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If I Could Stay

By Red Harvey All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Scifi

If I Could Stay

The flume deployed from miles away, shooting up into the sky and dispelling a trail of smoke in its wake.

Another flume went up. Then another. Dozens more appeared, until the sky was a blue patchwork full of intersecting lines which rose and fell.

“But where do they go, Ami?” Carlan pressed her face against the window.

Her small hands splayed on the glass surface. Occasionally, her palm opened and closed, grasping at nothing.

Ami could see her faint outline in the window. Red flecks floated in her eyes, but when she blinked, they were gone. She hoped Carlan hadn’t noticed. There was precious time to spend together before she called on the Corp.

She considered Carlan’s question. There were many parts involved in answering, and she didn’t know how to fully explain the flume’s destinations, as she wasn’t sure.

“They go nowhere.” Ami paused. “And everywhere.”

As they spoke, the flumes continued departing, disappearing into the clouds and beyond. Ami and Carlan stayed at the window to watch. Each deployment lasted seconds, but the total deployment lasted an hour.

Hundreds of white shipments carried into the void.

Out of sight. Out of mind.

Ami’s eye itched, and when she wiped at it, her hand came away smeared with red. She used disinfectant to clean it off, trying to appear casual. Her demeanor betrayed none of the panic, none of the despair cresting inside.

A small gray button blinked slowly on the wall next to where they stood. Ami’s hand hovered over the button. Discreetly, she pushed it. The blink went from slow to rapid pulses. Everything would happen quickly now, and she was glad for it. She didn’t want to risk Carlan’s safety.

After the deployments ceased, Carlan crawled into Ami’s lap. She told her child comforting, familiar stories. Anything to forget what the flumes contained. What the flumes would soon contain, she reminded herself.

“We’re lucky to have been relocated near a deployment station.” She said.

Carlan nodded, her brown eyes opened wide in a beautifully brown face. She glanced from their sleeping mats to the cooking area. She struggled to form words.

Finally, she spoke from recovered memory. “Because the number of denizens lessens with each rotation?”

Ami kissed Carlan’s forehead. “That’s right.”

A chubby hand caught her face and turned it down so that they were looking into each other’s eyes. Ami willed herself not to cry. It wouldn’t do to get blood-tears everywhere.

“And you’ll not become a denizen anytime soon?” Carlan was expectant, small, and vulnerable. But the child was smart. Strong. The Corp would take care of her, make her stronger.

Initially, Ami’s instinct was to lie. A lie was alright, as long as it protected, right?

Despite her intentions, she answered, “Not anytime too soon, lovely.”

Soon was relative.

She hugged Carlan closer, watching the smoke trails dissipate into the air.



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Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

ericaporamoralcine: La trama es muy interesante y original y eso ya dice muchísimo cuando todos tratan de triunfar con ideas ya trilladas.No puedo opinar en detalle sobre la gramática, porque a pesar de entender el inglés a la perfección, la falta de uso en cuanto a lectura y diálogo hacen que me maneje bastante mal...

Sara Grover: When I first started reading, it was a bit slow; though only because it was so information intense and fast-paced in trying to describe how this complex galactic corporation/government like entity controls known space. I would suggest maybe adding a preface to better educate the reader to help av...

maewilde25: I liked this, though it dragged on for over 200pages and heaven knows I did not expect the plot twist in the middle. David being Cristiãn. I was wondering when he would show up and didn't know he was there all along. it looks like there should be a sequel, please let there be a sequel. I know the...

internathunal: I was held captive by your sense of style. I would love to see more from you. I enjoyed this immensely.

Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...

debmart6901: I could not put this story down. I stayed up reading when I should have been in bed. could not get enough, could not wait to find how it ended. Great story telling. Great detail. Loved it. The characters were very vivid.

CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...

kim: This is great! Maybe it could just be a little more specific. One of the keys to great writing is describing things in detail. I think you're off to a great start. I wish you much luck.

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