She’d never thought of herself as pretty. She was far too awkward for that, too uncomfortable in her own skin, too shy and retiring. Her features, if they drew comment (which in itself was rare) were declared unusual and unsettling. It was generally agreed that her eyes were too hooded and their shade too light. Half blind, they had a tendency to fix overly long upon you, after which they slowly fought to read and absorb your every detail, drinking you in. Defying social conventions, ignoring the boundaries of an individual’s space, their precious circle, they upset rather than pleased....

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The Moon would never be the same again.

Sure, nothing important in its construction had changed. It was still the same old mass of rock hanging on an ever-decaying orbit around the larger mass of rock that we call home. But it was different.

Maybe the giant structure unfolding on its surface had something to do with it.

This mission had taken years to even green-light, never mind anything else. But now, we were here. Standing on the moon, with a base. It wasn't anything special, though. We were heading to Mars with a similar base the next week.


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When the butterflies are high in the afternoon sky is the best time to sit by the lake. I am lucky to have the view I do, not many people can just waltz out their back door and be in the wonderland that is nature. I can.

I take my walkman (don't judge me) with me whenever I go down to the lake. I like to think about the day and all the wonders tomorrow will bring. It's not so lonely just being me and my walkman because a few butterflies always join me. Their gilded wings brush the water's...

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