Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

Free copy left
You can read our best books
Andrew Walters would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review


By Andrew Walters


Chapter 1

Hannah Reynolds could always feel storms coming. She knew them like she knew the suns would rise in the morning and go down at night.

She watched the grey clouds begin their slow descent from Settlers Mountain and judged they had an hour before the rains came. An hour after that the sun would be shining again. She went to the window. 

In the fields of Atlas Ranch two of the regular hands were finishing up work for the day, and a third was stabling two horses. She peered into the murky distance. Her eyes weren’t the same since they’d been here, something in whatever gorram chemicals they used to fertilize the ground after the terraforming was done just didn’t agree with them. She thought before the year was out she’d probably need someone to take up most of her jobs. 


“Malcolm, where are you?”

“Malcolm? Storms coming little Mal and near time for your dinner.”

There was a scrabbling and a scraping, and then suddenly out from beneath the window a dirty scrub of a boy appeared covered in mud and dust. 

“Malcolm Reynolds what have I told you about playing under the house?” 

She’d snapped at the boy, but it was only half hearted - he looked so funny with his face all smudged like that, and his hair matted and full of dirt. 

“What will I do with you?” 

She stared into his eyes and let out a sigh. He had his fathers eyes. Damn it he had far too much of his fathers eyes, couldn’t the maker have left his eyes for her. The memory hurt too much. Ignorant of the sadness that was creeping through his mothers mind, Mal smiled at her, realizing he was off the hook for now. 

“Sorry Ma, I won’t do it again.”

“Too right you won’t.” 

She wiped away a tear that threatened to roll down her cheek, then she turned away to the window and looked out again toward the mountains.

“Now go get yourself cleaned off, I have chores for you before I put anything on your plate and you best be quick or you’ll get a soaking when the rains come in.”

“Aww Ma!” A scowl came across his face. He had such a temper but he was sharp too. Sharp as a tack as the old people used to say.

“Don’t ‘Aww Ma’ me Mal Reynolds. You ain’t done nothing all day but crawled around under this house pretending to be some sort of space captain, so when I tell you to do something you gorram do it, you hear me?” 

 “But I was practising Ma. For when I really am a space captain! When I have my own ship and I can fly us both around the worlds, and... and we can go...”

He trailed off. But she could hear - just under his breath - she could hear his last few words.

“... and we can go find Dad.”

Another tear was coming, she could feel her eyes brimming.

“Don’t be daft Mal. Ain’t nobody on this planet ever gonna leave it and that’s the truth, you hear me. Now you... you go upstairs and you... you get yourself clean, and then you do your reading. You read them books the shepherd left you... you hear me?”

Her voice was faltering. 

Hannah Reynolds was a strong woman, she’d brought herself here when her lottery number came up. She’d got them on one of the settlers ships, she’d made a new life. But she had lost so much too. Lost so much - she couldn’t lose him too. Not to the skies, not like him.

The boys scowl had deepened - children can be so oblivious, they can be so... so child like. There was a heat in his face now, a real anger, and when he spoke it was through gritted teeth.

“I’ll show you. I’ll show you. One day I’m going to fly away from here. One day I’m going to have a ship of my own, and a crew and we’re going to be the best in the universe. And we’ll fly everywhere.” 

He began to back away, tears streaking his dusty muddy face. 

“I’ll show you. You can’t take the skies from me!”

And off he ran. Up the stairs that ran to the sleeping quarters - she could hear his boyish sobs and the ‘thud’ as he slumped down on his bed.Hannah turned away, and slowly walked out onto the porch. 

The rain had arrived, as she’d known it would and the salty water began to drench her where she stood, the raindrops mingling with her own tears. 

She mouthed those last words over and over again. 

“You can’t take the skies from me.”
Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Andrew Walters
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

_JosephJacobson_: I don't understand why this has such low ratings. I really enjoyed it!I think that the whole idea behind the plot had something very special and that was something that I really enjoyed. It was new, unique. I think that some of the writing was a little strange in places but overall it made sense ...

dapharoah69: I gotta hand it to you. This was a great read from start to finish. I am a big fan of witches, thanks to Anne Rice. The characters really reeled me in from the very first few chapters. You make reading fun.

John Smith: This is what Sci Fi is all about. Reads like early Heinlein. In the style of Space Cadets. No esoteric problems..but good ol blaster and space action with a host of relatable characters

Ben Gauger: Kudos go to wordworrywill, author of Kings and Things, an otherwise imaginative tale set against the trappings of the royal set, but then again I don't imagine there'd be many authors who invoked the names of Oprah Winfrey, Vladimir Putin, Jeff Bezos, Beyonce and Steven Spielberg, As for the plot...

hypaalicious: This story follows two main characters, Zoey and Derek, on a winding adventure that sucks you in from the beginning. It was easy to get into and get a feel for the world that the author is projecting, as well as all of the warring factions and difference of ideals that would otherwise be very co...

John Reed: Seadrias masterfully captures the impressiveness and complex scope that a science fiction novel should provide while carefully crafting an entire universe that will leave a reader in awe from start to finish. The only flaw I could find is that I wish I could have read more. This book is certainly...

Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...

Truemy Brewer: Great first chapter! You tell the story dramatically, but not overly and with just the right amount of words.. There is no cut in the action. I do wonder at the ladies male friend from the village, and what happened to him, but I suppose that will be revealed later. This seems like an epic in the...

Michael L. Blood: It took only a few paragraphs to "hook me" and keep me riveted throughout the remainder of the story. I have read very little if any "short stories" since "Dandelion Wine" and my freshman year in college in the early 70s - this one measures up with the best of them. The author assumes some de...

More Recommendations

Meri Amber: The plot is creative, fun and addictive! The writing is superb and the characters are really well put together. Definitely highly recommeded!

Jasmin Soriano: If you want a thought-provoking, ribs-busting tale of religion look no further than Ouroboros!The characters are an absolute riot, and more often than I care to admit, I wondered where I could get the book of hilarious quotes so I could have something to laugh at every morning.We travel back in t...

wildweeder: I found the story "The Last Starry Night" to be exciting and entertaining (and a little bit scary in parts). I loved the way the young people explained things to each other.The growth and development of the young Warriors that Johnny adopted was fun. Listening to Grandma talk to them in "wisdom s...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."