Late, late. The nights got so black now, and they felt endless. Above me the sky was bottomless, a depth that went on and on, pricked with tiny lights. Many of those stars would have burned out long ago, the dead light leftover, travelling through space. I knew the process of it, the cycle of living things, the aftermath of millennia. A world which contained nothing, was empty but for my fellow masheens clicking their limbs in the dark. My thoughts went up into the night. The dream of the end was up there somewhere, the hope of a time when everything, at last, might finally stop. The sadness crept in me, that idea of a feeling they’d given me long ago. In the night I cursed those humans for their selfishness. For leaving us behind, to go on and on indefinitely, while the world around us withered and finally died, with just the sun slowly burning out. So slowly.

Sheen was awarded second prize in the 2017 Margaret River Short Story Award and will be published in the anthology Joiner Bay and other stories in June 2017. You can read the full piece here.

'Sheen is a sparkly science fiction story that asks questions about the crossroads of humanity and progress. The story is imaginative and well-contained and laced with landscape.' - Ellen van Neerven