#18 of Lost Sci-Fi
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0 hours 24 minutes
The Addicts Written by William Morrison - Wives always try to cure husbands of bad habits, even on lonely asteroids!
You must understand that Palmer loved his wife as much as ever, or he would never have thought of his simple little scheme at all. It was entirely for her own good, as he had told himself a dozen times in the past day. And with that he stilled whatever qualms of conscience he might otherwise have had. He didn't think of himself as being something of a murderer.
She was sitting at the artificial fireplace, a cheerful relic of ancient days, reading just as peacefully as if she had been back home on Mars, instead of on this desolate outpost of space. She had adjusted quickly to the loneliness and the strangeness of this life—to the absence of friends, the need for conserving air, the strange feeling of an artificial gravity that varied slightly at the whim of impurities in the station fuel. To everything, in fact, but her husband.
She seemed to sense his eyes on her, for she looked up and smiled. 'Feeling all right, dear?' she asked.
'Naturally. How about you?'
'As well as can be expected.'
'Not very good, then.'
She didn't reply, and he thought, She hates to admit it, but she really envies me. Well, I'll fix it so that she needn't any more. And he stared through the thick, transparent metal window at the beauty of the stars, their light undimmed by dust or atmosphere.
The stories told about the wretchedness of the lighthouse keepers who lived on asteroids didn't apply at all to this particular bit of cosmic rock. Life here had been wonderful, incredibly satisfying. At least it had been that way for him. And now it would be the same way for his wife as well.
Science Fiction & Fantasy
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