The bus rolled on, away from Baikonur. We followed the tracks of the old railway out into the desert, but I stared back at the town for as long as I could. The empty buildings rose like old teeth along the horizon, and the weedy streets lay empty in the approaching dusk. It was a ghost town.
Eventually I turned back in my seat and watched the barren landscape ahead. I was tired from my journey and didn't want to think about how much farther I had yet to travel. A young man sat in the seat opposite mine, wide-eyed and excited. His leg thumped rapidly and he kept glancing down at a letter that he clutched tightly in his lap. Was he on his way to see his love? Perhaps he was starting a new career. He had stars in his eyes, that was for sure, and I couldn't help but smile when I looked over at him. Seeing him made me think of my own letter--the one that sat heavily in my shirt pocket.
And why shouldn't it sit heavily? The envelope was stuffed with plastic explosive, carefully rigged to detonate on exposure to air.
Reject me would they? This was one submission that wouldn't be supplied with an SASE.
Opening: Gordon Clemmons.....Continuation: Antony