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Will is a retired chiropractor who lives in Pacific Grove, California. This story was originally published in Aberrations. His story "Life Sentence" appears in DP #4.


Dark Planet is designed and edited by Lucy A. Snyder. If you spot any errors, or if you have any comments, please contact her at lusnyde@cyberus.ca.

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Life-List

by Will Sand


     An additional alien sighting would boost her life-list to thirty, a lifetime accumulation matched by few. Her iridescent scales shimmered in anticipation.
     She felt her solo-ship slow to enter the local system. She consulted her Lonely Planets guidebook. Prefacing the scant three pages on Earth was a warning: "Here there be Humans!"
     No excretion-mess! she thought. That's why I'm here!
     According to the guidebook, the most predicable sightings were made of scavengers, living off the ruins of once-glorious cities.
     She tucked her crown feathers into her helmet and donned her suit and methane tanks. She landed her sled on a high roof. She would build her blind under the cover of night.
     But as she stepped out, she detected motion. She froze.
     She was struck by a thrown object, her glasside helmet cracked and leaking.
     Within minutes, her liquid methane had boiled away and she was dead.

     The man hadn't seen one like this before. He smiled at his companion.
     "Meet number thirty on my life-list."

THE END