THIRD CLOSEST TO THE SUN
THIRD CLOSEST TO THE SUN, winner of the Audio Arcadia Short Story Prize, 2015, is published in On Another Plane: a Collection of Winning Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Stories. As the only survivor of a plane crash, Daniel seeks an explanation at the Soul Centre: an organisation who can map the route to the Divine. In exchange for his money, Daniel receives his answer inside a small, black bottle. Available to purchase through Amazon in paperback and ebook, Lulu in paperback and ebook, and through Barnes and Noble and Kobo.
‘Hello?’ he calls out.
‘Hello?’ he calls again.
‘Go. Away,’ comes a reply, between gasps.
He steps into the plane, which creaks and sways with his weight. He edges forward and pauses beside a body. The glassy eyes point at the ceiling. He takes a breath and strides over the corpse. A few more steps and he sees the woman. Her face strained with focus. One hand holds her stomach, which is wet with blood. He reaches out.
‘No. Leave me.’
Daniel retracts his hand, confused. ‘I can help you.’
‘No. Leave me.’ Her breath is weak. ‘Go. Away.’ ‘Please let me help you.’ ‘I…said…no. I want. To die. I…have never…died…like this…before.’