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This is another one of my short shorts.  This one is a bit of light science fiction called “Litterbug.”  It is definitely not as grim as “The 666th Dawn.”  Here is “Litterbug.”

It was first spotted by an astronomer in France.  Soon every telescope on the planet focused on the black object relentlessly moving toward Earth.  Black against the blackness of space, it was upon our planet before shouts of warning could be raised.  Security was hopeless, and the population grew tenser by the hour.

 The black object was huge, almost two miles in diameter, but oddly shaped.  Not round or potato shaped like a meteor, it was more like a disk.  Its mass did not match its size; the object was hollow.  An astrophysicist, at Lick Observatory in California, was the first to say it, “It’s a ship!”

 Word spread across the planet like wild fire.  The population’s fear changed from one of certain destruction to one of the unknown. As it entered the Earth’s atmosphere, projections were made for its destination; Washington, D.C. was its target.  Military forces around the world went on full alert. 

Generals suggested a nuclear strike while the ship was in the high atmosphere.  The option was quickly rejected by all governments.  The President, over strong protest from his cabinet, decided to meet the visitors personally.  The vice-president was whisked off to shelter in Virginia.

 Looking up at the sky the President and the First Lady steeled their nerves as the giant ship appeared over the Capitol.  It descended until it took the midday light from Capitol Hill plunging the seat of government into darkness.

The world’s population collectively drew a breath as the ship hovered 700 feet above the city.  Slowly a small door slid open in the center of the monstrous construction.  Screams were heard as two objects rushed toward the Earth at terminal velocity.  The objects hit the ground and scattered pieces over the grassy mall between the Capitol and the Washington Monument.

The shocked world stared up at the giant visitor wondering what would happen next.  After a moment of dead silence, a voice was heard.  It had the power of the voice of God.  It relayed a simple message in an annoyingly bureaucratic sounding tone,”A very busy shipping lane runs through the outer edge of this system.  Debris such as this disrupts the hyperspacial gateway.  This caused the rerouting of three freighters.  Badly needed supplies were delayed.  Please refrain from releasing your trash randomly into space.  If you have any questions, contact the gateway control outpost located on a moon orbiting the eighth planet of this system.  I believe you call it Triton.  We would appreciate your cooperation in this matter.”

With that curt address, the giant ship disappeared as quickly as it came.  As the President inspected the remains of Voyagers one and two, he turned to his wife and said, “Well dear, it seems humanity has made its first impression on sentient life in the galaxy; we’re litterbugs.”


Pete is a retired software developer, a writer, and a martial arts instructor. He lives in Maryland with his wife Cathy and they are enjoying their retirement. Pete is the author of four novels, "The Teacher", 500 Years from Home", and "The Long Journey Home" are available at; and "Pioneers" in available at the Kindle Book Store.

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Posted in fiction, science fiction, Writing

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