Over on Boing Boing they're having a drabble (100-word fiction) contest on the theme "Found in Space". Apparently one can win a computer. But more to the point, everyone who enters wins a useful writing exercise.
I don't expect to win; there are a lot of strong entries, some of which I'd choose over mine, were I judging. (I deliberately didn't read any of them before I composed my submission. Good thing, or I'd probably never have started.)
Read the full text of my story after the jump.
Update: The winner and runner-up have been announced. Congratulations to them, and to the surprisingly large number of other worthy submissions. Thanks to Rob Beschizza and to BoingBoing for running the contest. (Older updates moved to the end of the article.)