By Chip Houser
A year after the explosion, the shell fragments pushing through Hobson’s skin are slow torture. At least they distract him from thinking about his future. He’ll take the itching, the future terrifies him. He can’t see, he can’t hear, and he can’t feel his body. But sometimes his mind fills with a warmth like sunlight and the itching stops. When that happens, Hobson screams at his fear. Screaming distracts him, just like itching. He screams because a year after the explosion is just his best guess. He has no idea how long it’s been, or how long it will be.
Chip Houser’s fiction has appeared in Every Day Fiction, Rosebud Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, New Myths, and elsewhere.