Put your Trash into Orbit
The futuristic orbs beside the TransCanada were called Orbits—she knew that much, but no one would tell her how they worked. Were they direct portals or did the garbage fall down a shaft to Cape Canaveral first?
She pressed her nose to the window as another orb flashed by: the opening on the side was wide enough. How many raccoons and stray cats were now unwitting residents of the exosphere? NASA engineers were smarter than her: they would have thought of that.
Other kids were lucky. Her dad insisted on saving their trash until the next gas station, so she’d never examined one up close, but she could picture it: when the trash grew heavy enough, it would press on the mylar across portal/tunnel entrance at the bottom and the spacesuit would seal around the trash as it fell through. Such beautiful technology wasted on banana peels and tissue!
Up or down, she was fine either way. She looked over at her baby brother. This kind of an adventure was not something to embark on before the age of reason. She tucked her Wrinkle in Time between the receiving blanket and his flannel belly.
She watched the signs along the shoulder count down the seconds to the next Orbit…10…9…8...and started gagging. Mom’s head swung around, hands groping the seat under her for anything that could serve as a carsick bag, but they’d tossed out all their burger wrappers and soda cups at Esso.
She pressed her nose into her brother’s diaper and coughed harder. As soon as the gravel crackled under the tires, her door flew open, her arms already extended for the forward dive. She was out of here.
Angeline Schellenberg is the author of the triple Manitoba Book Award-winning series of linked poems about autism Tell Them It Was Mozart (Brick Books, 2016) and the elegy collection Fields of Light and Stone (University of Alberta Press, 2020). Her fiction has appeared recently in Fewer Than 500, Six Sentences, and The Drabble. Angeline hosts the Speaking Crow reading series in Winnipeg, Canada.
The Ekphrastic Review
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