Space Camp by Al McDermid


He found himself standing in their daughter’s room, staring at the dusty mobile of the planets, unsure of how he’s come to be there. He looked at her bed, her desk, the unfinished homework. He considered opening the window, but the thought slipped away before he could act on it.

He wandered into the living room, looked out the window. The grass needed cutting. Did it? He wasn’t sure.

His wife would know, but she’d already left for work. Seems she left earlier every morning and came home later each night. Another thought occurred to him, something about each in their own way, but he couldn’t hold it. Perhaps she was having an affair. He wondered at how he might feel about it if she was, decided he wouldn’t feel anything.

He went into the kitchen, looked at the table, littered with unopened mail. He took a bottle from the cabinet and sat down at the table. Was he starting later than yesterday or earlier? Wasn’t sure it mattered. He opened the bottle, but found he’d forgotten to get a glass. He wasn’t going to drink from the bottle. He hadn’t sunk that far.

He set the bottle aside and looked though the mail, most of it junk, a few bills that might get paid, and one addressed to their daughter, her acceptance to Space Camp. Yeah, he thought, she would have liked that.

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7 Comments

Filed under Al McDermid

7 responses to “Space Camp by Al McDermid

  1. Here I was thinking she’d been abducted by aliens, but… well maybe she was. Either way, lost to her parents. Very poignant slice of life.

  2. Al McDermid

    Great idea. “. . . her acceptance to Space Camp. Well, he thought, she’s in the real Space Camp now.”

  3. Kelly Grotke

    subdued, and very nice

  4. oh god, the last line in past tense. wonderful manipulation of my emotions. well-played. peace…

    • Al McDermid

      Thank you. When I write these kinds of stories, I always assume I’m telegraphing and the readers will see the end right away. Maybe there is just not enough time.

  5. Pingback: Week #13 – Space Camp « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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