Friday Fictioneers: The Last Walk


In the Third Era, settlers came to Rygar IV by the hundreds, escaping from the over-crowded conditions which plagued their former homes. Metallic and brittle, the so-called Last Walk signified the last steps colonists would take, perhaps ever. In many cases, hope and oxygenators were their sole companions. Some would drown. Many died.

Thanks to these early settlers, Rygar IV now boasts domed cities, artificial islands, and of course our precious deep-sea mines. We who bask in the lights of the Blue City, who gaze in peace upon the loveliness of our Twin Stars, may we never forget.


This is my weekly submission for Friday Fictioneers, where every week we write 100-word stories in response to a prompt selected by our fearless leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. For more stories, click on the frog!


After visiting a lot of sites involved in the A-Z Challenge. I’ve decided to try to devote the rest of my posts to speculative flash fiction. Writing one post a day is crazy-manic, but I feel like I’m learning a lot.


Life isn’t always easy. Sometimes, it becomes impossible, literally.

In her regular evals, supervisors often called Deana “upbeat” and “positive” and “a joy to be around.” She liked to say things like Attitude is everything and Never give up. Right now, she was terrified, wondering how they could possibly make it out of this alive.

Slowly, the backup backup plan came into laborious, slow realization. Days and days of planning gave way to drifting sands, unyielding rocks which looped and whorled around their base.

Supplies dwindled.

Within their domed walls, time passed: days, weeks, months, stretching out like the bleak and barren landscape, until the rescue ships arrived. By then, nearly a year had passed since the incident.

In the final report, drawn in relentlessly bureaucratic, non-descript typeface: Life on Mars not yet sustainable. Further deliberation needed. Fortunately, all settlers were rescued in time, thanks to careful planning and determination. Data collected will be priceless in easing over-population on earth, one day.


This image was acquired at the Viking Lander 2 site with camera number 2. The rounded rock in the center foreground is about 20 centimeters wide. The angular rock to the right and further back than the rounded rock is about 1.5 meters across. The dark facet on the upper right edge of the angular rock has a color similar to basalts on Earth. There are two trenches that were dug in the regolith to the right of the rounded rock, as well as one behind and slightly to the left. The gently sloping troughs between the artificial trenches and the angular rock which cut from the middle left to the lower right corner of the picture are natural surface features. This synthetic high resolution color image was created by combining standard low resolution Viking Lander color images with standard high resolution Viking Lander black and white images, using image processing techniques. In simple terms, the colors are separated from the color image. Using the computer, those colors are then painted onto high resolution images covering the same area. The image has had its colors balanced to approximate what a person would see on Mars. Since the Martian atmosphere carries extremely fine-grained red dust in suspension the “on Mars” images are redder. Credit: Mary A. Dale-Bannister, Washington University in St. Louis.