Contemplation — Friday Fictioneer Flash Fiction

I pledgeAnother week, another Friday, and time for a new prompt for the Friday Fictioneers, as always graciously provided by our Fairy Blog Mother 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.

I’m not happy with this week’s offering. But I wanted to post something.


As I inspect the state-of-the art flush toilet on my spacecraft I rejoice in its sophistication. Hygiene is so much easier in artificial gravity than it was in the old days when astronauts had to endure fans and complicated contraptions.

Keeping people clean who live in close quarters is not an easy feat but can be done even though humans of past eras suffered from filth, excrement, contaminated water and disease. Millions died.

Knowledge of proper hygiene isn’t new, but was often suppressed and forgotten. Plagues are indifferent to power or wealth. Only science keeps us healthy, moves us forward.

(100 words)

Not happy with it, not at all… but I really like what I’m showing you here, take a look:


ted-tFeatured image © Ted Strutz Used with permission for this Friday Fictioneer Challenge only. Any other use of this image requires Ted Strutz’ permission.


55 thoughts on “Contemplation — Friday Fictioneer Flash Fiction

    1. Writing toilet prose is a bit of a pain in the ###… the paragraph transitions stink, but I just didn’t get it to work within the 100 words. The vid is great, isn’t it? I’m glad you liked, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The piece is fine. Informative, but reads as nonfiction. Perhaps you have gotten comfortable with fiction, or you have so much to say on the subject 100 words is constraining?
    I dislike using the toilets on an airplane couldn’t imagine in space. Yet the fact that the recycle urine into potable water is quite reassuring.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I certainly didn’t expect a space station toilet tour with this prompt! Got to hand it you, Gah, that was pretty fascinating and complicated, right? It’s hard to believe with all our technology with still struggle with sanitation. Like you said, plagues are indifferent to wealth or power. Great job with your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The funny thing is that the space toilet was the first thing that came to mind (SF being my default mode). The details that need to be known for things to work are mind-boggling. I read an article about how urine in space has a different consistency from that on earth and thus clogged the water recicling apparatus that had been built under earth conditions… can you imagine? Clogged toilet in space? Yeesh! I’m glad you had fun with this, Amy. Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. As a voice piece I think this works really well. Your character seems to have developed into a state of the art humanoid—impassive, objective, precise. So he can speak of a toilet with the same chrome-covered tone as when he speaks of millions dying in the plague. It was actually quite chilly to read. It’s like by the time this story takes place, humanity has been broken down to science and progress, so even joy feels like it has come out of a beaker. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a very interesting comment and may explain why sometimes scientific findings are tough to explain. That coldness you perceive is part of the objective, hopefully factual and unbiased view scientsts need to have and work hard to get. Looking ar horrible events in history with an analytical mindset is necessary to find out where things went wrong and how to prevent them in the future. Judging from scientists I know, there are very deep feelings, often desperation, or deep sadness, but also wonder and joy. But just like the difference between keeping calm or panicking in a critical situation is the difference between acting on emotional turmoil, and on critical analysis of an event.
      I wanted to get the feelings of despair into the story, about rules, prohibition and punishment for keeping and using knowledge that didn’t fit into some religious or secular power game and thus losing it at the cost of so many lives. I just couldn’t get it in. 🙂


      1. I didn’t meant to suggest that you didn’t convey despair. I think you did. It’s a very powerful piece. The line “millions died” is incredibly emotive, in that it hit me—in this bare bones way, like, ‘this is the truth’, ‘don’t look away’. Sometimes having a voice like the one in this piece helps convey that more than a more emotional narrative. I actually think you did get it in.
        Your comment is fascinating, and I think you’ve made a really important point. I remember reading a book about the animal agricultural industry that had a similar tone, and it had a huge impact on me. Thank you, for your piece, and for taking the time to respond! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah, animals, agriculture and industry should never get together, that’s one of these instances where I’d want to scream. You brought the money factor in, where greed rules, and scientists aren’t immune to it either, nor to many other things. Ethics in science are another of these controversial issues and go mostly with the country the research takes place in.
          You may have noticed that I enjoy discussions like this, thanks for your patience. 😉
          And I’m thrilled what you find in the story that, to me, was a bit of a desperate effort at writing… something. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Smantha Cristoforetti has that nice, understated sense of humour to pull it off, I think. She’s made more of the same, about other questions they get regulary asked up there, and she’s also posted great pictures from orbit. Thank you. 🙂


  4. Fine writing, Gabriele. The fact is you did it and educated us all. And I have always been a huge fan of the space program since I had been a kid, so, yeah. Very nice. Five toilet rolls. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So thats what they mean by a shitload of information. 😜 Gravity helps us on earth otherwise we will be going out for launch every day. Actually driving on a long distance trip the other day we came across this space age toilet in the middle of nowhere. Impressed my kids to no end.

    Liked by 1 person

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