July 27, 2016


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

SF Trope: Interstellar Travel

Giovanna Mukhomorov shook her head slowly as she stared through the meteoroid [meteor = “celestial (brighter among the stars) phenomenon”; oid = “still seen”; ite = “a piece of”]-scarred window of the International Space Station. “When the old NASA announced this in 2014, my mom said she cried.”

Artyom Pai-Teles snorted, staring out the same window. “My fathers both shook their heads and said, ‘American hubris’.”

Gio didn’t bother looking at him as she said, “Thirty years later, the same might be said of them when they first planned your genstruction.”

“Hey! I was a successful...”

“How many times did they have to try, AP?”

He could do nothing but grunt. They’d been best friends up here since the day they’d arrived in space. Two years ago. Sometimes he thought it was too bad she was straight gay.

He sighed and she added, “It’s never gonna happen, AP.”

He said, “A man can dream about stroking those massive engines, can’t he?”

She slugged him, forgetting to hold herself down and floated away and into the main stream of older men and women, prime-age men and women, young adult men and women, and a smattering of boys and girls. Most of them politely excused themselves, bouncing like oddly-shaped ping pong balls as they moved hurriedly around Gio.

One of them did not. A young adult grabbed a bar near her feet and said, “You need to stay out of my way, kid.”

Flicking her toes, she came within a millimeter of his rather big nose. He flinched but didn’t move. Impressed despite herself, she said, “Titus, you’re ninety-one days older than me. You were one grade behind me. Even if you do the simplest math you’re most capable of, you still come out behind and I still don’t like you.” She pulled herself up and shoved herself toward the assembly area. “Come on Artyom. We have a galaxy to explore.”

He followed her, taking her hand, but she didn’t see the look on Titus Polamalu’s face. He did. He not only didn’t like the look, somewhere deep down inside of him, he found himself terrified of the mind of the man who watched his best friend.

Names: ♀ Brazil, Russia; Russia, Brazil, Hawaii, Hawaii
Image: http://f.tqn.com/y/inventors/1/0/x/w/Solid_Propellant.jpg

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