I’m always impressed with flash fiction that works, as “Outside the Box” works. As a writer, I find that trying to fit all that goes into setting, character development, and plot, impossible or just damn difficult at best. Rarely are all three used to their full potential in flash fiction, one always seems to make way for the other two, and the story enters the realm of antidote.
Oltion’s two pager, has a clear message that is more important than the characters, setting, or plot (there really isn’t a plot), and rightly so. The message is one that is timely and very important, I would think, for all Americans or anyone who loves freedom. It is a message for anyone who thinks that the definition of Terrorism is too broad.
The story is about a kid who grew up on the Moon in a lunar colony. He has never been outside the dome. He has only experienced the creators and valley through probes and scanners. So he as acquired a space suit and has gone for a walk. He is only gone for fifteen minutes before he is called back by the lunar police.
He is met at the air lock by the police and a lawyer who urges him to keep his mouth shut. Instead of keeping quiet, he confesses his desire for freedom, the freedom to walk on the surface of the moon without fear. This confession is soon twisted until his crime of moon-walking fits the definition of terrorism.
This is good piece of flash fiction that I think everyone should read.
Oltion, Jerry. “Outside the Box.” Analog. July/August 2008, Vol. CXXVIII, No. 7 & 8. P 132 – 133