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Fiction - page 6

Spectacular Unveiling for the New First-Year Country Club

Created: Matt Shore Photo Credit:,, and

It was a glorious August day at Goucher College as workers laid out the prestigious red carpet in front of the newly built First-Year Country Club. Lowly townspeople gathered to witness the new class of first-years arrive in limos. Each student stepped on to the red carpet and gazed upon three high-rise buildings by the names of Squire-side Hall, Trust Fund Hall, and San Pellegrino Selz Hall.

This wondrous oasis was constructed out of solid gold and the tears of upperclassmen who lived in the rat-infested dungeons of Stimson. Beautiful mahogany wooden floors cover the high rise buildings. Each room is also complete with a home theatre, private bathrooms with heated toilets, and at least one butler.

“Yeah it was a little tricky fitting a grand piano into each room while keeping them in tune,” admitted head contractor John Wells, “but we knew these little freshmen would have to practice somewhere especially with the music major being cut.”

While daily room service and free HBO seems fantastic, first-years admitted that this new country club is far from perfect.

“They only have room for one muscle car per student so I had to leave the Jaguar at home. The Lambo is a little more practical,” explained first-year Chadwick Van Seaton.

Upperclassmen also voiced their opinions. “I’m just a little jealous. They come out of there smelling like lavender and I still smell like Stimson. I only lived there for a year!” said senior Alison Wyatt.

President José Antonio Bowen and mascot Reginald “Rowdy” Rodent were pleased to have a new community space to share hors d’oeuvres and watch the Kentucky Derby.

“I think the fire pit really ties the space together. Now everyone can enjoy grilled salmon,” Bowen said in an interview this morning.

“I can’t wait for those tasty little marshmallow treats!” exclaimed Reginald Rodent. “You know, the ones that common folk make while camping. What are those called again?”

There will be an opening gala ceremony next week. Only residents of the First-Year Country Club are allowed to attend. However, upperclassmen are encouraged to watch the festivities from the roof of the SRC.

The Milky, Silky Prize


Like how the elevator slid open for him at work, the trolley doors slurp shut behind him. The platform, holding floral skirts, and once-polished shoes now dirtied by the the grime of the station, becomes acrylic on canvas; twisting and shifting, turning and molding into one hazy, splatter painting through the trains wide windows. Dave nods and purses his lips, acknowledging the woman with the stroller in front of him as he walks away from the doors and to the empty seat by the vent. Key-inscribed graffiti tags are marked between Dave’s seat and the one next to him.

“Next stop Copley,” smiles the woman’s voice over head.

An older man with scruff on his chin and watery green eyes steps onto the train smelling of sweat and pee. The plastic bags he holds have made his fingers white. Following behind, men in scrubs with glasses and Patagonia sweaters file on board.

Dave shifts his gaze from the men entering the train to the window in front of him, folding his left hand over his right. He pulls up his pin-striped jacket sleeve to see his watch. 6:20. To his right, on the empty seat, Dave observes a small creature.

“Object? Tool?” he thinks.

Dave looks to the front of the trolley where the conductor steers and toward the back of the train. He even looks out the window behind him, as if someone would be watching him from the dark alley where the car is stalled momentarily. Dave’s glance lands back at the creature. His brows cross. He looks straight forward and moves his head and eyes around as if he had splashed cold water on his face, unsure of what the thing next to him is, though somewhat amused.

Dave watches his reflection for a while being cut by the pipes underground and looks back at the seat to his right. Two eyes stare back; dark. And a small tattoo of a crescent moon on its forehead. Dave fixed his focus into those dark eyes. He gave in, he couldn’t resist, he’d played it cool long enough in those 15 minutes.

“Your skin,” he whispers, rolling his tongue slowly against his thin framed lips, “it shines. No wonder you don’t need shiny accessories.”

Dave notices the creature has no jewelry. It wears a plastic raincoat with white seams; the transparency of the jacket shows off the white dress underneath, outlining her curves. The creature is modest, yet there is something about it that Dave can’t keep his eyes off of

Dave has a feeling in his chest that it knows a lot.

“I like a little competition. You’re coy, it’s extremely becoming.” He searches for answers between her eyes, which don’t even seem to blink. Dave rubs his forefinger against the side of his thumb.

“Entering Boylston,” smiles the woman overhead.

The screech of the train mimics the pace of Dave’s heartbeat; it’s quickening. His lips curl into a smile, his eyes still don’t leave her gaze. The doors to Boylston swoosh open.

“You’re coming with me,” Dave says under his breath as he gets up. Dave feels as though he is an Olympic figure skater, gliding off the train. The creature’s hand feels like silk in his. It is euphoric. And he knows he’ll have trouble letting go.

“My prize,” he thinks. And just that she is. Dave steps in a haze above ground. Street cars honk and toddlers run to their parent’s arms noticing only another business man with a white iPhone in hand.

Space Log Day 107


It’s been over 100 days, and I am still required to write these stupid logs. As if anyone back home is still reading them. Who really cares what eight teenagers in space are learning, or what they’re thinking about what they’re learning? Mrs. Something (I can never remember her name) says they’re very important for The Department’s records.

Whatever that means.

So, hello to whoever in The Department is reading this. I hope you’re having a nice day today. Kiss the ground for all of us.

Today we learned how to check the windows to make sure they stay air-tight. Alexandra Lopez didn’t show up to mandatory training, and she earned herself an hour in detention. (Detention is getting yourself locked in one of the bathrooms, because they’re the only rooms with no maintenance equipment, no intercom, and no windows. It’s really boring.) Just to piss off Mrs. S, Alexandra shaved off all of her hair while in the bathroom. It took Mr. Banks, our janitor/head engineer/maintenance man/more-that-I-cannot-remember extraordinaire, more time to get the hair out of the sink drain than Alexandra spent in detention.

Mr. Banks has gotten used to cleaning drains of hair, though. After we all woke up from cryo when the Allure got into space, all of our hair kept falling out in chunks until our bodies adapted to being alive again.

Learning how to check the windows was cool but freaky. Knowing that one wrong move could probably kill us all made everyone very still and very quiet. Which is rare, for a group of delinquents.

During training, we’re split into two groups; one with Mrs. S, and the other with Mr. B. Jacob Kelsey and Gwen Clemons, my best friends on the ship, were both part of Mr. B’s group, and I was with Mrs. S, so I was forced to hang out with Nico Soto for the whole time. But then one of the alarms went off because the plumbing was all clogged, and Mr. B had to leave to go check on it. (It was Alex’s hair.) So the groups converged into one, and we all pestered Mrs. S until she let us stop checking the windows and go back to our common area.

I really don’t know why The Department put someone like Mrs. S in charge of this mission. She comes off as a hardass, but she’s really a softie, and even though Jake is her favorite, she loves us all. I’d ask you reading this why she was assigned to us, but it would take you too long to get back to me for it to be worth it.

Now that it’s been so long into this trip, I find myself thinking about our goal more and more. Our objective. This big secret that The Department is keeping for us. From us.

Gwen thinks that they’re sending us to some new galaxy to study planets. Jake thinks that we’re going to meet aliens that The Department has already made contact with. Once we asked Mrs. S where she thought we were going, but she just smiled at us and said, “it’s a surprise.” Which made us think that even she doesn’t know what we’re doing here.

I don’t know what I think. It must be something kind of boring, because if it was important or exciting they’d send actual astronauts and not high school kids. Sometimes I think that maybe there isn’t anything we’re heading towards; The Department just wanted an excuse to get rid of us.

Their daily letters to us (which were all sent months or years ago) sound cheery, but they also don’t reveal anything about what’s going on back on the planet.

I miss home. I miss the ground, and I miss my mom. We all do.

Nico Soto says he doesn’t miss anyone, except I’ve seen him staring at a photograph of his little brother late at night, so he’s a liar. I don’t know what Nico did to get here, onto the Allure, but I suspect I’ll find out eventually. We’re stuck with each other for about…forever, as far as we know.

I think I am going to end this log here. Gwen stole some cheese from the kitchen this morning while everyone was eating breakfast so we’re going to try to make grilled cheese sandwiches, or as close to good grilled cheese sandwiches as we can make with freeze-dried space bread and an electric stove. Don’t tell Mrs. S!

Looking forward to writing to you again tomorrow. As always.


Love from,


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