The Waste Land – Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

Every Wednesday we get a new picture prompt for the Friday Fictioneers, a writing challenge graciously hosted by our Fairy Blog Mother Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.
The task of the challenge 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.

PHOTO PROMPT submitted by Courtney Wright. © Photographer prefers to remain anonymous.
Used with permission for this Friday Fictioneers Challenge only.

The Waste Land

We searched on Venus and on Mars, on Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Enceladus. We found: nothing.

The search for life in our solar system has been an exercise in futility. It did make the company happy though and that makes me happy, too, because it means I get paid.

A system certified as barren can be mined. There’s helium on the Moon, methane on Titan, rare earths on Mars. What we leave behind isn’t pretty but who cares?

Now we’re on Pluto. A hostile environment with a raw, rough beauty. Same old, same old, I thought. Until I saw the footprints.

(100 words)

I pledge

Space exploration is about much more than mining, just so you know. 😉

Oh, and from next week forward you’ll find a kind of disclaimer on this site, and a kind of data protection declaration, just to be on the safe side. More about that next week and probably in a separate post.


79 thoughts on “The Waste Land – Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

  1. Ooh, footprints! I like the slow build-up to the unexpected ending. Creative take on the prompt.

    I saw this post and thought of you. I’m still not sure whether this new regulation applies to me, given that I’m in the US but have followers from EU countries. If it does, it’s odd that I haven’t received any messages from WordPress about it, or seen anything online or in the news.


    1. Now, a proper thank you for the comment. Glad you liked it.
      Nicholas’ post is very helpful, it’s a good place to link to. What he suggests is exactly what I want to do: put up a privacy and GDPR compliance page and a ‘text of consent’ for my comment section. Since my blog is on there isn’t anyhting else I can do, because I can’t turn the IP tracking off, nor can I change the spam filter (and with around 5K spam mails a month – geez- I don’t really want to turn the spam filter off).
      As Nicholas replied to you: if you don’t have a newsletter and don’t sell anything, no one should be bothering you. A disclaimer won’t hurt though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, I didn’t even know about the spam filter. Now I’m scared to look…. When I come up for air after this crazy work week (which will last until Saturday), I’ll look into adding a privacy policy note to my site.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It figures that the “company” has now embarked on screwing up the rest of the solar system with their mining.
    I wonder if we’ll have to promote Pluto back to a planet if there’s someone living there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If the narrator didn’t recognize it as a footprint, she would hardly call it a footprint. Some strange markings on the soil, or rather ice, perhaps. It’s not completely impossible that there’s life on Pluto because some of the icy places like Pluto or the jupiter moon Europa are thought to have liquid water under the frozen surface, heat created by tidal and other forces I don’t claim to understand.


  3. First of all, let me say that I absolutely love your photos that alternate in the header of this website. Beautiful photography.

    Your story was very creative and left us all wondering. Excellent job, Gabi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Russell. The photography isn’t mine though, these are images from Pixabay — it’s the only place I know where you are allowed to use the images, even commercially, modify them if you want to, without conditions. There are very many great photgraphers and graphic artists there. Even on Wikipedia licenses need to be viewed carefully and you always need to cite them properly.


    1. I suppose as long as humanity can’t agree on promoting science for the sake of knowledge and human advancement, there’ll always be the profit factor. And as long as there are competing countries that don’t work together, there’ll be a race for the first one there, claming the land, exploit. When companies run the whole thing, there won’t be many ethical considerations. If they don’t even care about the one liveable planet we have, would anyone care about (very, very interesting) cold clumps of icy rock out there?


  4. What sort of footprints. I’m intrigued as to what might be there, and hope for the miners’ sakes it’s friendly.
    As an aside, is a pity that we seem to spoil wherever we exploit, as summed up so well in your story.

    Liked by 1 person

By leaving a comment, you consent to your data being stored on this site. Learn more on the Privacy Policy page.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.