Free Fiction Thursday – One Sun, No Waiting

Happy Thursday, internets!

To celebrate this day before Friday, how about a science fiction story?  “One Sun, No Waiting” is one of the five stories included in my short story collection THE FOREVER SOLDIER AND OTHER FUTURE TALES. “One Sun, No Waiting” will be available for free for a week. Enjoy!

One Sun, No Waiting

Annie Reed

Published by Thunder Valley Press

Copyright 2011 Annie Reed


An old motel man like me, I appreciate good tenants.  The ones who don’t steal my towels, don’t bust up the television or spill beer on the bed, who don’t burn holes in the carpet and don’t forget to turn the lights off when they leave — they’re welcome at The Forty Winks any time.  I always have room for ’em.

Better make it soon, though.  I’m hoping differently, but I don’t expect I’ll be around much longer.  I don’t expect many of us will be around.

See, as it turns out, celestial bodies have tenants too.  Who would have thought the sun was hollow and something lived inside?  Sounds like a bunch of hooey, don’t it?  I might have said the same thing just a couple months ago, but these days it’s pretty damn real.

Scientists concocted a fancy-pants name for it, but as far as I’m concerned all it means is that the sun turned out to be just temporary living space for folks on their way to someplace else, just like my motel.  The last tenants in our neck of the universe pulled a damn good trick on us.  Turned out the lights when they left.  Just switched the sun off, like it was the Lord’s own light bulb.

The good news — if there is any — is that the sun’s on a dimmer switch.  Scientists have a fancy-pants explanation for that, too, but I don’t care much about scientific stuff.  All it means to me is that the sun loses a little more light every day until pretty soon I guess there won’t be any light left at all.

Right now my watch says it’s eleven in the morning, but outside it looks like it’s twilight.  I used to think twilight was the prettiest time of day here in the Nevada desert.  Everything painted a cool lavender-blue, the heat of the day just starting to bleed off into the night air, the sharp tang of sagebrush and the dry dirt smell of dusty sand tickling my nose.

It’s not so pretty when it’s twilight all the time, not when you know pretty soon the night won’t ever go away.

“The damnedest thing, Jimmy,” Maude tells me every day.  “Ain’t it just the damnedest thing.”

(read the rest of the story here)

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