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Escape from Liberty

Left Behind

By Michele JonesPublished 7 months ago Updated 7 months ago 3 min read
Photo by Sydney Holliday

Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say.

Layla laid her cloth out and pulled out her stones. So much had been going on, she needed some reassurance. She reached in and pulled out three stones laying them from right to left. Her mother taught her to interpret the stones, the right her current situation, the center a challenge, the left an action to address the challenge.

Photo by Sydney Holliday

She didn’t believe what she saw. It simply wasn’t possible. Layla picked them up and cast them a second time, and a third. The readings were the same all three times. Danger. Escape. Leave. How could the stones be more wrong. Guess there is a first time for everything. She gathered the stones, put them away, and went to bed. After staring at the clock, watching the hours pass, she finally fell asleep.

A squealing siren and clanging bell woke Layla. The red emergency strobe flashed brightly in rhythm with the sounds and lit up her room brighter than the seven suns. Ugh, not another evacuation drill. Why couldn’t they do this during the day. The urge to dive under her pillow only lasted a moment.

Evacuate. Evacuate. This is not a drill. Evacuate.

The warning continued as Layla hurriedly dressed in her evacuation gear. Protocol dictated she have a go-bag packed, and she did, but it needed a few more things—things she could easily grab on her way out.

Layla stuffed her bag with her stones, her portable, her communicator, spare chips, maintenance bag, and a holo-ring. On the way out the door, she grabbed her keys, food source, identifier, and breathing tube. Station Liberty must be compromised.

Evacuate. Evacuate. This is not a drill. Evacuate. The red light flashed faster. She had to make it to the Evacuation Chamber before the light stopped flashing and the warning ceased or she’d be left behind. Something that would be strictly enforced.

Photo by Barb Holliday

As she ran toward the chamber she remembered. The box. She stopped abruptly and sprinted back. Her parents told her to always keep the box hidden. They warned her never tell anyone about the box or share its contents. The box was the key to the past and the gateway to the future.

She flung open the door, grabbed the box from its hiding place, and crammed it in her go-bag. Layla once again ran down the hall toward the evacuation chamber, thankful that her room was close. Before she entered the chamber, Layla noticed several armed guards. Why? What could they possibly be guarding? The space station had more than enough ships to get everyone out safely. Right?

The closer she got to boarding the more cautious she became. She overheard several of the officers discussing the emergence of a black hole and the Galaxies of Dado and Runa being pulled in. She even saw a picture on their communicator.

Collage by Krista Lane and Zak Jones

Their station orbited Dado’s seventh moon, Juno. To get to safety, they would need to escape to the next closest galaxy, Fuga, and that was several star years away. It would take three days at hyper speed to get there. Not a pleasant trip.

As Layla waited her turn to board, and it would be a while since she hadn’t made it into the evacuating chamber yet, she heard the first ship leaving the station.

Wham. Layla pitched forward, falling, narrowly missing the person in front of her. She landed hard on her back and looked up into Kyle’s face.

“I’m so sorry, Layla. I didn’t want to be left behind and wasn’t paying attention. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, Kyle. But seriously, you need to be more careful. And you’re not going to be left behind.”

“Listen, I overheard Commander Tigue telling his wife they didn’t have the means to get everyone off the station because they didn’t have enough fuel generated for an evacuation..”

“What? That can’t be true. Protocol dictates that otherwise.”

“I’m telling you what I heard. Now, C’mon, lets get on one of those ships and get out of here.”

The metallic bang echoed through the chamber as the doors closed to send another ship from the station. Several minutes passed since the launch, but the doors never reopened.

The crowd grew restless, and people pounded on the doors. Nothing happened, the doors stayed closed. The screams echoed in the hall. Crying, begging them to open the doors. Still nothing. The doors remained closed, and the screams got louder.

Kyle was right. They were going to be left behind. Left behind to die.

Sci Fi

About the Creator

Michele Jones

Michele Jones is an author whose work explores the darker side of a character's psyche.

When she isn't working, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and doing charity work.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (15)

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  • Veronica Coldiron7 months ago

    I can't tell if this is a beginning or an end, but both are awesome! LOL!

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Lilly Cooper7 months ago

    I agree with Ashley! Part 2 please!

  • Cathy holmes7 months ago

    This is wonderful. Well done.

  • Ashley McGee7 months ago

    Part 2?! ;)

  • Harmony Kent7 months ago

    Fast paced and intriguing. I love the questions this first chapter leaves me with. Excellent writing, Michele 💕🙂

  • Babs Iverson7 months ago

    Impressive and creative story with perfect pictures. Loving this!👏💖💕

  • Ashley Shiflett7 months ago

    Love, love, love! This kept me inrigued. Great job!

  • Kat Thorne7 months ago

    Great story, I'd love a follow-up!

  • C. Rommial Butler7 months ago

    Tightly written. I like the runes/stones touch at the beginning. Now I want to know what's in the box!

  • Nikki Little7 months ago

    This jumps right in and keeps it going! Would love to see more of this to see where you take it. Great job!

  • Heather Hubler7 months ago

    This was different and very engaging with a good build up of suspense! I liked where you ended it, giving the reader so many questions needing answered. I wanted to keep going. Well done :)

  • G.B. Veen7 months ago

    Loved the idea of the stones here. It's very engaging and hope Kyle and Layla figure out a plan to escape.

  • Russell Ormsby 7 months ago

    You have a great narrative voice! A pleasure to listen to in my head as I read. In other words you choose the right words to explain things, you use a good pace to let the story unfold and your dialogue was believable.well structured and well done. Best wishes and good luck.👍

  • I loved the introduction of the runestones predicting what was going to happen. I want to know what next . Loved it

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