Fiction
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List of Contents

I’m following in the footsteps of the very talented Margot over at, Confessions of a mystery novelist, who took up challenge by FitfulFearfulPhantasmal, to write a piece of Flash Fiction as a list of contents. My thanks to both for the inspiration.

Here’s what I came up with.

This is the official list of catalogued items found floating in the engine room aboard the Daedalus Space Station, by rescue workers. What has happened to missing engineer, Lt. Tony Cho.

Main Engine Room:

1. Left glove of EXO suit
2. Acetylene torch and 4 mini gas canister (empty)
3. A single large feather
4. Re-breather mask (damaged)
5. Empty lead-lined class 4 container
6. Roll of fine tungsten steel cord
7. One Goddard magnetized plate
8. One Pistol-Grip spatial screwdriver
9. One ratchet trick tool
10. One ceramic cupeling container
11. Four partial teeth: human
12. One well-worn classic novel, 3 pages missing
13. One broken yellow pencil
14. Empty packet of wriggles gum

Missing from Engine Room:

1. Two tungsten steel panels 4 x 4
2. Two tungsten steel panels 6 x 6
3. Thirty feet of coolant tubing
4. Four coupling links and the primary coolant tank
5. Coolant attachment locks
6. Emergency EVAC suit
7. Primary coolant circuit board
8. Anderson coupling links and piping
9. Fire suppression unit and blanket

I know in my mind what happened, so, what do you think happened?

4 Comments

  1. First, thank you for the kind mention. I’m so glad you decided to do this, too, Alex. Isn’t it fun? Your lists are absolutely brilliant! There are several possible explanations for where Tony Cho is. My idea of where he might have gone is suggested by the feather and the missing pages of the book. The fire suppression supports it, too. I’ll be interested in what others think. This is great!

    • You are more than welcome, Margot. I’m just delighted to have had so much inspiration from your own blog and posts. And thank you so much for your kind words and support.

      And yes, this was great fun, but also, difficult in its own way. To distill a story down to basic elements was an intriguing challenge. I had to write the flash fiction first, and then, extract the necessary pieces for readers to make their own assumptions from.

      I think this would make a great monthly challenge! 😀

  2. I could be way off base but I pictured a lone man in space in a craft and something goes horribly wrong. The missing teeth made me think he had to bite one of the containers because it was stubborn to open when he was trying to do something in an emergency. He had to evacuate the space ship. Oooooo! I just love the puzzle of this all. The feather is fascinating me. What in the world could that be? Was there a being an animal up there with him? What is the feather from? He used the book pages to start a fire? He needed to cool something. It sounds like chaos was up there! Please do tell us the answer to the mysterious plot behind the lists. That’s the best I could do. I am so glad you took the challenge! This was a blast! Nice job! Thanks so much!

    • Wow, that was almost as much fun to read as it was trying to come up with my list of contents! You really offered a great scenario of what could have happened, based on your reading of the list. Bravo, FFP, you were close on some points!

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