A Letter: Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

I pledgeAnother week, another prompt for the Friday Fictioneers, graciously provided by our Fairy Blog Mother Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who celebrates her four years and one week Friday Fictioneers anniversary. I completely forgot to congratulate last week, sorry.

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 also want to congratulate our mistress of flash fiction, Sandra Crook, for winning not only one award, but two. Congratulations, Sandra, you rock!

Oh, oh, I just saw: the spell check is back! Yay, what a relief.

A Letter

Dear Sis,

We came to build, to explore, to colonize. We thought we’re like the pioneers of old, but instead of wagons we’d use spacecraft. We felt like superheroes who can jump six feet high. We’re using every nook and cranny of the habitats for storage: floors, walls, ceilings. The habs are tiny, but we thought we’d change that soon enough.

No one prepared us for reality. Our spacesuits—cheap, like all the equipment—don’t protect us against radiation, nor do the habs. I’m sick. People die like flies on Mars. I have enough morphine to end it. Don’t come.

(100 words)


Featured image © Mary Shipman. Used with permission for this Friday Fictioneer Challenge only. Any other use of this image requires Mary Shipman’s permission.


63 thoughts on “A Letter: Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

  1. Cool. I’m a real sucker for space travel, especially to Mars. I relate. Like the character of your story, I got pretty disappointed with Mars when I saw a recent documentary on Mars that really took all the “fun” and “mystery” out of it. Bummer.

    Five out of five asteroids, Gabriele. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, it was a lot of information that we have so far on Mars and, I don’t know, it just didn’t sound exciting anymore since we got new discoveries. It was far better when it was a mystery planet. But, that’s just me.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you liked. I find all kinds of space exploration exciting and important, and I’m certain that where we can go we will go. But projects like Mars One fill me with unease and a no-return mission–shiver.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Brother
    Please don’t use the morphine, Earths president say’s that they will send out better protective suits plus digging equipment so that you pioneers can put the habs underground. Love Sonia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mike – Sonia – ?.

      thank you for the shovels, but the human part of the population has already perished. We AIs have decided to take over. Mars now is ours, bwahahaha!

      (Oh, and thank you! 🙂 )


    1. I hope she got it through Email, not as instantaneous as on Earth, but with maybe an hour of lag time (if I remember the communication lag time correctly). I’m glad you liked, thank you. It’s your picture, isn’t it? It’s great!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When I think about the logistics of traveling to and colonizing Mars, it’s mind boggling. As romantic and exciting as it sounds, I’m not convinced it’s feasible. The lowered gravity, hint of an atmosphere, lack of water, (as you mentioned) radiation and who knows what else makes me think it may remain science fiction for some time.

    Unless we send Matt Damon. That guy can survive anywhere. 🙂 Cool story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂 Yeah, Matt Damon would just science the **** out of it.
      I find it exciting, but not romantic. I was always sad that the exploration of the moon didn’t go further. I imagine it’d be a lot easier if there was a base ‘close by’ to learn for ‘further away’. NASA and other reputable organizations think about 2050 or that range, and not a no-return trip. A lot would have to be prepared with robots, and the first visits would just be visits. The prototype rocket/vehicle (Orion) has successfully been launched. Maybe a localized stable artificial magnetic field can be created by then, if I recall correctly, there’s a lot of research going on in that field.
      Maybe I’m wrong, but we’ve seen how fast and how much can be changed with oil-based and not-oil-based resources when *they* or maybe *we* really want it. I think that could be true for space travel, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve heard we may go to Mars by 2018. Gee, that’s so close! I love this sci-fi take, Gah. Very original and the end was really effective and to the point as you would be in a letter like this. Don’t come. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Amy, I’m glad you liked it.
      If you’re referring to the Elon Musk mission, that’s unmanned. They’ve been quite successful with sending equipment up to the ISS, maybe they can do it. I’m more concerned about things like Mars One ( I think they aim for 2023, or 30, not sure). A no- return trip with naive people who romanticize the whole thing, financed through live television? I’d be very surprised if that ended well.


  5. Heartbreaking Science Fiction – interesting combination!
    Are you writing about Mars in longer form? I loved The Martian but it was mainly techy stuff (though I liked Commander Lewis) and one man’s struggle… I suspect a Martian novel from you would be somewhat different!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m writing–or sometimes I think I pretend I’m writing–something longer about colonists from Mars who return to Earth about 200 years from now. Many of the SF snippets I post with the Friday Fictioneers are backstory, scenes that help me work out what the history of my protagonists is, on Mars, and on Earth. This particular snippet though doesn’t belong to that space history, it’s a stand-alone. I’m not as funny nor as tech-savvy as Andy Weir (nor do I write as easily), but funny you asked, in my own research about possible scenarios I’ve ran across a number of papers that must be blueprints for some of Weir’s Mars. I do try to get the science as right as I can, but I don’t focus that much on it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Than you! It’s a well-known danger though, there’s a lot of work being done in the area, but so far, radiation remains a big problem for longer space journeys and planets without a magnetic field.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, and I wondered: are you aware that the link on your name leads to a WP blog that no longer exists? I’m just mentioning it because, even if I don’t have much time, I at least try to comment on my commenter’s story, and it is difficult to find you.

      Liked by 1 person

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