Survival was hard enough but when your space station was half destroyed and the population was slowly trickling away it became even harder. Paulina lived with the scars of the accident that had nearly killed their station. She wasn’t sure if she could live with the plan her lover Tina and their friends had come up with to revive the station’s failing future.
It was hard enough to live with the ghosts of the dead in her heart. Paulina wasn’t sure she could stand to be surrounded by them all the time.
Ghosts of the Dead is a near future SF story of recovery from disaster, regaining your strength and moving into the future.
Ghosts of the Dead
By Meyari McFarland
1. Water Damage
“Ugh,” Paulina complained. “It stinks.”
“The whole station stinks,” Tina said with a shrug that was anything but casual. “Will until the filters are all replaced.”
That was true enough that Paulina didn’t reply. The smell of smoke and melted plastic had almost gotten familiar in the last couple of months. It lingered on Paulina’s tongue, stained the back of her nose until the burning seemed normal.
Nothing was normal, not anymore. Too many people were dead. Too many had fled the station with what little they could salvage. Paulina had a moment of vertigo as she remembered the burnt and twisted wreckage of the other half the station drifting away with Keiko Lewis still chattering away about keeping people safe.
She’d died. Her body was still in the wreckage a few thousand klicks away. She wasn’t the only one ‘buried’ in vacuum. Paulina shut her eyes against the rush of faces she’d never see again. So many people had died but Paulina had been left behind to struggle on through life. The too-familiar sourness of vomit rose at the back of her throat, threatening to spill Paulina’s meager mushroom and spinach piroshky out onto the stained carpet covering the floor.
“It smells like mold,” Paulina said once she’d pushed the nausea down again. “We can’t buy a place that’s full of mold, Tina.”
“We can fix it,” Tina replied as she pushed the theatre’s double doors open so that they could see the stage and seats.
“Sure’n it’s a beautiful sight,” Boss Johnson said in the back of Paulina’s head. His accent was as off in memory as it had been in real life. “Perfect place to take a lovely lady fer a night of fun.”
Paulina cringed away from the flashback. She didn’t want to remember. Her first date with Tina had been to see an amateur production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in this theatre. Tina had grinned when Paulina marched up and asked if she wanted to go. She’d been so nervous that she’d almost shouted it, much to the amusement of her and Tina’s coworkers out on the Docks.
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