Astrea had not realized that death would be this painful, with sharp pricks against her consciousness. She remained still, hoping the process of returning to the stars would pass quickly. She felt full, like her corporeal form would burst into particles.
“Ouch!” This time she heard herself say it, felt herself flinch at the quick dagger of sensation. That couldn’t be right either. She let out a huffed breath, not considering that the dead did not need to breathe, and pulled in a lungful. Char and sulfur wafted into her nose, and smoke scratched at her throat, forcing a cough. She rolled to her side to let it out.
“Ow! Quit it!” Her voice little more than a dry rasp, she chided the unseen thing which was preventing her from passing on.
A harsh squawk answered her.
Her eyes opened to a strange bird staring at her, leaned far forward. Its head cocked halfway to upside down, with unsettling beady eyes. Astrea let a yelp and rolled just in time to dodge the source of all of those acute jabs: the bird’s pointy beak.©2019 Novi: Event Horizon by B.R. Hill-Mann
Novi: Event Horizon is an ongoing science-fantasy/space opera available to read at Channillo. All subscription proceeds benefit Scarleteen.