Red Dust in the Wind

He grounded her? On Mars? She stormed to her quarters, fists clenched tightly, fingernails digging into her skin. She punched her locker, sat, and stared out the window, over the Martian plain.

Everyone had been working nonstop for months since they landed. The soil had been clogging matter harvesters far worse than lab estimates predicted. Only a few were operating perfectly; some had clogged and shut down to prevent overheating.

They were fixing Harvester Six; she taking samples, her supervisor cleaning soil from underneath a conveyor belt, when the belt jolted to life! The tension in the belt began dragging him up the belt, to the thresher!

“Help, get me loose,” he shouted! She ran to his rescue, pulling him from underneath the belt. But back at the base he accused her of turning the harvester back on, and watching for minutes as it dragged him! He jailed her in her own room.

She looked at her palms to see the blood already drying. Dry red specks flaked off of her hand like dust in the Martian winds.

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