First day of work – (2)

An abrupt alarm sounded, it’s irritating pitched scream stopped with an half unconscious hand that had rose aimlessly to destroy it. A nagging morning headache followed Bret around his room as he readied himself for his first official day in security.

Lead by a hovering info-droid, Bret’s induction took form of brief unmemorable walk through the lower residential sector of the mine, dodging mindless dirty faces and other droids, ending with him being shown his desk at the security station and an explanation of all the amenities.

** asked the info-droid in it’s broken mono-tone voice.

“No that’s all.” replied an irritated Bret, as he sat down at his predecessor’s desk. Looking around the room to what will become his second home from now on.

*!* The info-droid acknowledged with the pre-programmed politeness before hovering off.

“So you must be my new partner? The name’s Sarah.” Spoke the female officer rather huskily in front of Bret as he sat down.

“I guess so. I’m Bret.” he replied, as they politely shook hands.

“Alight everyone!” Announced the chief office. Bret looked up at his slightly grizzled and overweight boss. “We have two new officers joining us today…even though I asked for six…not that the company gives a shit. So make ‘em feel welcomed and all that bollocks.” The chief waved off his statement almost as disinterest as he spoke it. “…apart from that…it’s the same thing as usual.” He re-entered his office to the barrage of calls that expected him.

“Come on.” Sarah instructed by nodding to the exit, putting on her slightly worn leather jacket and holster…“Time for work.”


Laura Steel © 2014

Fond Firework Flashback

I stretched my head back with the first whoosh, it stayed there for the rest of the display. With each bang and flash that followed the memories of my youth flooded back; nothing else mattered. Those days are so far behind me now, and yet I remember; I remember clearly how I watched similar patterns stretching across the sky in a rainbow of colours, that heavy nasel smoke that blanketed down, the glowing trails left by sparklers held in gloved hands that would burn into the back of the eyes. It was just like I was ten again.

Now I am here doing the exact same thing as I once did with my father. My ten year old was huddled in front of me, taking the exceitment. I can only imagine she is wearing the exact same face I did when I first saw fireworks for the first time, only she seems to be braving them far better than I did. Funny how history repeats itself in its special little ways. I hope in time when she’s older she gets to experience the same joy I’m feeling now with her own.


Laura Steel ©2014


Inbound shuttle – (1)

While remaining firmly unconscious and strapped in with their harnesses, the new crew were about to land on the new Mars colony. The shuttle rattled as it pierced the upper atmospheres and it’s thrusters burned white hot as it headed for the beaconed pad. Those who were napping were abruptly woken.

“So how long you here for?” asked a unfamiliar voice noting his waking neighbour.

“…huh?” murmured Bret. Slowly aware, regaining conciousness.

“How longs your stretch?” re-acquired the voice.

“…Oh?…uh…I’m moving here.” Mumbled a still croaky Bret, trying to ease his tired headache with his palm. His one free eye glanced over to the opposite side to focus wearily over to the person who was annoying him.

“Ah career man are ya.’” The antagonizing voice continued. “Me I’m only here a year…got lucky in the work lotto…names Daniel, just call me Dan.”

The entire shuttle jolted, shunting everybody in their harnesses.

“So what you doin’ here career man?” Dan persisted, as the computer alerted to every to remain in the shuttle while the hanger re-compressed.

“I’m the new security officer.” All of the harnesses lifted, freeing the crew. “Hopefully I’ll last longer than the last one.” Bret added.

“Oh?” Dan inquired.

“I’m gonna try not take a fire axe to the head like they did.” Bret smirked towards a now uneased Dan, as both headed towards the shuttle ramp.




Laura Steel © 2014

Down by the river – Limerick

Enjoying waters and blithe sky,
a boating couple floats on by.
they row very loud,
like gods have endowed,
even angels in heaven cry.


Laura Steel © 2014

The Shadowhunter – Winterbound Training

The thick blanket of snow from that evenings fall had yet to settle on the land of Terumbra, the woodland trees and snowfall left the visibility too low to make any sense of direction. Cold, hungry and tired, the young Laurena was out traversing the woodland, under the wing of her Shadowhunter mentor Methias. She didn’t really know why they were out there, she didn’t really trust him, but the young recruit was to be trained on how to be quiet; a vital skill for their trade.

Today the rather novice Laurena could only hear her own footsteps, crunching under the think white blanket, they were so numb she could barely feel her toes. Frustration would have to wait while she learned to copy Methias in his stealth approach, through the twisted black bark and bare intertwining extremities; reaching out like wooden claws, wondering how his footsteps were so silent as his breathing.

“How long will we be out here?” asked Laurena impatiently, rubbing her crossed arms in a vague attempt to keep warm. Methias slowly cocked his head to the side.

“As long it takes…and lower your voice.” his stern reply just barely audible through his cloak’s hood. “..and ease the weight on your feet slowly…control your breathing…in and out the nose.”

Laurena tried her best to mimic her mentor’s movements, but it was in vain…then Methias shot his hand skywards.

“…Hold it!” he whispered. Both ducked down lower until they were almost buried under the snow.

“…what is it?” Laurena replied mimicking his level of voice, startled by his abruptness.

“…we’re not alone…don’t move!” He tried to explain as fast and quietly as he could. The falling snow added to their camouflage.

Through the trees was a vaguely visible shape. A large creature, much larger than anticipated, emerged, carving a path through the snow with its large paws. It’s furry hide swiftly shifted in colour to unmatch it’s surroundings. It rose it’s shallow feline head into the air and took several deep breaths in. It smelt something!

Laurena’s heart was pounding, even it didn’t smell the two of them, she was sure it would hear her heart’s thumping echo inside her chest. She covered her mouth with both of her frozen gloved hands, swiftly blocking the steamy breathing being expelled rapidly in and out. Her eyes narrowed and fixated on the beast, watching so intently, beyond the falling snowflakes than canvassed her eyes. Her feet remained firmly still, if the the fear didn’t cause it, common sense would prevent her fleeing. She was too afraid to do anything else.

After a few terrifying moments the beast gave up, gave a strong snort as if out of frustration. It’s hide shifted back into the white landscape, into obscurity, wandering off through the woodland bored from it’s failed hunt. Methias knew they were downwind from the beast and the wind and snow were too heavy for it too pick up their scent, something he didn’t tell his apprentice.

“Heh heh…that was fun wasn’t it!” lightly chuckled Methias, as he looked back upon his young petrified apprentice.

Laurena gazed upon him with a mixture of disbelief and anger. It was the first time in the five years since she started her training she had heard him laugh. She certainly didn’t expect him to lead them both into danger.

“Not many get to see a Ferapex and live”. He cocked a sidewards smile. “Comeon…we should head back.” Methias started walking towards Umbran, seemingly without the aid of stars or compass, but Laurena understood he knew the way. She knew she could trust him, albeit uneasily, and today proved why.


Laura Steel © 2014