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Playing Together

Eric Fomley's work has appeared in Galaxy's Edge, Flame Tree Press, and Inferno! Volume 6: Tales of the Worlds of Warhammer. You can read more of his fiction on his website ericfomley.com or follow him on Twitter @PrinceGrimdark.

You're in the living room this time, but the horrible look on mom's face is the same no matter which way you play it. Her bottom eyelids swell with tears as her mouth hangs open.
"How?" Her voice cracks.
It hasn't gotten easier. You're pretty sure someone's wringing the air from your lungs.
"It was an accident. We snuck out to do an orbital walk. We were just messing around and his suit ripped. I tried to patch the leak, but he couldn't breathe. We were too far away from the airlock. I couldn't save him."
This time she sinks to her knees and screams.
Your vision blurs as you stand over her. You don't know what to do, what to say.
This is all your fault.
The door slides open and you quickly end the program. Mom walks into the empty holoroom with a smile on her face, until she sees yours.
"Hey, what's the matter? Where's your brother?"
You swallow hard.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, October 21st, 2021


Author Comments

I enjoy playing with structure when writing flash. This particular structure was to show the ending before the beginning. Intrigued, it hit me that hologram simulations would work great with this. Imagine practicing the worst conversations with people. What a horrible thing.

- Eric S. Fomley
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