Friday Fictioneers: Watching the Wheels

I pledgeTime for the Friday Fictioneers with another prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

The task is to write a story: beginning, middle, and end, in 100 words or less. You can find all the Fictioneers’ stories when you click on the Froggy. Please read, comment, and if you like, join the fun. Everyone is welcome.

Image © Ted Strutz

Watching the Wheels

“You’re a genius.”

“It seems to work.”

“Does it ever. Kids love it. Parents follow along.”


“And so we get ready to return.”


“You’re not very talkative today.”

“No. I’ve only now come to realize that there’s no alternative. We must build muscle, we must use the centrifuges. Painting animals on the centrifuges, playing roller organ music, and pretending to have an amusement park doesn’t make that necessity disappear.”

“It’s vital. Just imagine, we’ll be weighing three times what we do here on Mars…”

“I know. It’s our only chance. Otherwise, we won’t survive back on Earth.”

(100 99 words, hah!)

I’m adding a few links for those who are interested. I didn’t look too deeply into the gravity effect on the human body (yet), but that ought to be a major problem for anyone who has lived on Mars for some time, and wants to return to Earth.

The Pull of Hypergravity and New Artificial Gravity Tests in Space Could Help Astronauts

The title comes from John Lennon’s Watching the Wheels. Happy 75th Birthday, John, wherever you are.

20G_centrifugeFeatured image: The 20G centrifuge at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. By NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons,


71 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Watching the Wheels

    1. Thank you, Alicia. I had the sentence without the ‘of’ at first, then thought it wasn’t clear without it. Sometimes, grammar is so difficult. 😉 I deleted it now. And I’m glad you liked the story. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They do. But from what it looks like now, they also may have liquid water (underground) on Mars. I mean, it’s nothing like the giant Mushroom, but there’s Mars One. There are 100,000 applicants already… (and thank you 🙂 )


    1. Yes it does, because of the artificial gravity created. I’ve put up two links above that explain things a bit better than I could. Lack of gravity is affecting the human body, there’s muscle loss, decalcification of bones, circulatory system, and other effects. Living under low gravity (like on Mars) for some time would have similar effects. There’s been some research into high gravity exposure for astronauts and fighter pilots, and the effect on their bodies. I’ve just been trying to combine the two.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m beginning to wonder if you’re posting from Mars!
    Could present a challenge for wordpress stats page.
    Very interesting! Indeed intriguing!
    (Slogan on T-shirt in Physics department: Gravity – it’s the law.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I look at the current speed of my internet connection, you could have a point. 🙂 When I tried to upgrade my Mac with El Capitan, the download told me I had to wait a day and a few hours… Can’t be much slower to Mars. The slogan is great. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! You’re right, if you can maintain your muscle and strength on the long flight to Mars. Burrough’s John Carter was teleported there and could act like Superman. It remains to be seen if astronauts can do it. For this story, however, it’s the other way round. They return to Earth and will feel very heavy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m surprised at myself for not having read it earlier. It’s been on my husband’s kobo for a couple of months — and I’d heard about it, thought it sounded great, and didn’t read it until now. I usually jump on science fiction or space adventures right away.
        Now, I’m finding that botany, computer science, electrical engineering and astrophysics are oddly sexy.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hehe, I’m a SciFi person, so I found these things always sexy (although I can’t claim to thoroughly understand much of it except for the botany,) but I hesitated reading The Martian because I write something about Mars and didn’t want to steal ideas, but from what I had heard, it was very different from my plot, and it came so highly recommended–I’m really glad I finally read it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, I enjoy sci-fi too, but always enjoyed the stories, and occasionally the science-tech stuff, if they were well-described, and I’ve always loved space-related ideas in stories — Larry Niven, Heinlein, the usual ones.
            However, this is the first story where I actually tried to focus on all those little mechanical and electrical details, and wished I’d been better educated in the sciences. Ah well, never too late.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder if the people doing the biometrics testing for my health insurance would let me use my Mars weight? It would certainly lower my premium. Otherwise, I’m going to have to grow taller between now and next Friday morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A fascinating response to the prompt, Gah. I like the characters’ voices – it would be difficult to realise that one couldn’t survive on one’s own planet after being away in low gravity. At lweast they can pretend they’re just relaxing while they get ready to return, well-muscled.

    Liked by 1 person

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