200 words for the Sunday Photo Fiction this week:


I remember sliding down those steps.

A thump followed by a giggle.

My mum would scold me. “You’ll wear out your britches,” she would say, “we haven’t the money for new ones.”

When I’d hit the bottom, I’d gallop up those stairs. The galloping was just as noisy as the thumping, but I could never resist the pull of gravity when my tiny frame overcame the friction of the step.

Perhaps that’s why I became an engineer – the fascination with things like friction and gravity. I didn’t know it then, or even when I started, but those lessons on those steps would be the key to our salvation.

It took twenty years and the gross national product of several first world countries. We were ready.

They shook my hand and I stepped through the hatch. The tower cleared and the ark lifted a centimeter before idling. Then two centimeters. Then four. By the time I left the gravity of our dying world, I was traveling multiples of kilometers.

They were already building a duplicate, but my ship and I would be the first. I had enough DNA samples and tech to birth a new home – if I survived the isolation.

About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

11 responses to “Isolation

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