(c) all rights reserved · fiction

Solar Sailor

Author and blogging friend, Cage Dunn, posted yesterday about a writing class that has been posted on youtube and included a link.  (Thank you, Cage!) I watched the lecture on writing a short story last night and today and followed along with the assignments.  What follows is a story I wrote from the assignments.  The target length was 250 words, but mine is about 350.  Please let me know what you think!

Learn about solar sails here

She sipped coffee as she strolled down the LED-dotted corridor leading to the space station’s launch hangar. She had enjoyed her hiatus on Calypso, unwinding with more rum than anyone other than a drunk would find inappropriate, but it was time to do an equipment check on her solar sailer, Nausicaa; making ready for the glide to Europa. Europans paid good money for rum, and as long as she didn’t guzzle too much of the product on the way, she’d turn a tidy profit.

Approaching the ship, out of the corner of her eye Mara saw just the tail of a space rat disappear into the hoverplate. Space rats were the scourge of the solar sailing community because they loved to nibble on sails for their nests, which lead to fatal fabric malfunctions in space.

Everyone knows when you see one space rat, there are at least ten you don’t see. Muttering curses under her breath, Mara flipped open her polycom and tapped “Creature Feature,” a well-known exterminator on Calypso, in. The voicemail message said, “Ms. Feature is down with coronavirus for 2 weeks. In the meantime, call ‘Bug Busters’ at zzz-123.’ “ Tapping in the number sent her straight to voicemail.

What had started out as a bright morning of promise divebombed into what was looking like another wasted day and wasted night. Mara tossed her empty coffee cup into the recycling receptacle and headed to the cantina.

Hugged up to the polished titanium bar and nursing her piña colada, Mara’s vision went dark as two baseball mitt-sized hands covered her eyes.

Guess who, gorgeous!”

Trapper! Just the Wookie I wanted to see. Busy for the next month? Wanna set Draco’s sails for Europa?”

Trapper stroked his beard and raised his bushy eyebrows. “What’s in it for me?”

All the rum you can drink and a full Brazilian Body Braid by the time we land with my 50 cases of rum to sell to rich alcoholics.”

One cabin or two?”

As long as I don’t find any fleas, one.”

Let’s go.”

[348 words]

17 thoughts on “Solar Sailor

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