Guy Martin’s eyes sprang open as the comet roared past the space station. He was strapped in, seated before the observation window in the International Space Station’s new lab. He watched in horror as the object slammed into the Earth. In seconds a huge dust cloud appeared and began to spread across the surface of the planet.
Guy’s thoughts went to Stacy, his lover. They’d had a tremendous row, resulting in Guy sleeping in his favorite location rather than in the crew berth they shared. Desiring to share this horrific moment with his dearest, Guy unstrapped and turned to float out of the lab. Before he reached the compartment door, it opened. Guy’s heart leapt as he anticipated the coming embrace.
A two-legged beast of a different type emerged instead, sending Guy scrambling backward. The creature, tall and red with a tail, defied the laws of gravity and walked into the lab. The door snapped shut behind it.
“Simply horrible,” it said, using perfect English spoken with a West Texas twang.
Guy, too stunned to converse with the Devil, only nodded.
“I can reverse things, you know.”
Guy’s fingers, anchored on the back of the observation chair, tightened their grip.
“I ask one task. Fundamental, actually. I need you to kill everyone on this station. One act of evil, a sign of your devotion, and I will make it so the comet never struck your brethren on Earth.”
Guy’s mind flashed to Stacy and the others. His eyes lifted from the creature and fell upon the devastated planet. The dust cloud had spread over all of Europe. In the time it took his eyes to transit the distance from Earth to the creature, Guy had recalled a life of faith and a life spent in prayer and hope. He had never succumbed to evil and he refused to give in to evil now. He would not, could not, murder his beloved one. He would trust in the true God to save mankind.
With love and prideful faith overflowing in his heart, he spoke a single word. “No,” he said.
Guy awoke in the observation chair, his chest heaving as he struggled to breathe. He beheld the Earth, perfect, as usual, from so high above. The joy he felt disappeared as he realized that he was not getting enough oxygen. He unstrapped and floated to the compartment door. He hit the button but the door refused to open. Guy floated back to the intercom and opened a ship-wide channel. With as much breath as he could muster he spoke his situation into the mic. Back at him flowed the smooth voice of his lover.
“Darling, I took the deal.”
Barry Davis is a University of Pennsylvania graduate who currently lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two children. He has written screenplays, novels and short stories. He has had several short stories accepted for publication in webzines and print magazines. His novel The Bottom, a gritty urban crime tale set in 1970s Philadelphia, is currently being shopped by Gary Heidt of Fine Print Literary Management.