TITLE: DEAD STAR
GENRE: Science Fiction
I dug past my daughters’ toys to the bottom of my purse and slapped the money on the counter.
“Nice pony,” the barista said, pointing.
“Uh, what?” my hand went to the side of my head. Sure enough, tucked behind my ear was the pink pony my girls had been fighting over on their way to daycare. I put it in my pocket. “Yeah, kids you know?”
The barista nodded and handed me my brownie and tea. Caffeine and chocolate could fix anything. Okay, they couldn’t fix anything, but it would distract me from the sleep lost to a two-year-old’s potty accident and my husband cancelling our dinner plans, again. If I didn’t know better…
With my brownie bag in hand, I stepped out into the desert morning. I could still beat my boss to the labs if traffic was light. The cracked sidewalk caught the edge of my Converse. A plum tree sprayed the parking lot in blossoms, and weeds tried to push apart the pavement. They’d be dead in days. The desert was like that.
A high pitched whistle filled the air. Then it dropped in pitch, like a bomb in a video game or mortar fire in a movie about World War I.
My head snapped up to find the source, but before my eyes made it to the sky, my car exploded. On pure instinct, I threw myself away from the fireball.