“Astronaut Forays” (VSS X)

A set of very short fiction pieces that I originally wrote for Twitter.

A disoriented man walked into the railroad station in Havre. He studied the route map for a moment before approaching the counter.

“This is Montana?”

“Yes.”

“I asked to be dropped off in Michigan.”

Solar radiation had taken a toll on Jimmy Hoffa. His skin peeled freely.

***

When the last shuttle left, some crew remained stranded at the Venusian station. The surface quaked, signaling that a resurfacing event was underway.

“I’m not going to force these cyanide capsules on anyone,” a remaining officer said, “but don’t say I didn’t offer.”

***

This was his last day working at the cryogenic outfitters. His years of service dashed due to budget cuts and a decline in deep space travel.

Of course, if there was a need for a rescue mission, he may just be rehired.

He reached in and carefully pulled out a few wires.

***

The escape pod was found drifting just beyond the Oort Cloud.

There was one survivor.

He had taken the liberty of building a bizarre memorial for his deceased crewmates.

Of course, this was constructed from the bones of the dead.

Investigators found the cut marks.

Author: joshuajscully

That’s my picture up there. I’m not totally sure why I look so angry. I may be thinking about how much I hated the Crypt Keeper as a child. I grew up faithfully watching reruns of The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt. Unfortunately, I missed the boat in terms of writing for either of those programs. I do consider both to have been wildly influential when I think back to my earliest thoughts about becoming an author and I’m grateful my parents let me watch those shows as a kid (although there were probably some nights early in my childhood my mother wished she hadn’t let me watch those shows). If you’re familiar with either program, then you know what genres are my focus. I thoroughly enjoy science fiction, suspense, the twist ending, and some horror or supernatural elements as well. Honestly, when I was a kid the Crypt Keeper scared the hell out of me. As an adult, I’ve really learned to embrace the puns. Historical fiction is a favorite of mine as well, and the root of that is shared with my profession. I am an educator by trade, and I teach American History. I consider some of the best writing I’ve ever done to be within the realm of historical fiction and I really enjoy saturating my mind in the research end of those projects. I would make the argument that storytelling is in my blood. Even my sister mulled, very briefly (about 45 minutes), launching a career as a screenwriter! My last name is one of those Irish (and, apparently, formally Manx) ones with a wonderfully researched history -“the story-teller’s descendant”. On of the first day of school each year, I do share that “my name is Mr. Scully, and that rhymes with Kelly”, just so I do not hear the myriad of mispronunciations on the first day. Several years ago, I started a blog similar to this one to highlight my middle years as a teacher. If that aspect of my life is of any interest to you at all, you can still find that blog online. During my summers, I really have time to pursue my writing projects and this blog will highlight some of that work. My first attempts to sit down and write extensively occurred when I was 15, but only a few years ago did I make setting time aside to write a priority. I’ve also benefited wildly over the years from many willing readers among my family and friends. The direction and feedback from those individuals has been invaluable. Outside the world of the written word, I am an educator, basketball coach, lecturer, and (very, very occasionally) a landscaper. I have only ever known Western Pennsylvania as my home. Although I love a good novel, I am absolutely unable to resist the power of the short story. The latter is really what I hope to be remembered for one day.

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