they done? How could they?”

“God save our souls,” Major David Randolph whispered beside her. His shoulder crowded hers and his hip bumped her as he ran back to his station.

The com channels were frantic with chatter. Maydays arose in every language. Reports of massive death and destruction filled Genie’s ears as she stared in disbelief from the command link to the planet below. Her fingers dug into the ledge in front of her, and she feared she’d sink to the ground if she let go. “How can they do this?”

She prayed to God for forgiveness and deliverance.

“Don’t just stand there, Colonel!” David grabbed her and dragged her into their escape ship. “We’ve got to get out of here now. If the planet explodes, it’ll blast apart the station.”

Earth explode?

She gulped. Her heart shattered as she envisioned the fiery deaths of all the children of Earth. The babies. The animals. All innocents. None deserving of the fate their elders decreed.

Mutely, swallowing hard, hoping David’s words weren’t prophetic, she forced herself to focus. But she couldn’t wrap her mind around the possible reality.

She helped David steer the ship out into space far enough for safety but close enough to see their home. When he put his arm around her, she didn’t demur. Rather, she wrapped her arms around him and laid her cheek on his shoulder, taking comfort from his steady heartbeat and the rise and fall of his chest. “Why is this happening?”

He squeezed her shoulder and huskily murmured, “Who really knows? Greed? Selfishness? Stupidity? Religious fanaticism?”

A sad snort arose from her lips, and she struggled to hold back tears and not damn all the religious nuts to hell. For heaven’s sake, USAF Colonels didn’t cry. In particular, female officers couldn’t show such weakness or her troops lose respect. She’d rather be a tough bitch. But against orders, tears clung to her lashes, and she tried to blink them back. “So we blew ourselves up in the name of God?”

He pressed his lips to her temple. “Quite possibly. We’ll never know.”

He sounded so much more mature than his mere twenty-eight years, and she burrowed into his strength.

The ship rocked with shock waves, and she gasped. Blinding light and meteors hurled at them.

“Damn! The idiots really did it,” David seethed and gathered her closer and held her tightly as if he craved the human contact.

Anxious for affirmation she wasn’t alone in the big, cold universe, she clutched him. Tears dropped unchecked from her eyes and sobs racked her throat. Although she’d never married nor had children, her heart ached for her nephew and her sister, for all the lost souls, for lost dreams, for the terror and pain everyone must have felt.

Furious at the sons of bitches who’d turned the doomsday switches, she flung back her head and howled her rage, and she pummelled her fists against David’s chest. “We’re dead! This is the end of the human race. How could we?”

A million visions collided in her mind, changing with such lightning speed she grew dizzy and crumpled to the floor. Gasping for air, her sobs came on hiccoughs. Irony in her voice, she mused, “I never thought it fair to marry or have kids as I thought my mission too dangerous, that I’d be the one to die in this godforsaken space…and now we’re the only ones left.”

David hunkered down on his haunches and stroked her face. His intensely blue gaze bore into her. Very sombrely and seriously he said, “We weren’t the only satellite orbiting Earth. The Russians and the Chinese are up here, too.”

“If they didn’t get pulverised.” Acid tears burned her eyes and hovered on her lashes. They burned her eyes much like the explosion burned away Earth’s atmosphere.

Again, David pulled her close and rocked back and forth with her in his arms. “Shush. We’ll make it. We’re resilient.”

She peeked out the window at the spookily empty space—empty barring all the dust and debris from their home.

Damn it! It shouldn’t be so beautiful, like sparkling fairy dust.

Last Man on Earth is available at Total-E-Bound.

Read more departures here: Vivian ArendJody Wallace, Kelly Maher, Eliza Gayle, Lauren Dane, Taige Crenshaw, Shelley Munro, Savannah Foley, Moira Rogers

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