The Rapid Test by Mark S Bailen

We sat together on a bullet train circling Eros. The regolith blurred below.

“Don’t you want to know?” Dawn took my hand.

“Not really.” I read the cover of the test kit. Proves TRUE LOVE with 99% accuracy!

She handed over a test strip. “Indulge me.” 

We licked our strips at the same time and after a minute, two pink lines appeared on mine.

Huh? I was in love? How was that possible?

Dawn’s lip quivered. She stared out the window as craters sped past. 

“What’s the matter?” I asked. “Isn’t this what you wanted?”

Then I saw her strip.

Mark S Bailen is a writer from Flagstaff, Arizona. His day job is at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center where he spends far too much time looking at maps of Mars. He has been published in Fantasy, Nature: Futures, and Daily Science Fiction. His website is

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