The Tuesday Tales feature continues with a new story this week. The previous story was Shadow of the Beast To read the story, click on each link: Shadow of the Beast Part 1 | Shadow of the Beast Part 2 | Shadow of the Beast Part 3
This story is a a departure from fantasy for me and into a bit of science fiction where the science is more setting and the fiction is nuanced with it. Click this link to read Part 1.
by P. H. Solomon
The light guided Jake along the length of the hall. He passed several doors – all closed – until the guiding illumination stopped him at a door. The door parted from the center and air brushed his face. A projected screen and audio flickered from a darkened corner. “Jake was a good man. A man’s man with exemplary military service.”
“Come in, Mr. Lassitter. Please have a seat.” A young woman with dark hair pulled into a bun stood beside a simple desk of mahogany.
Jake walked into the room and sat.
“I’m Mrs. Walker.” She extended her hand.
“Can you end that.” He pointed to the projection where the speaker droned on about his life. Mona wept.
Mrs. Walker shrugged. “Most people like to view their end, but as you wish.” She tapped the projected interface on her desk and his service flicked into silence.
“Thanks.” He hated seeing Mona cry. He held back the hitch in his throat but his chin quivered. Watching was vain.
“Mr. Lassitter, I’m here to–.”
“Jake, call me Jake.”
Mrs. Walker cleared her throat and her lips pressed into a line. “Ah, these are hard enough without, uh, first names. I have a few instructions for you before your, uh, departure.” She placed a card on the desk. “This is your ID, keep it with you at all times.”
Jake chuckled. “The toe-tag.”
The young woman paused and cleared her throat. “Yes, well. Please leave all your personal belongings with me. Through this door is the escalator to the shuttle to Shady Oaks.”
He chuckled again. “All this is so humorous.”
“Mr. Lassitter, ending your life is a serious matter. Now, if you are ready please proceed to the transport.” She pushed the card toward him.
Jake discarded all his belongings, glanced at his new ID, and read the label: Archangel Lassitter. He stood, took the ID and headed for the door.
“Goodbye, Mr. Lassitter. I hope your journey is peaceful.”
Sunlight blazed into the room as the door hissed open. Wind whooshed around Jake and he stepped outside. He swallowed the lump in his throat.
“Mr. Lassitter?” Ahead another woman beckoned him toward the escalator into the shuttle.
Jake shoved the ID in his pocket and trudged into the wind. They were all so politely aloof. He reached the other woman who looked like Mrs. Walker’s sister.
“You’re the last. Hurry, there’s a schedule.” She took him by the arm and herded him onto the escalator that carried him off the ground.
Jake’s shoe-sole scraped on the door-runner’s seal. Other people his age waited in the cabin. Some of his fellow passengers glanced at him. No one offered greeting and no one looked him in the eye. He sat in the first empty seat. He recognized no one, so which seat he chose mattered little.
Minutes later the shuttle lifted into the sky toward the sun. Jake left who he was.
Thanks for reading today. For more information about my writing, please see the page about my epic fantasy series, The Bow of Hart Saga, which includes two award-winning books.
About the Author