“I think I’m in love,” Caleb said.

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“Don’t worry about it, Mel boy,” we heard her say.  

“Don’t worry about it?” Mel boy said through his tears.  “I sold you that claim for sixty thousand and now you stand to take a half million out of it and you tell me not to worry?”  He sniffled.

“More like a million five, in Alliance dollars,” she said cheerfully.  Mel boy sobbed outright.  She patted his shoulder with a rough hand.  “Hell’s bells, Mel boy, I’ve took enough to see me through the next twenty winters, and in Belt time, too.  I give you my coordinates and you work over the tailings, okay?”

“I think I’m in love,” Caleb said.

“Control yourself,” I replied, “there’s Mother.”

Mother didn’t bother to look up from her interview with a man bigger than Tweedledum and Tweedledee, who had what looked like but could not possibly have been a bearskin draped around his shoulders.  “I’m fine, dears.  Go away, please,” she said to us, and continued to the giant, “Three wives?  And how many children did you say you have?  Dear me.  And yours is the only family on–what was that designation again?  8482Sultan?  Of course it is.”

Hey, I’m from Alaska. We have a line about gold mining in our state song. Of course I was going to write about mining in the Asteroid Belt.

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Dana View All →

Author and founder of Storyknife.org.

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