200 CCs - March 2016

ironsoap

Volume 1, Issue #3

Ghost Rift

by Deborah Walker

Only astronauts from New State China will travel through the Ghost Rift. In the Ghost Rift sleeting

particles of dust make the unseen visible. The Chinese have always known that spirits fill the air.

The crew of the Silver Nightingale laugh at the tortuous routes Westerners take to avoid the Rift.

They’re surprised, but they’re relieved when quiet Sung Li, the newest recruit, volunteers to pilot the

ship.

She watches the crew as they climb silently into the

stasis pods. When they wake, they’ll imagine

the feel of ghosts lingering on their

skins. They will make

loud, nervous

jokes.

Sung Li dresses in the

captain’s uniform. She has travelled

far from the factory slums of Neo Shanghai.

She has risen like a leaping salmon from the swarms of

her contemporaries. Sung Li has travelled a thousand light years from her childhood, and from her

mother’s incessant encouragement.

Sung Li watches the approaching Rift through the metal-glass window. She smoothes down the

captain’s uniform, and she smiles. Sung Li has travelled far. She is looking forward to meeting the

familiar look of her mother’s disapproval.

Deborah Walker grew up in the most English town in the country, but she soon high-tailed it down to London, where

she now lives with her partner, Chris, and her two young children. Find Deborah in the British Museum trawling the

past for future inspiration. Her stories have appeared in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, Nature’s Futures, Lady

Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet and The Year’s Best SF 18 and have been translated into over a dozen languages.

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