“First Blood” was written for last week’s Microcosms. My prompts were coma patient, galactic war, and memoir.
This time they had not come for our mines, but for our other resources – clean water in abundance and cheap labour. The battle between the colony and earth was over in six days. I woke up on the day it ended. It was considered a miracle. I think everyone was looking for a miracle after countless were left dead. I guess I was as good a poster girl as any: the first victim.
I was on my way to my family’s escape pod when the bullet tore through my shoulder. I vaguely remember the second shot, the explosion. I remember intense heat and the sound of voices. I heard screams, felt my body being moved, saw myself from the corner of the ceiling of the operating theatre, and heard a priest pray next to my bed while I lay trapped within a flesh prison.
I read about everything that had happened after my recovery. I sat alone in my room and scrolled through the many reports of the war. Here and there I read about myself, though the reports were sketchy and only told half a tale. Apparently tearful people gathered for vigils in honour of me. The photo they used of me had been taken earlier on that fateful day outside the wedding venue. I smirked. What a lie that white dress was. What a lie all of it was. I was to marry the ambassador of earth on that day. Instead, he had used me; the daughter of the colony’s defence secretary.
I remember his eyes when he realised that the paradise he had been promised was a lie. I touched my shoulder. My marriage was supposed to be my ticket away from this hellhole in space. Good thing he was a bad shot – but I was not.