Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from writing prompt: Dining on the Bridge

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

Lonnie Downs watched Aries station sync with Vega. Tugging his dress shirt’s collar, he recalled when Aries and Vega stations had last synched.

True, Arias had synched with other stations since then. Nearly every month they synched to another station on the ladder, but Vega? Fourteen years.

He felt as nervous as he had then.

Tugging his collar again, he watched the half-bridge extended, met, and slot into Vega’s mirroring bridge. A metallic clunk echoed and vibrated through the deck.

Pressure equalization completed, the computerized voice echoed too quickly for Lonnie’s nerves.

Nerves didn’t stop the bridge seal opening or the following puff of air. Lonnie tucked one hand behind his back.

A mirroring detail approached from Vega, including a squeaking cart. Vega’s commander locked eyes with him.

Lonnie appraised the man as they approached. His hair retained it brown’s shade with less gray than he’d expected. The laugh lines had deepened.

The two men stopped opposite each other. Lonnie couldn’t find words to say.

Vega’s commander enveloped Lonnie in a hug. “You look well, Lonnie,” his voice sounded choaked.

“You too, Dad,” he managed.

Fifteen years since they’d breathed the same air. Fifteen years since Lonnie had left Vega for Aries command. Lonnie had jumped leaving his friends and family behind.

His father clapped his arm and drew Lonnie to a chairs the men had setup for the Commander’s meal held between stations.

“So,” his dad said leaning forward. “Tell me about Chris.”

Fifteen years and nothing had changed.

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