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Zeke and the Mystery of the Callaghflorian Crystals by Kenneth Bennight

The complete story will be included in Corpus Christi Writers 2019.

Wheel Colony XJB776, Interstellar Space

The blue chick’s bright mane was no yellower than a jonquil and her clothes no skimpier than a clumsy pickpocket’s purse. She stood at the bar, her stripes pulsing to the beat of the music. I let out a deep breath. Middle aged, I’d all but lost my stripes, except when mad—or scared. She’d never give me a second look.

Stale ale and THC-product smoke wafted to me. Flashing signs lit the room. The bar sat on an outside bulkhead, and a four-meter diameter porthole showed the galaxy spinning around us. Pedants insist we’re doing the spinning. Whatever. I never tired of gawking. Every deck along the 100-kilometer circumference of the wheel was lined with portholes, but schmucks like me don’t live next to outside bulkheads.

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