Archive for January 5th, 2012

5th January
written by amber

Thursday’s Child Has Far To Go

Grady woke, the strong orange of sunset throbbing through the fabric of her tent. She was exhausted, the heavy gravity taking its toll, but time was running out for her. She had to be back at the ship by midnight, and that was only 36 hours away.

She couldn’t be sure, since all she had was a hand-drawn map copied from the screen on her disabled rover, but she thought she had about 30 kilometres yet to travel. On Earth, that would have taken her only a few hours, even on terrain as rough as what faced her here. But the high gravity and the low oxygen on 985Z defeated her, not to mention hunger and dehydration. To carry water and food, she’d improvised a travois from scavenged parts of the rover after it became impossibly stuck in the mother of all mudholes. Now all the food was gone and nearly all the water too.

“Be careful,” Ivan had told her, “if you get into trouble, you won’t be able to contact me.” 985Z’s magnetic fields turned their transmissions to incomprehensible static. Some kind of back-up vehicle would have been good, but they didn’t have the budget for it. 985Z was supposed to be the find that changed all that – not the find that finished them. Their exploration permit ended at midnight and Ivan would have to lift off the planet, whether or not she had returned.

Grady decided to go for broke, leave the tent behind and risk being caught unprotected if another storm hit. She’d hike for as many hours as she could manage, nap briefly, then hike again. She was young, she was still strong. She’d be damned if she’d let this endless Thursday on 985Z defeat her.

But if she did make it back in time to tell Ivan about the rich deposits she’d scanned beneath the mudhole, she knew what she wanted them to call the planet. Thursday.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story. If you’d like me to use your name in a story, I’d be happy to do that.