by Mary E. Lowd
Originally published in Allasso, Volume 1: Shame, November 2011
The stars were thick, but the moons were thicker. Every year for the last decade, Earth’s sky had grown brighter with the reflected light of new lunar satellites. Generally a half a dozen small new moons per batch. Jordan had been working hard. He was a Labrador Retriever by heritage, and, back in human pre-history, those had been working dogs.
Ever since he was a pup who hadn’t yet grown into his giant feet and floppy ears, Jordan had known what he wanted to do with his life. He’d spent all of high school working hard at the car wash, saving his nickels and dimes, and staring up at the stars at night. As soon as he graduated, every penny of his savings went into taking the trip down to the Space Elevator in Ecuador, riding up to the geo-synchronous space station, and buying his very own space trawler.
That first flight had been a dream come true. The blackness of space slipped past him as he fulfilled the purpose that only he had understood. Sure, a lot of his friends had laughed at him, but what did they know? He had showed them! Year by year, he’d flown that trawler from Earth out to the asteroid belt and back. Then, the market for private asteroid residences in Earth orbit had exploded, and Jordan found himself a very rich dog.
Nonetheless, he continued his yearly flights, returning to Earth only for brief visits to his family. During these times, he stayed with his sister and her growing brood of big-footed, floppy eared puppies. His nieces and nephews laid with him on the back lawn at night and stared up at the sky full of moons. And Jordan’s heart would fill with pride knowing that he had fetched them.