Daily Fiction Writing Day 12/5: No Matter What Planet
For just shy of two weeks, I’ve been challenging myself to write a short piece of fiction every day. Beginning May 1, I coupled that with the #StoryADay May Challenge, using their prompts to inspire what I would write.
Today I’m stepping away from the prompt. The prompt was to write an acrostic prose poem. For those unfamiliar, the first letter of each line of an acrostic story or poem spells a word, presumably related to the topic of the story or poem. It’s a tough challenge and one that I am super impressed by people who can accomplish it.
But I didn’t want to. The goal of the challenge for me was to be more inspired to write more fiction. Neither gimmicks nor poetry are part of my personal challenge.
So I decided to step back to the list of story prompts my friend Polly sent and see if something struck my fancy. And this is what you get. My apologies to Polly that I substituted protest rock for Crust punk.
No Matter What Planet
The first moon rise was just after 7 p.m. so that’s when the party officially started. According to colony regulations, the time between moon rises was purely the purview of the colonists. Neither the company nor their jack-booted thugs were allowed to interfere in any colonist activity during that time.
Gregor pondered the regulation as he checked the temperature on his grill. The moon rises were only 87 minutes apart that day, so he increased the grill’s temperature accordingly. During non-moon rise, colonists were expected to eat the nutritious glop provided by the company and restrict their caloric intake as mandated by corporate physicians.
The kralak on the grill was a native beast similar to an ancient Earth cow and one of the few pure joys of living on the planet. But heating the grill before moon rise would be considered preparation for regulation violation, so he had to time the heating, cooking and consuming to the daily length of the moon rise.
While he focused on fixing the gastronomical indulgence for the workers in his sector, his spouse Alexi snuck through the underground passages to the vault of intoxicants that colonists kept well-hidden from one another and the company. Having just one person, unknown to all the others, who knew the current location of the vault kept everyone honest. No one could betray what they didn’t know.
Alexi’s focus was a batch of something similar to vodka he had been distilling for weeks, his entire time as vault keeper. The next day, he would pass the baton to the new vault keeper, so this was the final opportunity to share his masterpiece.
Half an hour past moon rise, Alexi and his neighbors were getting drunk. Gregor was handing out steaks and Monica, their next apartment neighbor, began playing ancient recordings, encouraging everyone to sing along. As an engineer, she had even been able to rig up a makeshift karaoke screen and microphone.
The vodka seemed too have made them all angry drunks.
Monica started the music with one of her oldest recordings, and belted out the lyrics. “Tell St. Peter, I can’t go. I owe my soul to the company store.”
Her wife, Elizabeth, took things down a notch with “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” and their husband Roger ramped things right back up with “If I Had a Rocket Launcher.”
The protest karaoke and drinking continued, despite Gregor yelling out a two minute warning before the second moon rise. He hid the grill and disposed of the remaining meat.
A single tear ran down his face as he saw Alexi take the stage just as the company’s jack-booted thugs began to march down the block.
“Any requests?” Alexi shouted to the crowd.
A few murmured and others ran to hide from the enforcers.
Gregor, Monica, Elizabeth and Roger gathered their tools, picks and shovels and melting rods meant for mining, knowing what they had to do. A few sympathetic friends joined them.
With the company enforcers just steps away, Gregor yelled out his request, knowing it was what Alexi had intended to sing anyway. “Let’s hear, “Fuck the Police’.”