Excerpt: Deleted

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His eyes narrowed on a mostly concealed tunnel. What he needed was in there. He stumbled over the rocks to the cave with wide eyes, heart pounding, a spray canister his only weapon. Frames and gravel crunched under his feet, ghosts of those who’d come before to save it all, and he straightened his shoulders. It would be worth it if he served his purpose.

  It wasn’t hard to find the right spot. The piles of bones surrounding the bare dirt said the hardest part was yet to come and he pushed forward, mind insistent. He would do what he had come for no matter how bad things got.

   The unforgiving ground didn’t want to give up its treasure and the digging went slow. His tools had been lost in the crash and his hands soon bled as he scooped gritty palmfulls of rock, dirt, and bone from the circle. At least he had the tiny light from his belt to keep him company, the spray canister there as well…

   Had he heard something? His eyes widened as another scratch echoed off the dark, dank cave around him. They were coming! Panic flared and he began to dig frantically, dirt flying out of the widening hole.

   The sounds grew steadily louder, the clicks and clacks terrifying him and the man couldn’t stop himself from moaning in fear but he didn’t stop working, and when he hit something metal, his speed increased. 

He cleared it as fast as he could, the rectangular box glowing with nicely centered letters, waiting patiently to be used, but the man’s time was up, the Crawlers upon him and he lunged forward, spraying the canister of saltwater at the huge spiders. 

   His body felt the pause, felt the whole system shudder at the blast of hated salt, and it gave him enough to time to drop his weight onto the box, activating it.

The spiders moved over him, the pain of his leg vanishing excruciating, and then the feeling was gone, his limb replaced, and he was being jerked backward, flung down. His hands paddled backward, putting the dirt over the button and he tried not to fight it as his motions were repeated in reverse. His feet moved him out of the cave and he closed his eyes as the ship ‘s pieces flew toward him. It was like wrecking a second time, being flung about the ship that was rebuilding itself around him, and then he was in the air, moving toward deep space and he let himself breath again.

 Thank Goodness for the UNDO button. He hadn’t meant to hit delete.

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