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by Phil Temples

The ship fell from the heavens in an uncontrolled descent. When it encountered the edge of the planet’s atmosphere it was buffeted about mercilessly, like some ancient earth schooner riding an angry sea.

On board, the Captain furiously punched at a row of buttons on the console. Angry buzzers annunciated the crew’s impending doom.

“Shut those damn things off, Henricks!”

“Aye, Captain.”

“Jeffries, what about turbos?”

“Off line, sir.”

“Retro thrusters?”

“Failed, sir.”

There was a brief moment of silence.

“We’re screwed.”

No one challenged the Captain’s last statement.

“Lady, gentlemen--it’s been a pleasure serving—“

The aft wing sheared off and shattered the command module portal. Everything not fastened down flew toward the gaping hole. In seconds, all the air was gone.


A bipodal creature looked up into the cloudless sky. What he saw terrified him. He began to run, shouting loudly.

“I saw the sky on fire! Something was falling! It’s going to come down on our heads! You should all run. Take cover while you can!”

The village elder shook his comb in disgust.

“Listen very carefully, because I’m only going to say this once, Chicken Little.  You shut up!”