Tuesday 5 September 2017

The Pyramids of Pluto (A Free Flash Fiction Story by Graham Downs)

For this month, I decided to post a story that I submitted a couple of months ago to The Short Story and Flash Fiction Society's Flash Fiction Contest #13. I didn't win that time, but that doesn't mean the story's not good - it just means it wasn't what they were looking for at the time. So without further ado, here is The Pyramids of Pluto. I hope you enjoy it!

“Can you believe it,” asked the astronaut. “We’re the first humans to stand on Pluto?”

“Absolutely. And it only took us three months to get here.” He pointed at the massive structures in the distance. “I never thought I’d see it with my own eyes. They look exactly like the pyramids on Earth. And those clouds. For five hundred years, we believed there was no atmosphere here.”

He began to take off his helmet.

“Uh, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

“Relax, you big baby,” said the other, and punched him in the arm. He removed his helmet and breathed deeply.

“And?” asked his friend.

“I’m a little dizzy. The oxygen density’s not as high as back home, but I’ll survive.”

The first astronaut removed his own helmet. “You’re right. It’s not so bad. Although Houston’d be having a cow right now if they knew.”

The other chuckled. “Let’s take a look at those pyramids.”

They shuffled on towards the structures in the distance in their heavy EVA suits. Even without helmets, the effect was comical. The silence was deafening. The total desolation. No crickets, no night-life... no life whatsoever.

“Do you think the beings that made those, made the ones on Earth, too?” It was the second astronaut, the one who had removed his helmet first. The sound of his voice made his friend jump.

“That’s what they say.”

The questioner nodded, and they continued their trek in silence.
Eventually, the duo reached the entrance to one of the giant structures. It was even bigger up close than they had imagined.

“That’s strange.” The first astronaut pointed at the door. Where there should have been a giant stone slab, there was a pile of rubble.

“Do you think we’re not the first humans here, after all?”

“I dunno. Let’s go inside.”

The two gingerly stepped over the rubble, and into a dark corridor. A blinding flash of light hit them full in the face.


As their eyes adjusted, the two began to realise who it was.

“Doctor Jameson. Is that you? You’ve been missing for months.”

“Damn right it’s me. I beat you to it. I snuck onto the unmanned probe six months ago. And now, this planet belongs to me.”

“Doctor, you need to come with us. How have you been surviving?”

“I’m not going anywhere. There’s algae in these catacombs. Enough to keep a man alive for the rest of his life. And I’m staying here.”

“Ookaay,” said one of the astronauts, as the two backed away. “We’ll just leave you here while we get back to the lander. We’ll be on our way.”

“Oh, no you won’t,” said the doctor, who had produced a gun from somewhere and was now pointing it at the astronauts’ heads. “I won’t have you running back to Houston and telling everyone where I am. You’re staying right here with me. I got here first. I won, gentleman. And what do they say? ‘The winner takes it all?’”


By the way, if you'd like to read the story that did win that competition, click here.

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