SHARK ORBIT • by William Doonan

Docking at the space station, Dex Branson momentarily forgot about the two-ton shark in the science bay. He was dreaming about cosmonaut Martina Voluskova, “with whom I shall soon rendezvous,” he chortled, eyeing his case of smuggled vodka.

Later, with the shark stowed, the vodka sampled, and Martina Voluskova purring by his side, Dex grinned. “Just you and me, baby. Three whole months!”

“Did you bring the Pringles like you promised?”

He pried open a massive crate to show her. “A three-month supply!” And they made love, drank vodka, and ate Pringles from sunset to sunrise — about forty minutes in orbit. Then they slept.

“Micrometeoroid.” Martina shook him awake. “It passed through the hull, piercing both the hydrogen and the oxygen tanks. The gases are mixing.”

“Not good.” Dex stared at the rising water.

“It gets worse; the shark tank shattered.”

“Don’t worry.” Dex remembered his biology classes. “A shark is a saltwater fish. It can’t survive in fresh water.”

They watched in horror as the Pringles salted up the water.

“What do we do now?” Martina trembled.

Dex caught the dorsal fin out of the corner of his eye. “We swim,” he yelled.


William Doonan is an archaeologist and a mystery writer. His novels Grave Passage and Mediterranean Grave recount the adventures of octogenarian detective Henry Grave, who investigates crimes on cruise ships. He also writes a serialized horror blog — The Mummies of Blogspace 9. If you thought the internet was safe from the undead, you were wrong!


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