I was going through a stack of old Writing Magazines the other day. The pile had reached the top of the shelf, and I wanted to thin them out and get rid of the ones that I wasn't going to read again.
About half way down the pile, I came upon the short story I'd written for one of their competitions. I won a copy of How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by writing a science fiction story in 250 words.
Can it really have been in 2006?
So here it is - I'm still quite proud of it:
The New Place
Zenna got back from school to find mum running the video of the new place they'd be living in. "You really ought to see where we'll be living," she said.
It was a big university, with lawns and trees between the buildings. "Down there's the beach," her mother said. "Think of it - all those miles of sea, as far as the eye can see."
As far as the eye could see wasn't very far, to Zenna. She remained unimpressed.
"We've been selfish, staying here for so long," her mother said. "It hasn't been fair for you."
Zenna shrugged. The ship was her world. She felt safe here - and she knew the safety drills as well as any of the adults. There would be many different things to learn at this new place.
"You'll have a lot more freedom," said her father. "We could even get a pet."
Zenna was fond of the class guinea pig. It would be nice to have her own.
So there it was. They were going, and that was all there was to it.
The ride down was OK, and it was interesting picking their luggage out of all the other luggage on the carousel.
Then they walked through the glass doors, and Zenna was outside, on the surface of a planet, for the first time in her life.
She looked up at the sky and knew that there was nothing holding it in - and she screamed, and screamed, and screamed.