Author Topic: Short Story Challenge #30 - The Result  (Read 1598 times)

Offline theskewbald

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Short Story Challenge #30 - The Result
« on: October 03, 2015, 06:40:11 PM »
With many apologies for the slight delay, owing to my having been cut off from the world by a collapsing Internet, I can now announce that the winner of Short Story Challenge #30 is

30 Days on Mars by Plain Helvetica

I loved this story, and it won by a clear margin.

Thank you to all who entered, all the stories were fabulous.

30 Days on Mars

So pretty much as soon as the ship touches down I get my period. I try to be subtle about it but all the tampons are buried right at the bottom of the storage units under all the disgusting vitamin tablets and a load of test tubes. Mum and Dad are busy preparing the surface buggy but Maggot spots me and shouts,

"Hey Emily, you're gonna to be the first person on Mars to have a period."

which is just great because now I know exactly what they're going to write on my gravestone.

Maggot tries to call dibs on my bedroom even though I already slept there last night. Mum and Dad are in the base's central CPU room doing safety checks so I have to boot him out myself.

I go find Dad to ask where my posters are. I tell Dad it's ugly and I'm trying to make it more like my room back home. Dad says,

'Well you better make sure not to tidy it then Em."

and then he laughs like that's really witty or something.

I'm pretty bored so I go for a walk outside. Obviously it's not actually outside. I'm still under the dome which is kind of like being a fly caught under a tumbler. Except when you look up there's two moons.

If I'm honest I don't know if I'll bother continuing to write this thing. It's not like my life is interesting enough to care about.

Whoever designed this base has no sense of style. Most of the walls are green. They look like vomit.

I've decided that I probably will keep writing this thing for a bit because there isn't much else to do. I mean they've provided us with a lot of stuff. There's a cinema and a gym and I have lessons to do on the computer and I help out with the cooking and the cleaning and even do some work with Mum's experiments. But there's nothing really to do. Unless you've lived somewhere without a shopping mall it's probably impossible to understand.

I ring Mel back home because it's Saturday morning there and the twins had their birthday party Friday night and the twins ALWAYS have the best parties. Apparently Mel made out with one of the twins and has literally no idea if it was Tom or Freddy which is ridiculous because they aren't even identical. Mel says,

"Are there any cool parties on Mars?"

And I explain for the billionth time that until the other ships get here we are the only people on this stupid planet. Then Mel asks what time it is for me and I say

"Ten past eleven."

which is a lie. It's actually seventy past twenty but I can't be bothered to explain AGAIN how we have a different clock here because of different day lengths. I was in the same astro-science class as Mel since the age of five and I managed to understand it all fine.

Mum notices that I'm writing a diary. She tells me that I'm like some girl called Anne Frank who I've literally never heard of but whenever mum says that I'm like a person it is always somebody nothing like me.

I catch Maggot in my room so I set up a retina scan for entry. You can only over-ride it if there's a fire. Quite frankly I'd be happy for him to burn.

There's a weird smell in the base. Apparently it's to do with the sterilisation. Dad says it won't last. But he said that when the river flooded into our car back home and that turned out to be a lie.

I log on to the library and download that book by that girl called Anne Frank. Apparently she was alive like a zillion years ago and wrote down all this stuff that happened to her when these guys called Nazis were being real douches. She lived in an attic and had to be quiet all the time which sounds like a pretty boring premise for a book but I reckon I'll read it anyway because what the hell else is there to do?

Dad sets up a telescope and points it at Earth. It's not high-tech like the 'Superscope' that he's been sent here to finish building. This telescope is like the crappy ones they have on the moon so that tourists can pay a stupid amount to look back at the planet they'll be going back to in a week anyway. I look through it but all you can really see is a bluey-green circle and it kind of looks like it's just a picture someone stuck on the telescope lens.

I spend the day at the base's farm. Mum calls it that even though it's just full of plants. Apparently one of the other ships is bringing animals. I'm glad that wasn't my ship as it smelt enough with Maggot on board anyway.

I tell Mum this planet kind of sucks. She says,

"It won't be too long before they send other kids out here and they'll all think that you're really cool because you were the first."

Sometimes I genuinely wonder if my mum was ever younger than 40.

Literally nothing happens today. LITERALLY.

Anne Frank seems a bit obsessed with her genitals but given that she's, like, thirteen I reckon that's pretty understandable. I'm totally over that examining-yourself-with-a-hand-mirror crap. It looks weird down there - get over it.

Mel rings me. She sounds super excited because

'I totally just saw your family on the news.'

I tell her that we're on the news all the time. I think this might be the first time that Mel has watched the news in at least a year.

So I just finished reading that book about that Anne Frank girl and guess what? She only goes and dies at the end! Obviously she doesn't write that herself but there's a note in there telling you that she gets captured by those Nazi guys and taken to some camp where they basically killed people for kicks. I tell mum that it was totally inappropriate to compare me to a girl who lives a terrible life and then ends up dying at pretty much my exact age. Mum says,

"Oh. I didn't really think of it that way"

which is probably true but hardly an excuse.

Tomorrow a new ship is arriving and it's crew will be joining us. You may think that this should be exciting but it will just be a bunch of old scientists. They will hang out with my parents and talk about their favourite shape for a beaker or whatever it is that they care about. And I will be forced to listen to them.

The best thing in the universe has happened! A new family has arrived at the base and they have a son and he is totally cute. He has this amazing haircut and you can tell by looking at him that he's super chill.

So the new boy is named Justin and he is in the same year as me but he is actually a bit older than me which is perfect. He likes science so I take him to the telescope and show him what Earth looks like. He says that it looks like someone has just stuck a picture on the lens which is EXACTLY WHAT I SAID. He's also into reading so I tell him all about that Anne Frank book and how the Nazis were such a-holes and everything. I also tell him that it was out of order how my mum said that I was like a dead girl and he says,

"Yeah, that's totally not cool."

which is awesome!

Justin passed his lunar buggy driver's licence before he left home so we go on a drive outside of the base. There is literally nothing worth seeing unless you are into rocks and dust but it was still cool. The only bad thing is that mum makes us take along Maggot and Justin's little sister Dee. Justin's sister keeps punching Maggot though so she's pretty cool at least.

I call Mel. She says that Tommy Linzatti thinks it's cool that I'm living on Mars. I say,


but actually I'm kind of psyched about it because Tommy's on the football team AND the track team.

I think that Justin might be gay. He keeps acting super gay.

Dad does a television interview with some news channel back home. He tells them that the Superscope is almost finished. He's in such a good mood that we get some extra fresh vegetables and have a fancy dinner. Mum calls it fancy anyway.

Maggot has food poisoning. Obviously this is hilarious. Although it means that mum disappears off to do diagnostic tests on the plants in the 'farm' and I have to sort out my own meals all day.

I ring Mel and ask her how you can tell if someone is gay. Her answers are ridiculous.

Justin takes me out in the lunar buggy. Just the two of us this time. He drives out pretty far until we come to this huge crater. It's still just rocks and dust really but it seems more romantic this time. I ask him if he wants to kiss me and he does it but I still think he might be gay.

Dad finishes work on the Superscope. He says,

"You know it's not really a telescope. What we do here is collect and collate information both from this point and from a series of satellites circling the Earth."

and I say,


because I want him to let me have a go with it. He let's me pick a random spot on the globe and I zoom in really far. I find this park and focus on these teenagers standing by a water fountain. Dad turns up the audio and we hear one of them say,

"If it wasn't for my mum I'd be a rock star right now,"

and Dad and I laugh because the kid looks like his mum still dresses him. Dad has a pretty good sense of humour sometimes.

I show Dad's Superscope to Justin. We spend ages zooming in on beaches looking for sharks but obviously we don't find any. Justin doesn't kiss me again but I've decided that I don't even care if he's gay because he'll make a great friend.

A new ship is coming next week. I'm kind of excited but also nervous because things are actually pretty cool here as they currently are.

Dad comes into my room and sits with me. He says,

"You know Em sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice bringing you all out to Mars."

I shrug. "Nah. It was pretty lame back home anyway."

Dad smiles. "Well, I got you something so that you don't forget it anyway."

He opens up a poster revealing the bright azure blue of Neptune set against an ink black backdrop. It's pretty lame but I know he means well.

"Hey Dad," I say, "One question I've been meaning to ask. Why do you even want to study the Earthlings so much? We've totally got nothing in common with them."

Offline Laura H

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Re: Short Story Challenge #30 - The Result
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2015, 06:44:25 PM »
Congratulations, Plain Helvetica! I enjoyed your story.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

“Don't be like the rest of them, darling.” ― Eudora Welty

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: Short Story Challenge #30 - The Result
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2015, 08:09:25 PM »
Well done Plain Helvetica.  ;D Some good imagination put to work on your story.
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Re: Short Story Challenge #30 - The Result
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2015, 07:51:18 AM »
Nicely done PH. Congratulations - the best story won by a mile.


Offline heidi52

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Re: Short Story Challenge #30 - The Result
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2015, 08:54:30 AM »
Enjoyed your story very much. Congratulations.

Offline bri h

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Re: Short Story Challenge #30 - The Result
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2015, 06:48:36 PM »
I 'literally, like,' enjoyed this story. ha ha

great read. B.
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline Mrs N

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Re: Short Story Challenge #30 - The Result
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2015, 09:06:12 AM »
Congrats, PH, got my vote. Loved it. 8)

Offline asvasv

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Re: Short Story Challenge #30 - The Result
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2015, 10:17:13 AM »
Congrats Plain Helvetica!
Psst....check out the short story challenge

Offline WmTell

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Re: Short Story Challenge #30 - The Result
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2015, 10:43:53 AM »
Congratulations! It is a good one.

Offline Plain Helvetica

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Re: Short Story Challenge #30 - The Result
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2015, 02:23:59 PM »
Thanks everyone. The next contest will be with you soon!