At the conclusion of the Flash Fiction Contest, we prepare for the launch of our next competition: the DBRLTeen Photography Contest. The library is challenging young adult photographers to share their travel-related images as part of our teen Summer Reading theme of “You Are Here.” Whether your travels take you across the world or only as far as your backyard, there is plenty of room for creativity. Find contest rules and submission guidelines after Monday, March 14 at http://teens.dbrl.org. The entry deadline is Friday, April 8. And now without any further ado, our First Place honor goes to Jessica Porter of Columbia.
Rick opened his eyes as he was pulled out of the sticky black void of his peaceful slumber. A few solitary drops of spittle floated quietly through the ship in front of his eyes as he struggled to remove himself from the clingy Velcro sleeping wall. With a final shove, Rick sent himself spiraling through the gravity-less metal chamber. He steadied himself on a rapidly passing steel bar, and pulled himself to one of the many double-layer windows. Outside was his desolate planet, Eldura.
He had been assigned to this planet, one of thousands discovered. Rick shivered as he realized yet again how big the universe was, yet only a few thousand light-years away, another craft like his orbited around another uninvestigated planet.
Watching, Waiting, Observing.
That was what he did, and it was all he could do.
Earth was barren now, polluted, deserted, and destroyed. Now the remaining humans searched for a livable planet, one where they could thrive and begin anew. Rick always hoped it would be Eldura, but the atmosphere around it contained large amounts of sarin, a poisonous gas that would make inhabitation almost impossible. So here he was left, orbiting around the hopeless mass of soil and water called Eldura, or planet 13A7D.
Alone. Forever more, drifting.