39 comments

Submitted on 09/15/2020

Categories: Science Fiction Drama

Mrs. Watts settled into her desk chair and breathed in the cold air, smiling. The house was one very large room, really; her desk sat against the wall next to the couches in the living room. The kitchen was in one corner, and the bedroom in another. It all felt so cozy to her, especially with a mug of coffee in one hand, her writing pen in the other and a spectacular view of Earth spinning slowly in the window.


“Perfect. Just perfect,” she murmured. She took a sip of her coffee, thankful they'd found a way to make houses with Earth's gravity.


Mr. Watts suddenly burst through the door carrying two bulky shopping bags. He unzipped his suit and hung his helmet on the hook by the door before stomping over to the kitchen and tossing the bags onto the counter.


“Got the meals,” he grumbled.


“Thank you,” said Mrs. Watts stiffly.


“Anything for you, dear.”


Mrs. Watts slammed her coffee down on the table, spilling it everywhere. Mr. Watts stalked over to the couches and sank into the large blue one by the bookshelf. He folded his arms moodily as Mrs. Watts snatched a paper towel off the kitchen counter to clean up the mess of coffee.


“That’s enough!” snapped Mrs. Watts. “I’m sick of that tone!”


“Well, I’m sick of a lot of things around here!”


“Not this again!” said Mrs. Watts exasperatedly, throwing her hands up. “You agreed to this.”


“I agreed to a new life, not this—this slow death.”


“Millions of people would die to be here.”


“And most of us would die to go back!”


They stared at each other and narrowed their eyes. This was their third argument this week. Mrs. Watts jabbed a finger at her husband.


You wanted to do this.”


“Who wouldn’t?! Real estate on the moon? It’s all anyone would talk about. Never mind what it would actually be like!”


“And what is that? Because I find it incredible.”


You like it. You. You can hide yourself away all day and write your heart out, while I do what, exactly? Twiddle my thumbs? Tend to the moon rocks outside?”


“You know full well that there are plenty of jobs up here. You’re just too busy complaining to apply.”


“Because I don’t belong here! Where are the trees? Where are the hiking trails? What am I supposed to do as a park ranger?”


“The whole damn moon is a national park! Of all people, you should be thrilled to live here!”


“I only agreed because you brought it up—"


“Oh, so this is my fault? You agree to do this, and the whole thing is my fault?”


 “You were complaining about the city every day! We could have gone to the mountains, or the beaches, but you just had to go ahead and choose the moon!”


They were both on their feet, shouting. Mrs. Watts blinked away tears; she hated that anger made her cry.


“You know Sarah and Kit Wheaton, at the end of the block?” said Mr. Watts fiercely. “They’re going back at the end of the week. And the Fredericksons have had their space shuttle booked for a month.”


Mrs. Watts slid back into her chair and pressed her hand against her forehead. She took a deep breath.


“It’s just...it’s perfect here,” she said wearily. “It’s quiet enough that I can concentrate, and beautiful enough that I’m always inspired. It’s a writer’s dream.”


Mr. Watts sighed and fell into the blue couch again. “I know. I know, I really do. It’s just...a bit much.”


“What are we supposed to do? We just got here. Why can’t you give it some more time?”


“I’ve given it six months! Is that not enough?”


Their voices were beginning to rise again. Mrs. Watts opened her mouth to angrily retort and then quickly snapped it shut. She didn’t want to shout anymore.


“Fine. Say that we don’t move, yet. What would make this better for you?”


Mr. Watts looked at her and raised is eyebrow.


“Humor me,” she said, shrugging.


“Maybe...maybe being able to go for a normal hike again,” said Mr. Watts.


Mrs. Watts jumped up to the kitchen table where she’d put the stack of mail that morning. She rifled through the letters until she came across a small pamphlet, which she tossed to her husband.


“There. The new initiative by the Council: gravity suits that mimic Earth's gravity. So we don’t have to bounce around when we leave the house.”


Mr. Watts looked impressed as he examined the pamphlet.


“That’s quite a feat.”


“What else?” pressed Mrs. Watts.


“Um—I miss food. Real food, like the lemons and avocados that used to grow in our yard back on Earth....”


Their shopping bags were full of the freeze-dried meals that Moon Residents ate for every meal.


Mrs. Watts nodded toward the window in the kitchen, the one that faced the sun most of the day. Mr. Watts glanced over and widened his eyes. He hadn’t noticed when he’d first stomped in.


There, on the windowsill, was a clear container lined with small pots filled with dirt and skinny green tubes.


“Supply shuttles brought them in this morning. It’s not much—it’ll still be a while until the farms are fully functioning, they keep running into problems—but it’s a start. Green onions.”


Mr. Watts stared at the green onions in wonder.


“That’s...that's a surprise, I have to say.”


“They call it ‘miniature farming.’”


They sat in silence for a moment, not meeting each other’s eyes.


“It’ll get better,” said Mrs. Watts finally. “It’ll take time, but I promise. Little steps at a time.”


“Sometimes the little steps are the hardest to take,” said Mr. Watts quietly.


“I’m sorry,” said Mrs. Watts. “I should have thought this through more.”


“I’m sorry, too,” said Mr. Watts. “I should have been more open and honest.”


“So, what do we do now?” asked Mrs. Watts, rubbing her arms.


Mr. Watts picked up the blanket draping over the back of the couch and walked over to his wife. He gently laid the blanket around her shoulders, and she reached up to squeeze his hand in thanks.


“I guess...we keep talking."

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39 comments

D. Jaymz
21:39 Sep 20, 2020

Great story 👏 Excellent dialogue. Very well written 😊

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Leilani Lane
01:27 Sep 25, 2020

Apologies for responding so late--my work is crazy! Thank you so much for reading! :)

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D. Jaymz
01:46 Sep 25, 2020

You're welcome 😊 and will always be on time whenever you drop a line.

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Yolanda Wu
07:03 Sep 17, 2020

The dialogue and language was so captivating and you illustrated their relationship really well and the last line probably showed it the best. The language you use is simple, subtle and effective. Amazing work!

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Leilani Lane
15:58 Sep 17, 2020

Hi, Yolanda! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

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Charles Stucker
00:49 Sep 17, 2020

"stomping over to the kitchen and tossing the bags onto the counter." Stomping on the moon is a good way to bounce up and hit your head. Maybe have him grumbling as he shuffles, the only safe way to walk in lunar gravity. And I see you already have him grumbling, so maybe a scowl on his face while he shuffles. Mrs. Watts slammed her coffee down on the table, spilling it everywhere- it is more likely they would use bulbs with straws- liquid in the air does not settle quickly. Or, you could have teh lid pop-off and cause a spill, then she ...

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Leilani Lane
15:31 Sep 17, 2020

Hi Charles, thank you so much for giving this a read and for your suggestions! I've fixed those ellipses and the "they're," great catch, thank you! As for the science, the house acts as a regular house and has Earth's gravity. Thank you for pointing out that that's not clear! I just added a comment in there showing that it's a 'gravity house.' ("She took a sip of her coffee, thankful they'd found a way to make houses with Earth's gravity.") Obviously, this would be extremely advanced technology! Let me know if that doesn't make sense (I s...

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Charles Stucker
19:55 Sep 17, 2020

Artificial gravity is currently a no-go theoretically- we believe it would take enormous energy. But, it is a mainstay of fiction because it solves so many plot issues. Like the coffee and floating liquid droplets in low gravity. Rain is water which accumulates to much vapor into a single point and then gets heavy enough to fall through the buoyancy of the air. Lower gravity mixed with the same surface tension means larger drops will stay in the air. Give some artificial gravity and you have no problems. Same for health issues of low G. Arti...

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Leilani Lane
20:18 Sep 17, 2020

That's what I was thinking--it's so popular in fiction! Thanks for elaborating on that, I really appreciate it. I'll keep it at artificial gravity for now, but I'll remember that for future space stories!

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Charles Stucker
21:29 Sep 17, 2020

I almost went into how recent changes in how we understand dark matter make artificial gravity more potentially possible (meaning less of a total energy hog) but decided it was the sort of thing my wife would say is too much science detail. However, I thought you cold have someone say, in reference to gravity suits, "Bet it costs a bundle. Dark matter might as well mean black hole for money as expensive as it is." Then you could have a response, "A diver said we could just use weights on suits to get the same effect cheaply."

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Leilani Lane
21:32 Sep 17, 2020

Wait, that's really cool though! Is there a website you could point me to where I could read more about that?

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Sue Marsh
21:06 Sep 16, 2020

Leilani, this is a really good read! I enjoyed the story, sort of made me wonder if someday we will colonize the moon. Great job. If you have the time please, read my story Cold is Cold But This Is Ridiculous and please leave a comment. Thanks, Sue

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Leilani Lane
04:29 Sep 25, 2020

Hi, Sue! Somehow, I missed this comment. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I will definitely check out your story tomorrow!! :)

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B. W.
18:37 Sep 16, 2020

I really liked this story and you did a great job with it ^^ i don't think anything was wrong with it so, guess what? this gets a 10/10 :)

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Leilani Lane
18:42 Sep 16, 2020

Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I'll be sure to check your stories out, too!

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B. W.
18:44 Sep 16, 2020

No prob and aw thanks ^^ the latest story i made is like a preview to a novel im making with the first and second chapter, if i ever read that could ya leave some advice on it maybe? "Universe" is the name

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Leilani Lane
18:47 Sep 16, 2020

Of course! Just read and commented. :)

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B. W.
18:51 Sep 16, 2020

could you maybe help me with a few small things with it?

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Leilani Lane
19:00 Sep 16, 2020

Let me know what you need help with! The first thing to do is fix up the capitalization and such--those kinds of mistakes can really draw away from the story as a whole. But luckily, they're easy to fix! I would recommend reading the story out loud. Where do you pause naturally? That needs a comma, semi-colon, em dash, etc. Every "I" needs to be capitalized, as does every word at the start of a sentence. Start with that and go from there!

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Maggie Deese
18:02 Sep 16, 2020

Lovely story, Leilani! You perfectly captured the tension between this couple and displayed the issues they need to work out together. The dialogue was very well written and your characters had nice development, too. Wonderful job!

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Leilani Lane
18:10 Sep 16, 2020

Thank you so much for giving it a read and commenting, Maggie! I've been reading a lot of romances lately and while they're lovely, I always get a bit tired with how unrealistic some can be... hopefully, this story shows that real love isn't always rainbows and flowers!

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Maggie Deese
18:41 Sep 16, 2020

You're so welcome! I also agree that romances are portrayed extremely unrealistic in movies and (some) books. Relationships are far from perfect and take loads of work. Your story did a fantastic job of bringing the realistic aspect of relationships to light!

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Becky Holland
03:20 Sep 16, 2020

Very smartly done. I read it, and was like, whoa. I saw a few simple doodads that could've been tweaked, but I got so involved in your characters - nicely developed - that I forgot to write anything down. So maybe just a reread, and you will see it. Very good though!

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Leilani Lane
16:02 Sep 16, 2020

Hi, Becky! Thank you so much for reading and for your comment! You're definitely right--I need to go back through and clean it up a bit, oops. Planning to do so today! Glad you enjoyed. :)

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Becky Holland
16:07 Sep 16, 2020

I try to remember writers on here that I like to read, and you will be one of those for sure!

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Leilani Lane
16:09 Sep 16, 2020

Right back at you!!

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Lina Ozz
19:24 Sep 15, 2020

I love how you resolved the conflict in this story while still leaving ending open. The dialogue was excellently crafted, too––such good inflection!

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Leilani Lane
21:41 Sep 15, 2020

Thanks sis! :)

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Leilani Lane
16:57 Sep 15, 2020

The most important part of a relationship is communication! :)

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