Rock, Paper, Scissors

Such a stupid way to decide, in the end.

We had enough food to support one life, for a week. Enough water for three days. Enough air for thirty-five hours. And two of us.

A decision had to be made, and soon. Every minute both of us lived decreased the time that one of us could, made rescue more unlikely. We stood in the airless waste, grey rock around us and the blue dot above us, and tried to find a fair way.

Neither of us had children, both had wives. Equal – almost identical – qualifications. No meaningful difference in age, no meaningful difference in health. No easy way to decide.

Boulders and a battered lander were all we had. No straws, no dice. It came down to the oldest way we knew.

Rock, paper, scissors – best of three, with clumsy gloves making it hard to form the shapes. We stood back to back, ready to turn when he counted to three.

I chose rock. It took three hits to shatter his faceplate.

© Peritract, January 30, 2016