Short Story Exercise

Here is the result of an exercise I did while watching a video:
Lecture #7: Short Stories — With Special Guest Instructor Mary Robinette Kowal.
Sci-fi is not by goto writing genre, so please be kind, but I hope you enjoy. And in honesty I took longer than her recommended times, but I did learn, and get writing practice, which was the aim.

Holding His Breathe
Astride his vibrating iron horse, Ian surveyed the orange landscape. He had to find a place to set his flying steed down, to test the air of this strange planet. The sanitized oxygen that fed his lungs was due to run out in five minutes and thirty-two seconds.
Each previous attempt had bounced him back into space. Rubber tires landing on an equally springy surface was tantamount to two power balls colliding. He came to a stop, shifted gear into neutral and hovered in place to retrieve snow spikes from the back box. Careful not to fall off, as he was sure he would be catapulted into the darkness by the unforgiving land without a means to get back, he snapped his hopeful solution on and tightened the caps. He nudged the bike back into gear and took a slow decent onto the tangerine trampoline.
The silver lance glinted in the lukewarm sun before piercing into the ‘land’. Goo oozed from the holes created by the weaponized 2 tires, leaking rubber balls lifting Ian’s transport into the air and creating a type of hovercraft.
Holding tight he yanked on the steering wheel and pulled the bike into a vertical hang, dislodging the spheres from beneath to sail into the air. Glancing back, he saw inches below the exhaust the surface had become darker and bubbled. He rolled the throttle, roaring the engine in place. The sticky area grew. Ian flipped back horizontal and sank into the patch with lightening speed. The ‘earth’ held the tires like gum on a shoe.
With 30 seconds left he plugged the grounding rod of the digital air surveyor into the tacky ground and switched it on. Three, two, one… holding his breathe the handheld device still showed no light. His lungs felt as if they were about to burst… and the machine lit up green. Ian whipped his helmet off and took a deep breath.

By Debbie Gravett © 2021.01.02

Image by DangrafArt from Pixabay

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