flash fictionissue 5

The Galactic Well at the Edge of Existence

Riley Cross

Eo stirred the well with a silver spoon. The waters of space and time rippled in response. He waited for them to calm, watching patiently as galactic stars beaded across the now placid surface.

A myriad of tools lay before him, spread across a linen cloth. Using tweezers, he extracted each bright star before piling them onto his tongue. A faint, youthful fire coursed through Eo’s veins before dissolving into sugary bliss. Eo sighed, apprising the dark spots dotting his thin skin. He needed more nourishment.

He stirred the well listlessly, as he had done a thousand times before. A new host of young stars appeared, but none ripe enough for his tastes. Planets emerged, like uncut gems.

One held Eo’s gaze; its blue and green patches indicated rare balance. He scooped the pea-sized planet onto his spoon, then passed it through his hand-held metal detector. His stomach growled with pleasure as the detector listed off the planet’s rich resources along with the tag, “Earth.”

Thousands of screams erupted from the planet as Eo tilted the morsel towards his open gullet. He was about to swallow when he suddenly remembered; he hadn’t checked the planet’s age.

Scowling, he pulled out a magnifying glass. Despite the delicious mounds of unearthed metal, the planet was relatively young for its level of decay. But given time, the inhabitants would finish the job, making it sweeter and more satisfying to consume.

Eo returned the planet to the well, noted its position for future reference.

He would wait.


Riley Cross is a Language Arts teacher and busy mom who is constantly pondering whether she should drink coffee cold or just reheat it (again). She adores SciFi and Dystopian literature. Riley’s work has been featured by the Australian Writer’s Center, top ten list for most New York City Midnight contest rounds, and VampCat Magazine. She can be found on the Twitterverse @WritingByRiley.