Luna Station Quarterly is a speculative fiction magazine featuring stories by emerging women authors.
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Below the Big Dipper, to the Left of Ursa Minor Stood the Mural Quadrant Constellation

I send up my words, probes, small irritants begging an audience with large gods. I plead in whispers; let me be your pilot fish, I will clean your wounds.

But no matter how many times I milk this rage turning it into slow steady starter fuel, I am never able to breach the midnight sky and in that failure am aware that I wish on dead stars, feeding on memories of slow burning white dwarfs, red giants and the bearded fat lady.

My brief circus career as a tightrope walker cut short by a tragic bout of vertigo, every spare moment spent with my best friend the human cannonball, gaining an advanced understanding of the physical properties of aerodynamics.

While in Antarctica in 1985 I punched through the stratosphere only to be spat back down to earth, the heavens repulsed by my crude foreplay, managing only to tear a hole in the ozone–A full body cast and two decades of physiotherapy later, I was ready to try again.

For my second attempt I chose a friendly small town with wide open spaces. Too much coil this time… I let off an awful bang as I shot through the sky causing mass pandemonium for hundreds and hundreds of red winged blackbirds.

Note to self: wearing a mercury dress during launch an impractical choice. Google 100,000 dead fish to understand why.

Arkansas, I am sorry.

In the spirit of full disclosure at this time I must also add I am responsible for putting the sume in consume, the sump in consumption, and the ear in fear. And I am now legally able to disclose that I am the product of the Raelian cloning program of late 2002.

I have recently learned that I am the genetic descendant of Yorick-the first monkey to survive space travel-and of Yuri Gagarin. The first man to orbit the earth, also known as the Russian cosmonaut who died in a plane crash.

In my attempts to escape/return home I continually fail and am left with a predisposition for yearning, my eyes forever bent upwards. Feeling cathedral sick with desperation I was forced to resort to using God’s telephone box. But when my pleas passed through that metal grate–perfectly intact thoughts were splintered then strained into the lowest common denominator so that my cries for intercession were exchanged for 3 Hail Mary’s and a promise that I’d try harder to be good.

So now I stay in this dark, disconnected telephone box with nowhere to go. Burdened, burning with the knowledge that in 1922 all of your stars were reassigned to different constellations. Carelessly swallowed up by your neighbors, grown fat with greed. Below the Big Dipper, to the left of Ursa Minor once stood the Mural Quadrant constellation.

But this is not your requiem.

I am here-genetically programmed to return to you. I will stage an act of reclamation if you come for me. I will draw your borders, redefine them.

I will be your sheepdog, your border collie.

I will put an end to interstellar theft.

I will guard your galaxy.

A bit about the author:

Shannon Quinn has two pieces of short fiction forthcoming in Etchings and Postscripts from the Darkness. She lives in Toronto. Visit author page