A momentary absence of pain. Rationality separates from context. A quiet moment, a slow breath. Enough time to settle, then the bottom falls out. Shadows on the walls.

Realspace asserts itself. Spheres resolve themselves into buoys and entry markers. The board starts to sing — *entry path traversal *entry alignment invalid *velocity unbounded *collision imminent.

He’s entered too close, too fast, out of control. Ed will pull his license for this. Heh, that’s funny. Will they pull his license before or after they clean the blood from the cabin? He’s delirious. Look at the walls.

Pull yourself in. Fire the balance thrusters. Engage alignment controls. The lights blur… darken. Hold on. Hold on. Lights refuse to resolve. He can’t hear the panel singing. Hold on. There’s blood on the walls. He has to hold on. They have to know. Too much blood on the walls.

Jo Rhett writes in California.

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Every Day Fiction