Archive for January 16th, 2012

16th January
2012
written by amber

Tree Planting on Mars

When we roar into town, they for sure know we’re there. Six weeks under the valley dome, the air all thick and steamy, the shit piles never getting any smaller, the worm bins never getting any lighter, the Boreum pines never getting any less monotonous.

We’re dirty, we’re starved for faces other than the twelve we’ve seen all too much of, we’re hoping to score some liquor, some drugs, some sex. Johanna runs a tight ship. She always says, “Damned if I’m going to let you grubbers goof off. You got a free trip to Mars and the obscene salary waiting in your accounts back home, so suck it up.”

But Johanna’s not with us. She’s still under the dome, breaking in a new crop of grubbers. When we get back, we’ll be the old hands. We’ll scorn the newbies when they whine about how hard the work is, how bad the shit reeks. We’ll put in some killer shifts, get extra credit shunted into our accounts.

And six weeks later, we’ll go home. The lander will swoop down with its load of human manure from the asteroid stations, and we’ll board with a swagger. We’ll play cards as we fly away from the planet; we won’t have our faces pressed against the portholes like we did on the way down.

We’ve done Mars. We’re cool.

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.