Monday, August 20, 2012

Flashfiction - Men In Space

Here's the flashfiction prompt I received...
As much as I love your vampires I also love your men in space. So if the muse descends I would love to hear more about their travels and histories.
I wrote a prequel piece for the novella Moonlust...
 ~~~

Captain Karmykel inspected Will’s ID documents for so long that Will was sure he’d soon declare them a fraud. He wouldn’t be wrong if he did.

It had cost Will almost all his savings, and a blowjob to boot, to get one number changed: his birth year. The money had been worth it. And the blowjob… well, it wasn’t like Will and Naikos had never fooled around before. Naikos used to help in the fields before he found that position at the town’s administrative station. He thought that job would lead him all the way to the Lodge. Will had doubts about that, but Naikos hadn’t mocked him for trying to get off planet, so Will had returned the favor.

“All right,” Karmykel finally said, handing the documents back.

There was something in the way he looked at Will that made Will want to fidget and drop his gaze, the way he always had in school when he didn’t know the answer to a question. But this wasn’t school, and Will wasn’t a kid anymore. He forced himself to keep looking straight at Karmykel and waited. After a few more seconds, Karmykel nodded once and gestured for Will to come with him inside the ship.

“She doesn’t look like much,” Karmykel said, a hint of defensiveness in his words. “But don’t let that fool you, she’s a good ship. Plenty of space, too.”

That might have been true of the cargo bay, but as Karmykel led the way down a corridor the walls suddenly seemed much tighter around Will. He chased the thought away. The alternative was wide open fields, and he had already decided that wasn’t for him.

“Living quarters are this way.” Karmykel stopped by a door; it opened with a light whisper of metal on metal at his touch. “This would be yours.”

Will poked his head inside; a bed, a small table and a stool bolted to the floor, a screen on the wall, a narrow door that looked like it opened on a minuscule bathroom area… It was tiny, but he had expected as much.

“It’s standard accommodation for a commerce ship,” Karmykel said a little gruffly. “If you want anything different, maybe this isn’t the right job for you.”

Will shook his head and smiled. “Back home, I had half that much space and I had to share with two brothers. This is fine.”

A look of understanding crossed Karmykel’s eyes. He’d mentioned something about coming from a farming system, too.

“Well, if you take the job this is all yours. Common area’s this way. That you’ll share with me and the navigator, Jay.” He dropped his voice as he led the way through a dining area and continued beyond. “Whatever you do, don’t ask about his tattoo.”

Before Will could make sense of that, they reached the navigation center. A man was in there, seated behind a console, fiddling with buttons. He pivoted in his chair to face them, and Will understood what Karmykel had meant: the lines of a tattoo curled around Jay’s neck like a thin black snake, branding him as a high-ranking member of the Lodge.

“Jay, this is Will. I might take him on as a deck hand.”

“Finally found someone desperate enough?” Jay said, turning a teasing grin and startlingly clear blue eyes to Karmykel. When they shifted toward Will and looked him up and down, Will needed a second or two to realize Jay was offering him his hand. He raised his own jerkily and gave Jay a awkward handshake. His hand was very warm, and very soft, like he wasn’t used to manual labor. For the first time in his life, Will felt self-conscious about the calluses that marked him as a farm worker.

But not for much longer.

He followed Karmykel back to the cargo bay, listening absently to what it was this ship did, trying to picture himself travelling to other worlds with these two men. It was pretty easy to imagine.

“Any questions?” Karmykel finally asked.

Will had a few of them, but he started with the most important one.

“So, is Blue Eyes just your nav, or is he more than that?”

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