NEW FICTION: UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY by Stephen Gaskell

Paul Raven @ 01-05-2009

We publish writers from all over the globe here at Futurismic, but this month I get to present a story by someone who lives damn near on my doorstep! Stephen Gaskell comes from Brighton here in the UK, but “Under an Arctic Sky” is as far from the faded Regency glamour of his seaside hometown as you could imagine. It’s a powerful story of dedication to a cause against the fiercest of oppression, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Under an Arctic Sky

by Stephen Gaskell

Slava ran.

Ran as fast as he could. His icy breath speared the air. His footfalls made slapping sounds against the packed snow. The temperature must have been minus forty, but he didn’t feel the cold.

He didn’t look back.

Didn’t want to see the oil well derricks. Didn’t want to see the scarred black tundra. Didn’t want to see the line of nodding donkeys and their belches of fire.

Most of all, he didn’t want to see how close the snowmobiles were, buzzing behind him like angry bees.

In his mind’s eye he streaked ahead to the northerly reaches of the Kanin peninsula. Past herds of caribou, past the last encampments of the Nenets, past the odd polar bear loping away on the horizon.

The back of his neck felt stiff, as though somebody had kicked him there with a steel-capped boot. He stretched a gloved hand over his head to rub at the aching spot.

And stopped dead.

There was something embedded in his neck. Continue reading “NEW FICTION: UNDER AN ARCTIC SKY by Stephen Gaskell”