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Science Fiction Funny

“Jane!” A voice bellowed from the recesses of the ship. “Where is my grapefruit?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” A voice echoed from the opposite direction.

“My grapefruit, Jane! The one I specifically had my name on! The one you stole!”

“First of all, why would you print your name on a freaking grapefruit? Second of all, if you didn’t want me to take it, you shouldn’t have put it in a community fridge.”

“So you did take it!”

“Why is this grapefruit so important, anyway?”

“Do you know, Jane, how many people have died in ships due to scurvy? Do you?!”

“So eat an orange!”

“The orange is overrated! The grapefruit is the only citrus fruit that understands me.”

Charlie groaned and pressed his forehead against the table. “Lewis, we just had a shipment of grapefruit yesterday, get another one!”

“Shut up, Charlie! This doesn’t concern you!”

“I don’t even know why you try anymore.” Lyra flipped her braid as she slid in next to him.

“Because you well know how much worse it will get if I don’t.”

Harriet groaned as she remembered the third great prank war.

Jane and Lewis were in an argument over their favorite colors, and it escalated into a full-blown war. Everywhere anyone turned, there was another trap set for either Lewis or Jane.

Somehow, they ended up joining forces against the rest of the ship and wreaked havoc upon the crew of the Flame.

They feared that it would spread to the other ships of the fleet, but luckily, Charlie recovered from his bout of illness quickly, and managed to calm both Lewis and Jane within the hour.

But the crew would never forget the horror and fear they faced in that week; that was the day Charlie became the unofficial leader of all things Lewis and Jane.

“I don’t even know why they’re on the same ship after that stunt; much less the mothership.”

Lyra took a lasting gulp of coffee. “Jane’s the best engineer in the whole fleet.”

“And Lewis is crazy good with the servers and the rest of the ship’s tech.” Harriet supplied, flicking a crumb of her muffin.

“Plus, they’re great gunners in a pinch and work well with everyone except each other.” 

Claude snorted as he walked in. “Tell that to the Horogin embassy from two month ago.

“Listen,” Lewis looked up from his tablet, “we all agree that the embassy was a mistake, just like we all agree that in general, Jane and Lewis are remarkable workers.”

“Besides,” Harriet simpered, “can you really picture them anywhere else?”

The room fell silent except for the gurgle of the coffee maker as each of the four tried to imagine Jane or Lewis stationed on any other ship.

“Fair point.” Lyra admitted. “So can I just be put on another ship? I grew up on the Growth; agriculture is not something so easily forgotten.” Her violet braid twisted in front of her and seemed to writhe in agreement.

“Uh, Charlie?” Claude pointed. “There’s a problem.”

Charlie took one look at the floating braid before letting out a groan. 

He tapped the screen of his tablet and set it down, a holograph of a red-headed man slowly taking form.

“Hey Charlie!” He showed of a gap-toothed grin. “Your gravity messing up too?”


“Yeah, I just got off a vid with the captain about it. Lewis is checking it out now.”

“Lewis? Isn’t he usually on servers?”

“Usually, but since he passed out on another late night shift yesterday, I figured putting him on monitor watching duty was a better plan.”


A blond man with dark, circular glasses stomped past, an indescribable look on his face.

“Lewis, you figure it out yet?”

“Yeah, Arnold, it’ll be fixed in a sec.” He disappeared from view.

“Hey Jane!” A voice came from both the tablet and the hallway. “Something’s blocking the free-float tube!”

“Yeah, that’s probably your grapefruit.” 

“You didn’t even eat it?!” The screech caused both Lyra and Charlie to wince. “What the heck?”

“I don’t like grapefruit.”

“So you took it from me for the sole pleasure of depriving me joy?”

“Yeah.” A clang was heard and Lyra’s braid dropped. “It’s in the compost bin now.”

“I hate you, you know!”

“Just like I hate grapefruit?” 

An indecipherable collection of sounds was heard, before the hologram showed Lewis stomping back to his post.

“Good work, buddy.” Arnold offered, to what might as well have been empty space.

“Thanks for dealing with it, A.” Charlie picked up the tablet. “Good luck.”

“No, man, good luck to you. Lewis has his morning break in five minutes.” And with a wink, Arnold was gone.

“But that’s the same time Jane’s on break.” Lyra remarked.

The four looked at each other with wide eyes, then at their meager breakfast.

“Hide the grapefruit.”

January 12, 2020 21:10

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1 comment

Rhondalise Mitza
21:37 Jan 22, 2020

I love grapefruit! This was a really good story and I liked how it maintained a very light mood throughout the whole situation and didn’t dip into melodrama. However, you still managed to give a fair amount of background and it wound up well. It was perfect for a short story and fit the prompt well. Best of luck!


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