Glass House

“Dry one,” Alex says to his wife.


He twists his hands on the golf club and shuffles bare feet on the carpet. Outside is another perfect Martian day. “Cold, too.”


The whole south wall is a window, like the north one, like the east and west walls, like the ceiling. They need the heat, the light. “Folks comin’ up. Looks like Martins and her like.”

“Aw hell,” his wife says, and goes back into the dark room. “You take care of ’em for me.”

“Ayuh.” He takes the club with him to the lock. “Something I can do for you, Martins?”

Martins is small and sandblasted, and she’s got two others with her, all with the red Sigma sprayed onto their helmets.

“Can do, Hammil,” she says. “Yes, you can. Notice you ain’t got the Delta on your place, like you ought. Could put that up for me, I’d appreciate it.”

“Nope,” he says. “Fraid I can’t.”

Martins leans in, the dome of her helmet a luminous blank in the pale summer sun. “Your children will be mongrels, Hammil, like their mother, like their father. Do us all a favor and put up the Delta.”

“Hell with you,” he tells her, and goes back inside.