Flash Fiction For Miranda Kate's 82nd Weekly Challenge
I'll enter it here (it's also on my blog) so folks who look here first for my work won't have to click on a link to take them somewhere else. 

You can find her story here (and also the challenge prompt for this week):  https://purplequeennl.blogspot.com/2018/11/mid-week-flash-challenge-week-82.html 


 A sci-fi shorty for this challenge. Only 472 words.


Mission Accomplished

Willard never dreamed there could be a world like this. He'd explored many planets during his career with the Unity Space Corps. Most were barren and rocky, either too hot or cold, or had a noxious atmosphere. Of all the places even close to being Earth-like, nothing compared to Silanius.

The air, slightly richer in oxygen that Earth, seemed to be blessed by the sweet perfume emanating from the flowering plants covering its surface. They were everywhere, yet it was never overpowering, just a faint, relaxing bouquet that made one wish to inhale deeply and long, to enjoy every breath, to savor the wonderful aromas of each blossom. And what plants they were! Marvelous, immense versions similar to those he knew, though they towered so far over him only the occasional glimpse of the system's central star was visible.

He leaned back against one of the huge stems and turned on his utility device to take notes. There was so much to learn here, so much to be excited about, yet Willard was in no hurry to start work. Surrounded by such beauty, how could he be? The plant he was using as a backrest swayed gently in the warm breeze. There were no known large animals to be wary of, only a few flying creatures and the soothing hum of what would be Silanius' equivalent of bees darting between the flowers. This was paradise, or as close as anything his mind could envision. Silanius overwhelmed his senses with wonder, rendering his brain into a state of rapture. Like an addicting drug, Willard willingly abused it; he couldn't get enough.

In a moment of clarity, he wondered how these plants could grow so large. He observed a handful of soil as he let it fall through the fingers of his glove. There didn't appear to be the amount of organic material one might expect. It was one of the mysteries he'd been sent to investigate. Willard, however, was going to take his time doing research here—he was in no hurry to leave. This was the first time in months he'd been able to unwind, to rest, and he was going to take full advantage of his situation.

Willard woke to a discomfort in his leg. He must have fallen asleep in an odd position, he thought. He tried to reach down to rub his calf, but his arm wouldn't move. Opening his eyes, he saw the tendrils wrapped around his limbs. The one on his leg had pierced the skin. Struggling against them only seemed to make their grip tighter. The utility device was too far away to reach. He called to it, hoping voice commands would work. The front panel shattered as a green shoot pushed through. He'd found the missing fertilizer, but no one was ever going to know.



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