Survival of the Fittest. Flash Fiction.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Sorry for missing Friday, I wasn’t having the greatest day Crohn’s wise and thought I posted to let everyone know, won’t happen again!

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“How long have they been down there?”
“thirty-five hours, there’s still four left.”
“Four? Are you sure?”
“Yes, we’re positive, they’ve lasted much longer than any of our predictions. They might even beat the record.”
“We’re still a few hours away from that, but anything could happen.”
Ben looked down at his screen, he could see a man and a woman, covered in muck and streaks of blood, she was being half carried, half dragged by the man. Both of them looked haggard and weak, nothing like they had when they arrived a week ago, he brought up their profiles and shook his head, unrecognisable. He switched back to his view of them, they’d been separated from the others by what he almost affectionately referred to as the “Hell Beasts.”, they wouldn’t be around for much longer. Almost on cue a Hell Beast came into frame, it was about seven foot tall and bulged with muscles, it had two arms and three legs and ran with an awkward, loping gait. Its face looked similar to that of a bulldog, large, flapping jowls around the mouth, its nose jutted out in a small snout and its four eyes were grouped on either side of its head. Ben watched as the beast hunted them, though it was more playing than hunting. He winced as the Hell Beast lunged at the couple, he glanced away from the screen, “Two more down.”
“Confirmed, two remaining.”
Ben flicked his screen to the other two, now it was just sitting around until they were dead then they’d have all that data to go through. Ben didn’t really understand the point of this, but the company was paying them well enough that he didn’t question it. The people on the planet below were volunteers and while they may not have knew exactly what they were really getting themselves into, they were told of the dangers and risks.

Ben yawned and stretched, they last couple had been going now for four hours, only half an hour away from the record, everyone was on edge. The pair were hiding out in a cave system, one which they hadn’t been able to map fully, a few people suspected there was some colony of godawful creatures down there destroying the probes and cameras. The trackers on the pair still worked though, so maybe they’d get some kind of a map at least. The lights on the screen flashed twice, then went dark, someone called out “final two down.” a frisson of disappointment moved through the room, they had been so close. Ben stretched and stood up from his station, everyone else was doing the same, as he walked out of the room he heard a few people talking about getting drinks but he was far too tried, he’d been up since it all began and had popping stims to keep himself awake. All he wanted to do now was collapse on his bed and sleep for a few hours before they had to start shifting through the data, they only had a week before the next batch of twenty arrived.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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