Horror Science Fiction Suspense

Year 2158

Salih checks the Oximeter level on his right arm. Red dot is blinking alarmingly.

He tries to breathe normally. But, it's difficult. It's like trying to take a quick breath before being thrown into a deep water when you're still a child.

The night fog thickens before him. Leaning back against a gravel, he measures the weight of his plasma gun in both hands. He wishes for a nice bed to rest. How long has it been? he thought. 14 hours?

He has a narrow escape from one of the Nameks awhile back. His spacesuit has withstood the alien's lava-web. However, he remembers from space training that Namek's saliva can reach up to 200 degrees Celsius.

Salih's breathing slows down as danger descends. He scans across the grim thickening fog and slides down against the gravel. He checks his boots. Mud caked its soles. He has ran across a muddy field to escape from the alien creature. The mud was caused by the weather. It has been raining in Planet Rafet for the past 7 cycles.

"In planets beyond our milky way, days and years are not measured like the ones we have on earth," Professor Hamid from University of Brunei Darussalam said during Salih's first year in college. "There are thousand of moons and it is near impossible to differentiate day and night."

"How do we measure day and night then, prof?" asked one of the engineering students.

"You will know once you're there."

Now that Salih is here, it is interesting to note that all of those theories and practical experiments he has done throughout college have come to full use only when he is placed in imminent danger.

Salih tries the caller button. "Calling Space Y. Do you copy?" The sky above spreads out purplish hue that scientist claims to have been caused by the four moon-sized Suns that orbits the Crono System. Planet Rafet has at least 50 moons. The gravity pull on Planet Rafet is unpredictable. In certain cycle, there are times when the ground melts, which causes the surface to evaporate and solidifies the condensed air into new surfaces. Salih is resting on one of this newly formed surfaces up in mid-air, hoping that his stunt could hide him from the Nameks.

"Mouse Travels. Do you copy?"

No response.

He can hear his breathing again. He read somewhere that human lungs shrink when they are in danger. He agrees with this theory. It is getting very difficult to breathe.

Something suddenly snores underneath.


Salih pushes his back against the gravel. The plasma gun weights like a 10kg dumbbell. Tightening his grip around it, he slowly spreads his legs open. Looking down, he observes through the surface. A creature the size of an Earth's elephant appears out of the night fog. From where Salih is hiding, he can see the alien's back pulsating red and green flashes rapidly. A professor had mentioned about this carnivorous creature during one of the lectures.

"When you ever travel into space and encounter a Namek with surging red and green flashes on its back, you better get ready."

"Ready for what?"

The lecturer simply smiles because he is the type of lecturer who wants his students to become curious and do an independent research for the answer.

Salih wishes he has done his homework that semester. Trapped on a condensed cloud that could melt anytime soon, Salih checks his oxygen level again. The red dot is blinking furiously now.

Salih swallows a lump down his throat. It tastes like ambuyat (a tapioca starch dish that was once a favorite meal for families in Brunei Darussalam).

Salih studies the back of the Namek. The creature is right below him. He wishes that his radar detector is still working so that he can detect any Nameks roaming the area. He steadies his aim at the Namek below. All he need is just one hit.

"How do you kill an alien the size of your house?" Salih's best friend, Abdul, asked one afternoon on Earth.

"Shoot the face."

"Namek has no face," Abdul said with a laugh.

"The mid section?"

"The stomach you mean?" Abdul guffawed. "Namek has no stomach. It's body is likened our reptilian creatures here."

"How then?"

"My friend. I have been a space marine for 5 years and I have learnt a lot." Abdul flaunted his right cyborg-arm. "This is the scar I earned from the war for humanity in 2131!"

"You haven't answered my question yet."

"What's your question again?"

The Namek snores again. Salih's eyes widening. He is face-to-face with the creature. The only barrier between them is the think layer of solidified cloud surface. The ambuyat that slides down his throat now reaches his gut. Something retched is trying to reach out from his stomach. He wants to throw out.

The creature widens its mouth. Thorns of teeth jut out like broken glasses in a jar. Salih foresees a dreadful death if he were the victim.

"Just wait for an opportunity," Abdul finally answered after a gulp of Root Beer.


Abdul yawned and gestured a gun to his face.

"Oh? Just like that?"

"Yes," Abdul said with his mouth still open. "That's the only way."



The Namek yawns at him.

Salih squeezes the trigger softly.

What if there are more? Salih stops squeezing mid-way. But this is my only opportunity.

The Namek shrieks all of a sudden.

Oh no! It is calling his friends!

Salih aims at its mouth. The surface of the solidified cloud breaks. The laser beam from the plasma gun pierces through it and cuts through the alien's face. Salih floats down along with the shattered cloud-surface like broken glasses. He lands knees first on the wet ground and rolls across to safety.

The alien is dead.

Salih wants to celebrate.

But, something snores a few feet across in the night fog.

I should have known.

Salih checks his oxygen level. It is no longer blinking.

Something moves ahead...


May 17, 2021 17:19

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Ayush Kakar
03:02 May 25, 2021

I liked the part about the oxygen level


Khair Harun
07:18 May 27, 2021

Thank you!!! No idea where the idea came from!!! Hahahha


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in Reedsy Studio. 100% free.