Newsletter January 2022: Happy new year, Moon and book and music tips

Newsletter January 2022: Happy new year, Moon and book and music tips

Happy new year!

I'm not the kind of person that sets new years resolutions, but the end of the year is always a good time for me to look back and ahead and see if what I'm doing still matches what I'd like to be doing, whether I'm still on a trajectory towards a place I'd like to be. Last year, I decided I wanted to pick up writing again, and in earnest this time. And so I did. I'm glad to say, I'm close to ticking of my first writing goal: write and publish 6 novelette-length pieces. The fifth of these, Eddy, will be out on January 18th. Follow me on twitter to be notified as soon as it's available on the various platforms!

I'm currently wrapping up the Isolated Futures series. The sixth installment is almost ready to send of to my copy editor. I'm looking forward to my next project, the full-length sci-fi novel due to be released by the end of 2022 or early 2023 (I still need to lay down the planning).

Are you a goal setter? Or do you just take life day by day? Have you been able to tick off some of your goals in 2021, or maybe have set some new goals for the years to come? I'm curious to hear what's going on in our life! Just hit reply on this email and let me know.

But now, without further ado, I promised you a surprise for sticking with me and here it is: a flash fiction story I wrote a while ago but never released. So consider this a belated Christmas gift to you, my loyal newsletter subscriber. Let me know what you think of it. And keep reading after the story for two book tips (four if you count my own two Isolated Futures installments) and of course this month's music tip. Enjoy!

Moon

They found her, despite her best efforts to hide. Two weeks ago, when the message had arrived that she’d "won" the lottery and was destined to be on the next rocket to the moon, she'd fled. She'd ran and ran until she couldn't run any more. Then she had built a shelter in the woods, and hid there, coming out only at night to crawl back into the village to rummage through trash cans looking for food.

As she lay there on the fifth night, shivering from the cold, she heard voices in the distance. She fought to control the shivering, make herself lie still. But the voices grew louder anyway. Then she heard dogs barking and whining, and she'd run again. In vain.

And now she was dragged, drugged and dazed, up the launch tower ramp, into the elevator. Around her, people cheered. The world was preparing for the monthly festival. Three days of joy and noise from banging on pots, pans and anything else.

In the sky, she saw the waning moon announcing three days of darkness and death. An abstraction to the people cheering around her, but a certain reality to her.

From the rising glass elevator she saw a familiar face. Her room-mate at the university campus, beaming. Telling everyone she knew the person going to the moon this month. She knew the person that would give all of them another one-month lease on life.

The elevator stopped, and she was dragged along a narrow bridge into the capsule at the top of the rocket. Despite the drugs, she felt a tightness in her chest. Her muscles tried to resist the pull of the guards dragging her along. She wanted to extend her arms and legs to grab the edges of the small entrance into the rocket. But she was too numbed.

Tied down, looking up towards the sky. The hatch closed with a bang and she was alone. The capsule walls lined with high-tech panels, blinking lights and bright displays showing complex formulas. State of the art equipment to guide her on her last journey.

The rocket roared, shaking her body against the restraints. At first, nothing seemed to happen but then she felt movement. She was on her way, to die.

Hours passed, fading in and out of sleep. The moon grew larger, a looming black shadow threatening to engulf her. Her dreams faded. Her future was gone, just like that. What horror would await her?

She thought it cliche, but her short life flashed past her as she surrendered to the inevitable. Her child-hood, her father and mother, brother and sister. They must be so proud now, down there. High-school, her first kiss. Starting at university, eager to learn and become the best doctor ever. Then the message, delivered by special courier, her entire dorm in awe, cheering her on. Happy. For her or for themselves?

For the first time since the message came, she felt calm. She understood now her place in the world. As the moon loomed closer and closer, she accepted her destiny.

It was the way of the cosmos. It was to be. The moon god would take her, devour her, and spare the billions she had left behind below.

Her spacecraft rolled, the dark landscape turning to one side, still approaching ever closer but slower now. Looking up, she saw a blue, green and white globe. Earth. Tears filled her eyes, the beautiful sight reducing her to just being.

The capsule crashed, hitting the surface and shattering in a million pieces. Her body, lifeless, ejected by the force of the crash, was thrown through vacuum and came to rest on the surface. Around her final resting place, for hundreds if not thousands of kilometres in every direction, debris and perfectly preserved bodies lay as a testament to life. She was at peace, her life fulfilled.