Literary Fiction Science Fiction

Putting Down Roots (free)

By Grayson Bray Morris
8,193 words · 30-minute reading time
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From the author: My name was posted to the Tau Ceti Three crew list, along with my mother’s. Two sixth-years saw ...


My name was posted to the Tau Ceti Three crew list, along with my mother’s. Two sixth-years saw my broad grin and came over to look.

“NiIIIice,” the girl singsang, dripping puffs of lavender lashglitter onto my shoulder with every blink. “But don’t get stuck alone withthatpilot. He’s soOOOoo boring.”

Her boyfriend—he had to be; he was dusted in lavender lashglitter—hooted. “She won’t have a choice. It’s her first survey. She’ll be ship-bound.”

“Well, don’t encourage him. Wear earplugs at aaAAaall times.”

I raised an eyebrow.

“You don’t want him to think you’re listening. He’s got this thing about filling up empty silence with what he calls conversation. The inner workings of the com system. The proper descent vector for using minimum fuel. Like that.”

The girl tapped her right ear with long nails finely splayed into fans. “Earplugs.”

The boy laid a proprietary hand around the girl’s neck, and I saw his nails matched hers. Oh,honestly. “They’ll keep the Raging Bore at bay. And if...

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