Infinity in Pieces

I didn’t intend to contribute to Inspiration Monday this week, but this one just popped in there without my consent. Can anyone find the word with the double meaning?

* * * * *

I was inspecting the puncture in my chest armor when something slammed me from behind. My body joined the others on the ground, and I rolled until I found the hard flat surface. I grabbed the side of my helmet–a reflex, to fling it off. To breathe free air.

Your world is your suit. Anything outside your suit will bring death until proven otherwise.

This air was not free, and I couldn’t afford what they were charging. On my back, through the dust on my helmet’s visor, I watched the largest moon’s moon, its visible spin, its tarnished brown surface rolling to brilliant pink. Moons of moons. I wanted to go home, to my single, unencumbered moon, my one reliable piece of the infinity of space.

My head swam when I braced my elbows against the ground and pushed up, and wet heat crawled down my arms and back. I moved my eyes to Suit.Status on my helmet’s control panel. Status normal. No breach. All strength left my arms and I fell back, into a slough inside my suit.

My training officer had warned of death outside my suit, never of one inside it.

10 thoughts on “Infinity in Pieces

  1. Well ‘slough’ has several meanings, pronounced differently of course but both would work here. The slough inside your suit could refer to a muddy swamp-like environment because you refer to wet heat—or it could be you dying from dead tissue being separated from your living flesh. We don’t know what happened to cause this, but as usual, we want the next chapter…

    • You got it. I was going for that and its last definition (a condition of despair, helplessness). I’m pretty sure our character is bleeding to death, fast. And the blood and fabric of his suit have created that environment, so he falls back, and squish, he’s in it, and he’s helpless.

      I have this annoying tendency of looking up words I use, just to make sure I’m using them right, even though I know I am. Kind of an OCD thing I guess. But I didn’t know this last definition and when I read it I was like, oh. Must use.

    • Thanks, me too. I like this world and wish I had time to dwell in it. :)
      Your prompts have a strange way of going to work in my brain without my knowledge.

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  3. This is amazing! At first I didn’t even think it was sci-fi, not until I reached the middle. I *love* the writing style and bleak tone. And the ending! So well played!

    • “Bleak tone” is a high compliment. It’s what I go for when I read sci-fi, so to hear something I wrote described like that is huge. Thanks, Juan.

  4. Pingback: Inspiration Monday: synesthesia | bekindrewrite

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