Red Dust in the Wind

Avatar Author: Jeffool Digital vagabond and opportunistic slacker, I've yet to find anything I can master for aptness of first ruining through a thorough shalacking of indifference and self-pity. Read Bio

He grounded her? On Mars? She stormed to her quarters, fists clenched tightly, fingernails digging into her skin. She punched her locker, sat, and stared out the window, over the Martian plain.

Everyone had been working nonstop for months since they landed. The soil had been clogging matter harvesters far worse than lab estimates predicted. Only a few were operating perfectly; some had clogged and shut down to prevent overheating.

They were fixing Harvester Six; she taking samples, her supervisor cleaning soil from underneath a conveyor belt, when the belt jolted to life! The tension in the belt began dragging him up the belt, to the thresher!

“Help, get me loose,” he shouted! She ran to his rescue, pulling him from underneath the belt. But back at the base he accused her of turning the harvester back on, and watching for minutes as it dragged him! He jailed her in her own room.

She looked at her palms to see the blood already drying. Dry red specks flaked off of her hand like dust in the Martian winds.

View this story's details


Comments (3 so far!)

Average Reader Rating

  1. Avatar Mostly Harmless

    Those first two lines are really good. Really drew me in. It doesn’t quite stay at that level – the reason for her grounding is a little boring… We’re on Mars here, think of the possibilities!

    A couple of spelling and grammar things as well… I think you mean ‘clenched’ instead of ‘clinched’, and in the fourth para ‘dragged’ instead of ‘drug’? Also ‘estimates estimated’ feels a little rough… ‘estimates had predocted’ or something along those lines might read better…

    A nice premise here, could be REALLY interesting with a polish! MH :)

  2. Avatar Jeffool

    MH; thanks for the grammar tips, I really appreciate them!

    As for further polishing, I’m going to leave things “as is” to better show any progress I make over the coming year (see the bio.) And as for expanding on the possibilities, well, I’ve got a year of ficly-writing to go. Trust me when I say I’m actually writing with future sequels in mind. ;)

  3. Avatar Browncoatben

    I’ve found it difficult in this short-fiction format to develop long story arcs. It seems I always feel like I need to end every ficly with a dramatic DAH DAH DUMMMMMM moment. Makes it hard to build the overall suspense.

    That said, this carried on Dkskully’s story nicely. The imagery is still there. The tangible reality of the environment is still there. The general distaste for Mars is there.

    The ending felt a bit rushed, though. Seems like we made too big a jump from her helping him to the imprisonment.


Inspired by

Even through the heavily tinted portals of the habitation unit, she could almost taste the crimson sky. It was so much worse when they were o...

In the Shadow of Olympus Mons by dkscully

This story's tags are