This was my entry for The Bridport Prize flash fiction category.(maximum 250 words). It didn’t win anything. Oh well. Here it is anyway.
The klaxon had stopped annoying Thea and the many warning lights no longer threatened her concentration. The labyrinthine machinery behind her rattled and shook as she gained velocity, using the engines and Jupiter’s gravity to accelerate her tiny vehicle.
The engineering was solid, but a frisson of anxiety coursed through her veins as the shuddering threatened to tear her diminutive craft into pieces, long before she reached the speed required. The minutes ticked by agonisingly slowly and the display moved inexorably towards the red line that would show when she could trigger the wormhole generator. Sweat beaded on her forehead as adrenaline heightened each of her senses. She could taste ozone in the air she was breathing and her eyes darted around the instruments. She clung to the joystick which did nothing at this speed other than give the illusion of control.
As the marker neared its destination, an almost soporific feeling of calmness filled her mind and her breathing slowed. A simulated voice matched the display indicating she had passed critical speed. Thea waited thirty interminable seconds, then pushed the button. Ahead, a black disc blanked out the stars and Jupiter’s bands; it was now or never. She pressed the second button and the darkness enveloped her completely.
No sound, no light, no senses at all. Only her mind remained, trying to count the seconds, desperately hungry for sensation to return. Everything became nothing. Time stretched to infinity… And Thea said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Hope you enjoyed that!