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Shirley Golden, 06 Dec '12

A Space of Waste

Joe kills the clattering engine. The bristles circle to a halt. Soon shoppers will emerge with the latest surge of litter.
        He scrambles from the sweeper and leans against its paint-peeled frame, woozy from last night's boozing. He clutches his gut and waits for the nausea to pass. He straightens and forces open gummed eyes.
        On the frozen pavement, he sees a dash of colour. It's an object retreating on cosmological Red Shift, expanding beyond his scope. He takes deep breaths to calm his spinning head before bending to grasp it. It's strangely heavy, the surface puckered like a shrunken crisp bag. He peers at foreign writing but can't identify the letters. The photo is a joke hologram - the lad has pointy features, head too big for cola-cubed shoulders, and the salute is performed by a three digit deformity.
        Joe grins. It's kind of nifty. He shoves it in his pocket, and wipes his hand down his jeans. Yawning, he clambers back into the cab.


        In the zenith, far above Joe's comprehension, among the ever-present stars, a craft hovers. At the helm, Ridley grins, despite a woolly head from the previous night's celebrations. Graduation from cosmos flight school, and now his first solo jaunt in Atropos V.
        With satisfaction, he ejected his student pass along with the space waste. He hums and presses the throttle to escape this backwater dumping base.

Comments · 6

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  • Shirley Golden said...

    Hi all, I thought I'd post this flash fiction, originally published by Leaf Books (subsequently tweaked!). I've never received much feedback for it, and it would be great to get some - thank you!

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • Anthony Blackshaw said...

    Hi Shirley, it is beyond me to know how you could improve this - I loved it. The concise descriptions and details set the scenes just enough to allow my imagination to runaway with itself.

    I read on your website you've written 5 novels and I'd love to acquire a copy of one, but I can't find out where they're available (doesn't seem to be any links on the site) - could you post a link?

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • Shirley Golden said...

    Thanks for your generous comments, Anthony! And for your interest in my work. Unfortunately, I'm still seeking an agent so my novels are unpublished at present, but I'll keep trying & hopefully will get one of them published in the future :)

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • Mark McClelland said...

    Fun piece, and very tight writing.

    Regarding the novels, you might consider preparing your favorite one on Lulu, but keeping the link to purchase the book private. That way you can share the book with anyone who's interested, without having published it to the general public.

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • Shirley Golden said...

    @Mark McClelland Sorry for the delayed reply, Mark. Thanks for your comments. I didn't know you could do that on Lulu.

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • Nayomie Heathcote said...

    I've read a few of your stories and have simply fallen in love with your writing style. It's simple and light yet you can tell with an extended piece there would be some interesting sub text going on. I would be really interested in reading one of your novels so hopefully you'll be published soon!

    • Posted 10 years ago