Some jerk in a speeding racer had wrecked Tiya’s cat. I was all for recycling its remains, but Tiya would have none of it. She wept until I gave in and promised to get it fixed at Hacker’s Faire.
I’d sworn not to go back there, not unless our lives depended on it. Everything at the Faire has a price, and I had little left to sell or barter. I had optioned my useful parts years ago, before I met Hanna and settled down – if squatting in an abandoned warehouse with eight other families can be called settling. Anyway, I had left my old life behind, and I kept quiet about my Truthtelling skills.
Dwanda watches her dad bound across the lunar landscape and shivers inside her jacket. The Moon lifts him higher than anyone on Earth could jump and sets him gently down again, a kangaroo in a space suit. Sunlight flashes bright white across his helmet. She chooses not to notice the ragged tear down the right side of his bulky suit, or the way she can see through him to the gray, airless expanse beyond.
The shuttleport crowd paces around the clear observation dome to make room for their excitement and boredom. They talk softly amongst themselves or watch the swarm of service bots making a final safety check on the shuttle Io. A few browse the souvenir stands for last minute gifts or keepsakes from their lunar vacation.
Her mom settles beside Dwanda on the couch. “Brought you some cocoa.”
• Narrated by Dave Thompson
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
• A Cast of Wonders original!
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Rebecca Birch is a science fiction and fantasy writer based in Seattle, Washington. She’s a classically trained soprano, holds a deputy black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and enjoys spending time in the company of trees. Her fiction has appeared in markets including Nature, Cricket, and Flash Fiction Online. She is also a two-time finalist in the Writers of the Future contest. Check our her website, Words of Birch, or Twitter.
Dave Thompson is a teacher who lives in Southern California with his wife, three children, and eight chickens. He is an author, narrator, and sometimes Escape Artist who keeps getting pulled back in for one last job. (Actually, he always hopes it’s never the last job.) He’s lost NaNoWriMo twice and is the former editor of PodCastle. He doesn’t like to talk about himself in the third person, but he finds he is totally okay writing about himself in that way. Check out his website, follow him on Facebook or Twitter.
Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.