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A Stellar Job

By Elizabeth Quigley, aged 13

A Stellar Job

Read by Sean Baker from the BBC Radio Drama Company.

As I leave for work, the sun dips below the horizon, a fiery orange. It casts its blood-red rays across the darkening sky and then slowly blushes a deep pink. By the time I arrive, the stunning radiance has disappeared, replaced by an inky blue sky, pinpricked with glittering stars. I notice my reflection in the colossal glass doors leading into the building; elegant, midnight blue suit, freshly-ironed shirt, slender grey tie.

Swinging open the doors, I pace down a corridor, lined with pearly tiles and deep azure walls studded with minuscule, glinting gems. I step into my office. Polished oak furnishings greet me - an out-sized desk the focus of the room. I take my seat, my body seamlessly conforming to the soft leather chair and I check my watch once again. 7.30 pm. Time to get to work.

I swivel around to see the familiar yellow button. I press it with as much force as I can muster. Almost immediately, an immense black door swings open to my left. A tall woman, small glasses perched on her nose, enters.

"Sir, we have 155,100 new consignments."

I rise from my seat, and march briskly past her with a polite nod and enter the colossal room she has just left, so large I can hardly see the other side. Although this sight greets me every night, I still marvel at it. My eyes gaze around the whole room; the space is lit up with bright, iridescent lights that glint off the metal surfaces of the workshop. In the centre, a vast screen is the main focus, with rows of control buttons underneath. Every few seconds, an alluring light beams up out of a wide glass tube and teams of workers rush to deal with it. An efficient, neatly-dressed man strides up to me and hands me a clipboard. I scan through the first few names and call over one of the workers.

"Tell me about Edith Hope," I instruct him," Did she live her life well?"

"Yes, she was very selfless, always put others before herself," he replies.

"Do we have any space in the north-west quadrant for a large Z2OR, 90% brightness?"

The screen zooms in to reveal an empty gap in that quadrant, perfect for the new star. I continue moving down the list, assigning the newly deceased with a permanent place in the sky.

Finally the time flashes on the screen: 4:30 am. Another successful night completed.

As I drive home along the twisting country roads, I wonder: what kind of star will I be? What kind of life have I led? Will I be large? Small? Bright or dim? The twinkling sky glints down at me and I sigh a contented sigh. I created this. As I smile to myself, I don't see two more bright lights - those of the truck heading straight for me...

That night, a new, dazzling star appeared in the sky, brightest of them all.

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