The Tensile Strength of a Guide Cable – Lauren Dostal
It is one thing to walk on the outer hull of a shuttle and look up into a void black with absence and wonder if anyone sees you besides your mother on the jump cam which she uses to whisper into your ear about your fellow repair tech, “hey that girl is cute you should say hello.” It is another to walk backwards towards the jagged gash in the hull and see the silent spray of oxygen and remember bathing in sprinklers on a home planet which has disintegrated and greet your colleague with a hello which will not be returned. She is also remembering: a day, in the dark, when her wife reached out, eyes wide as she stared from the other side of the airlock into safety, viewed through the cracked glass of her helm before she floated peacefully into the void.
Lauren Dostal is a science fiction writer living in Tampa, FL. She reads fiction for Outlook Springs, and her recent work can be found online in Hotel, Entropy, and Always Crashing. In Fall 2018, she was selected for AWP’s Writer to Writer mentorship program for fiction. Find her tweeting at @ell_emm_dee.