This is part three of a five-part story.
I wrote the first part back in the summer of 2011, at the request of one of my Clarion Write-a-thon sponsors: he wanted a piece of short fiction which might persuade his girlfriend to come with him (and D and me) on JoCo Cruise Crazy II.
I wrote the second part at the request of said girlfriend, after she'd decided to go on the cruise with our whole group of friends; it was a sort of counter-surprise back to the original requestor.
At that point, I had a longer story in mind, so I went ahead and finished it. It's set in the same universe--in fact, on the same interplanetary cruise ship--as my novel-in-progress Waypoint Kangaroo, but is a horse of an entirely different color. So to speak.
The finished piece was an odd bird, with a science fictional setting but really no other genre elements, and has been rejected by multiple markets already. So now, as #JCCC3 approaches, I've decided to just put it out there for your enjoyment, 512 words (or fewer) at a time. You'll see part four next week, and part five the week after that.
Now here's part three of Liz and Barrett's adventures between Earth and Mars...
Read "Dinner Conversation" at 512 Words or Fewer