The Coffin by Liam Hogan

“Why do you keep calling it that?”

“Because it is one,” the project foreman rasps. “Left Earth with a thousand colonists. Arrives at the new planet with a thousand colonists. How many die along the way?”

The mighty engines thrum beneath our feet. “No one has died yet.”

“Doesn’t make it not a coffin and you’re wrong, kid. Space is dangerous. This hulk cost three construction workers’ lives.”

Four, if you count heart attacks. But he’s already drifting from the viewing window, trailing ectoplasm between the stars.

I shiver. It’s going to get awful crowded for anyone who sees ghosts.

Liam Hogan is an award-winning short story writer, with stories in Best of British Science Fiction and Best of British Fantasy (NewCon Press), among others. He helps host Liars’ League London and volunteers at creative writing charity Ministry of Stories. More details at

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