Home > Fiction, Life > ‘A funny thing happened on the garden path…’ Part 1

‘A funny thing happened on the garden path…’ Part 1

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Disclaimer: This is my work. I dislike my older work on this site (who doesn’t look back and think they could have done better?) and am starting again with a story. It shall be told in chapters, in order to compel me to write it, but in smaller chunks. I understand my work ethic and it is terrible. But a page a day is hardly taxing for me to write or for you to read/enjoy. So read/enjoy this science-fiction story and kick me if updates become infrequent.



Day 0


The sign read “Welcome to the Middle of Nowhere”.


The wind picked up, and sand attacked me from my left, briefly interfering with the sign’s projection. I closed my eyes to avoid sand getting in them despites the sunglasses I was wearing, and when I opened them again the sign had changed.


“James wuz here”


Well of course moron, when there are two of you on the whole planet, and I didn’t drop the Button in the sand to read something stupid to the only other inhabitant, then of course it was you. I picked up the Button and switched it off to preserve the batteries, lest James continue to waste more taxpayer dollars on jokes and pranks.


The walk between the living quarters and the dig site was a brief ten minutes, and yet taking that walk without a hefty amount of sunscreen would get you burnt like an extra hour in a tanning bed by R0-8’s sun and it’s horribly powerful ultra-violet radiation. The upside was that the living quarters had a roof, and the dig site had an Atmospheric Manufacturing Shield, they blocked out harmful radiation, lessened the sun’s light and could be blacked out altogether.


There was another sign at the door, this one displaying “You are now 7 minutes from the Middle of Nowhere” Hardly true James. Space was so vast and empty that the Middle of Nowhere could be anywhere and it wouldn’t make much of a difference. Wasting batteries on the other hand, I picked up the Button and switched it off.


Maybe today I would walk up to James and tell him ‘Hey, Buttons aren’t toys. They were designed by the military to set off pressure mines by having soldiers throw them, and if it failed to set them off a message would appear to warn of nearby soldiers from standing too close. They displayed their signs in specific light freqeuncies so the other side couldn’t read them. They are not for silly signs!’ Maybe I would hit him and blame him for the exile again too.


Although I’ll probably do what I always do and enter the AMS, wave hi to James and watch month’s old spacevision and not work at all.


I opened the door to the AMS and was greeted with about 50% filtered sunlight, the kind that was not bright at all but still existed, like afternoon back on Sigma. I felt homesick for a while, and then I saw James lying on a deck chair illuminated by all seven of the floodlights we had.


“Good morning camper” he grinned at me, absently-mindedly flicking through his print copy of Paul Essig’s ‘I once was a Spaceman’. “As you can tell, I’m working on my tan.”


He was smiling and I forgot to be angry with him about the Buttons. Bother.


“What time is it James?”


He glanced down at his watch briefly. “It’s four hundred and twenty three days since we landed” he replied.


To Be Continued…

Categories: Fiction, Life
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