The Final Smoke

Metal strains in the void.   It’s death throes fill only itself.  Nothing escapes through the void.  The only souls left to hear them are broken, left to contemplate their demise.  The heat that has brought the once proud ship to her knees persists.  Attempting to melt even the coldest and most hardy portion of the vessel.  Sitting directly against a massive refrigeration core built for just this purpose, are three weary souls.  The freezer they rest upon is keeping the room at approximately 110 degrees Fahrenheit.  The only truly cool surface is that of the refrigeration core itself.

One of the passengers lets out a slight moan of pain and discomfort.  He is covered in burns and blisters.  His left arm is shriveled and black, the burning has left it with little more than enough muscle to keep it from falling off.  Those nerves died some time ago.    He carefully removes a cigarette from his pack and puts it in his mouth.  He gently blows air through it igniting toxic chemicals to cause a chain reaction that brings fire to bear upon the tobacco.
Another traveler sees this, this one not so injured as the last but still sporting her own blisters.

“Must you continue to smoke those infernal things?”  The first passenger simply chuckles darkly and replies.

“Why not?  It’s not like I really care about how much longer I live in this sauna.”  The third passenger grimaces from a laugh that hit the wrong spot.

“He has a point.  Why bother trying to calculate the life expectancy change when the total is right around the corner anyway?”

“Well when you put it that way.  Mind if I join you?”  The first passenger pulls out his pack and proffers a deathstick to his companion.

“Knock yourself out.”

“That’s the idea.”  The second passenger takes the gift and puts it in her mouth.  “You got a light or do I need to get a couple of sticks?”

“Just blow through it.  The chemicals will take it from there.”  The first passenger takes a long drag and breathes a sigh of relief.

“God you’re worse than I thought.  You know that if you don’t blow through it first that these things will kill you on the first drag?”

“That’s why you don’t suck until you’ve blown.  Genius.”  The first passenger grins at his opponent.  The third passenger tilts his head to the side.

“That would speed up the process wouldn’t it?”  The first two passengers stop for a moment.

“That’s not a bad idea.  What do you think chimney?”  The first passenger shrugs and says.

“It’s the smartest thing either of have said this whole trip.”  The first passenger divvyed up the last of his cigarettes.  Just enough to allow each traveler one one way ticket out of hell.

“I say we all go together.  How bout that?”  The others agree.  They begin the countdown.







The first passenger looked and chuckled.  His muscle memory had gotten the better of him.  His habit refused to let him die just yet.  His chuckle grew.  Then it grew some more.  Sounds began to pass through the wall into the freezer.  The passenger began to wholeheartedly laugh as the room began to cool off, and Angels broke through the door to save him.  His chuckles now fills the void.