Bedtime Sad Science Fiction

And tonight I remembered all over again that some things are more important than finishing the last drag of your cigarette while staring out at empty space.

Yes, or no.

Like remembering you feel haunted.

By spiders in your hair. Rats in your apartment you never realised existed. Until after a prolonged stay on Base Alpha that you never planned for.

By memories you never got to have.

From a past you never knew you’d regret.

From a childhood you never knew you’d wanted.

A gross sense of ennui that you’re not about to let diminish and swell into panic.

Yes, or No.

Ok or... cancel.

Not a question, but a choice.

A binary decision.

0 or 1.

How gauche.

When did life become a series of choices anyway? 

I mean, obviously once you reach a certain point, that's all life is - a series of choices. And you just have to hope you choose correctly in the moment.

We're all just trying our hardest.

Ugh, Russel Brand? No, I do not need you in my head right now. Please kindly fuck off.

Thank you.

Ok, so... Ok or Cancel. That is my choice.

Yes, or no.

So at what point does it become your own series of choices?

Are they ever really your choices?

When did I stop choosing that last drag, and when did I start needing  it?

When did I stop lying awake out of choice, and when did it become necessary?

Why did I decide to leave earth for the moon, and was it really necessary?

Yes, or no.

When you're a baby, you're basically a little slug with arms. Base instinct. Or not even.

Everything is decided for you. And in some parts of the world, you get stomped on before you have a chance to realise what that even means. Snuffed.

Sigh. Wouldn't that be nice.

But then you gradually start to make your own decisions.

The red dress or the green dress. Yes, or no.

But those decisions are still within the construct of schools, or your parents, or karate, or exams, or capitalism. Or in the case of others, socialism or communism. Or in the case of others still, bartering or whatever it's called when people just help each other out.

Utopia? No, that can't be right.

So are our choices ever really our own? No one can ever really do whatever they want. Not even Jeff Bezos. He's still a human… ostensibly.

Even he can't see and interpret infrared rays with his own eyes. He can't fly, not with his own arms. He can't live forever. Even with limitless wealth his choices are still bound by mortality.

Even if he did build a secret base on the moon. Surprise kiddos, this is where all your Amazon shit really comes from! Robot drones on the moon.

Though they haven’t quite nailed how to do their own upkeep.

Jesus Christ-

-yes, he was a mere mortal too, sort of-

-it should not be this hard to decide whether or not to purchase a new pair of shoes.

What is wrong with me?

What is really keeping me here? Why do I really not want to go to this party?

And then I remembered all over again it’s not about the party, it’s about the people.

And being haunted by the ghosts of friends I never had.

Yes, or no.

By memories I never got to experience. With peers and people who never really saw or understood me, because I didn’t know how to give them the chance. I didn’t know how to let them see me. I didn’t even know that was an option.

I spent so much of my time hiding in plain sight that now I was crippled by a simple decision.

Do I stay, or do I go?

Ugh. Wrong decade, Abigail.

Get your shit together. Spiders in your hair?


If there are spiders in your hair, you’re in the wrong universe, you quietly remind yourself.


It’s 2:44am and the deadline has technically already been over for one hundred and sixty four minutes.

But they will probably make an exception, you think to yourself. Nobody’s that heartless. 

Ugh. Another meaningless movie quote from something you don’t remember.

Yes, or no. 

Shoes, or no shoes. Do I stay at home on my couch watching shitty TV with my outsider boyfriend, or do I go and hang out with a bunch of people I don’t care about in two months time?

Make a choice, dumb dumb. Make a decision. You’re not in highschool anymore.

And even if you were, those people were so wrapped up in their own lives that they probably didn’t notice how weird you were. And you know for a fact that some of them even liked you far more than you realised at the time.

So just do it. Hit the button.

Do the least worst thing. 

Choose the path of least regret. You can always weasel out and cancel later. Sort of.

Especially if you give them enough notice. You’ve worked in catering before. They only ever really confirm the numbers the day before. This is just to give the organisers a sense of how many seats they need.

Hell, they might not have even chosen the venue yet. Or the seating arrangements anyway. 

Ugh. Fine. 


They are pretty epic shoes. Jeffrey Campbells. Beautiful pump action heels with spikes all over. Down the back. And around the front. 

I could kill a man with these shoes, you think to yourself as you spend another $187 you don’t have on shoes you don’t really need.

Good for two weeks before back to Base Alpha. In space, pretty spikey shoes are not allowed. Sigh, I always think about pop culture more when deciding if I should to go home. And I always say no anyway. 

But these babies will make you feel dangerous, you tell yourself. Powerfull. Like a ninja. A goddess. A vampire queen.


Ok so… yes, or no.


Brain, we are experiencing technical difficulties. A system error. A catastrophic malfunction. A serious case of over dramatisation.

Just hit the button Abbi and get it over with. Go to bed. Crawl back into your rack. And imagine crawling back into your silk sheets after a quick debrief, Base Down Actual. 

The sheets that always feel warm, even after a long absence. Go and get yourself back to safety. Even if the latest reports show there is a bit of an infestation. I’ll have to get Dave to look into that for her.

The only thing you need to know at any given point in time, is what to do next.

Ugh. Thank you Jason Seagull. Do I follow my divine nonchalance?

What does that even mean?

It means yes, or no, woman. Just make a bloody decision already.


Ok. Done.

Man, steak sounds delicious. 

I’ll have to bring a bunch back with me for the deep freeze. 

February 08, 2023 16:34

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Jacob Weber
02:18 Feb 16, 2023

Especially in the first half, there's a very strong sense of poetry that I found really intriguing in this format. Externalizing your character's thoughts in verse is really interesting expositional device.


Niki Smallwood
06:37 Feb 16, 2023

Thank you! It actually wasn't intentional - it was very much a stream of consciousness story that I went back and story-checked. I will try to make a more conscious effort to 'think poetically' all the time now! lol


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Marysia Hacon
12:59 Feb 13, 2023

I liked being inside this writers thoughts, very much enjoyed


Niki Smallwood
18:56 Feb 13, 2023

Thank you :)


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Viga Boland
22:01 Feb 12, 2023

What an intriguing approach to writing something we can all relate to. Loved it. Poetic? Yes! You have a gift for saying so much in so few words. Bravo. Going to follow you to see what else you have to offer 😉


Niki Smallwood
18:56 Feb 13, 2023

Wow, thank you! I'd also like to thank my Screenwriting teacher, Shirley - she never let us forget that every letter is taking up valuable real estate on the page! hahaha


Viga Boland
04:15 Feb 14, 2023



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