The storm that killed her entire family had been a freak one like most storms were now. A category five tornado that materialized out of sunny skies. The people at Earthbase said that there was no way to see it coming. It hadn’t been there one moment, and then the next it had.
Burk laid on the floor for hours hoping that maybe it had been a mistake. But deep down she knew it wasn’t. She rocked back and forth on the cold metal floor of the station until she fell asleep.
She woke up again in her bunk and looked across the tube, seeing a man sitting in her control room chair. He was dressed more for a ticker tape parade in the twenties, not for twenty-first-century space flight. He wore a pinstripe suit, and he had slicked back hair the matched his shiny black shoes. He was contemplating his fingernails and hadn’t looked up at Burk yet. She once again wasn’t surprised, this was another hallucination.
The man looked up from his fingernails and smiled. “She has arisen from her slumber.” He stood and smoothed out his suit and picked a piece of lint from the right sleeve. It floated away, not like the man. He stood on two feet that were firmly planted on the floor. Burk watched him as he approached. It made her dizzy as the man twisted with the gentle turning of the station, never floating. Just slowly going around in circles as he approached. The scene looked wrong, he wasn’t part of nature. Of course, he’s not he’s from my imagination, Burk thought.
“I figured it was time to let you in on the secret. As I always do when you reach your breaking point.” The man said.
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Sample from Earthbase, a Night Portals Short Story