Friday Flash Fiction: New Space

Taking my cue from Gareth D Jones, I’ve gone for a seasonal piece. Really just a bit of fun this week.

New Space
By Neil Beynon

It was cold in the garden. Their breath cast vapour clouds and the sky above London was awash with light, the rain of colour obscuring the stars. Simon looked on at the pyrotechnic display indifferently, an occasional glance at Julia’s smiling face his only concession.

“I don’t understand why everyone makes such a fuss,” he said.

“Shut up,” she replied. “It’s New Year – a whole new year of possibilities.”

The back door of one of the neighbour’s houses popped open.

“Just letting out the old year,” said the owner. Simon didn’t recognise them.

“Happy New Year Fran,” said Julia. Simon didn’t know how she knew everyone.

“Madness,” he whispered.

Julia punched him gently in the arm. “Don’t be mean.”

“It’s just an arbitrary marker on the calendar,” said Simon. “Another circuit round the sun. Another year of the same old shit.”

“It doesn’t have to be though. You don’t have to do the same old thing.”

“But we will. As sure as the earth goes round the sun until the day we die.”

“It doesn’t do the same thing though.”

“What doesn’t?”

“The sun,” she replied. “We orbit the sun but the sun, in turn, orbits the galaxy and what’s more it takes 225-250 million years just to do one circuit. Of course the galaxy is also moving, everything is always moving, expanding.”

“You’ve been reading my notes again,” sighed Simon.

“Well if you will leave yourself logged in,” said Julia. “That’s besides the point.”

“What is the point?”

“The point is that we’re constantly travelling through regions of space that no human being has been before. Constant possibility. Isn’t that something to celebrate?”

“Even if it’s only once a year,” he said.

“Even if,” she agreed.

“Even if it’s chosen at random.”

“Shut up Simon.”

Simon looked back up at the nebulous sky, his arm slipping around Julia and the ghost of a smile on his lips.

“I never thought of it like that before,” he said.

“There you go,” she said, drifting down his arm and back towards the house. Her hand slipped into his as she pulled him gently back towards the house.

“Don’t you want to watch the fireworks,” he said.

“Nah, I’ve seen it before,” she says. “I want to do something new. That alright with you?”

“Fearless explorer me,” he replied smiling. “What did you have in mind?”

“Thought you might be,” she said and then she was gone into the house.

Something soft and cotton landed on Simon’s shoulder. He cast a look back at the fireworks exploding overhead – half-in, half-out from the house. “Happy New Year.”

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