Nothing ever touches Brenda’s feet.

She wants to remember what it feels like, but she can’t, not with her bones wasted away. She can’t remember the feeling of wind to cheek; fish curry to lips; grassy fields to eyes. Now, all she ever sees are stars.

The blue and green planet becomes smaller and smaller. One viewing window will never be enough.

Brenda wants to feel heavy.

Home was trees and grass and air you could breathe. It was picnics with the kids and golf on Sundays. It was the smell of fresh rain. It was seeing Maggie at the grocery store. “You’ve got to get me that gnocchi recipe,” the old woman would say. “Craig’s been begging me for days!”

But Maggie’s voice, just like the voice of Brenda’s son, her husband, her colleagues, fades into silence. There’s no sound here, save for a steady beeping of the oxygen filters. When Brenda closes her eyes, she could swear it’s the ticking of her grandfather clock.

Brenda doesn’t like the on-board food.

The little cubes look like dog food. Dogs. Did she have one of those? It might’ve been a Labrador.

Weren’t there other animals, too?

Brenda waits for something that may never come.

She yearns to again hear the hopeful words, “It’s temporary. We’ll be back soon. We’re fixing this mess.”

Brenda’s room, with its stale walls and heavy air, shrinks with each year that passes.

How long now?

She waits.

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Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
2 years ago

An enigmatic story, Nydia, and I liked the repeated use of the name ‘Brenda’. It worked well.

Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi(@katy-bizi)
Reply to  Sandra James
2 years ago

I totally agree! The repeated use of the character name’s is an amazing way to connect the paragraphs together. An original way to tie the story.

Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi(@katy-bizi)
2 years ago

This story has a unique yet beautiful vibe about it. It leaves so many questions after the first time reading it that you simply have to read it again and again until you’re satisfied. Well done!

musing mind
musing mind(@musing-mind)
2 years ago

Very intriguing story. You have created a very interesting character in Brenda.

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
2 years ago

I agree with some of the other contributors; it is a re-read sort of story. I thought space, not space, covid lockdown, the spatial confinement of disability on earth – no, space again. Disarming, well done.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
2 years ago

Where do I start? I feel the realness and the despair in this story. Brenda has so many questions, and like Brenda, I am also left with so many questions. Does it all end here?

Last edited 2 years ago by Eric Radcliffe
Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
2 years ago

Brenda has many questions in this story, Nydia. You wrote it very well. But my favorite thing about this story is the phrase “It’s temporary. We’ll be back soon. We’re fixing this mess. ” It is very hopeful even if we don’t know if we are waiting for something about to happen or we are waiting for nothing. Hope to read more from you, Nydia.

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