Breathing the Air #SampleSunday

Here’s a sample from my story, “2619: Prayer”, in the Southern Indiana Writers Group‘s new anthology, APOLLO AND ATHENA WALK INTO A BAR: (ART MEETS SCIENCE).

Breathing the Air

excerpt from “2619: Prayer”
by Marian Allen

Aldo was already at his terminal and the crew we relieved had gone.

“Coffee stick on your console,” he said, not looking up from the holographic display.

The air smelled a little rich, and I wondered if he had messed with the atmo mix in the control room, or if it was just the contrast with my huffy helmet. If I asked, he’d just lie.

“Get your brother taken care of?” he asked, as if he cared.

“YeahNah,” I said, peeling away the end of the coffee stick and biting off a chunk to suck. Espresso with chocolate and extra sugarcream. Aldo wasn’t so bad; he never forgot my usuals.

“What’s that mean?” He touched a red dot, read the figures, and adjusted the mix for that containment area.

Humans had been on Mars for – what? – three hundred, four hundred years? Weren’t we supposed to be living on a Terraformed Eden by now? But no. The famous year of 2600 had come and gone with none of the expansion or freedom the predictions had blithered about. By now, it was part of the still small Martian colony’s tradition to live in air bubbles in caves and caverns, each containment area connected to others by airless underground corridors. Didn’t attract many colonists, and lots of Martians went elsewhere when they grew up.

I liked it here. The thought of being out under an open sky, vulnerable to animals and insects and anything freaked me out. Even the thought of breathing raw, uncontrollable air choked me.

Available through Amazon in Print ($12.99) and for Kindle ($2.99).

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about someone who dislikes fresh air.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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