THE ORBIT OF MERCURY
"A derelict city diner becomes a portal to the past - and the future."
Mercury's future is bright. He's the star player on his prep school basketball team and is being recruited by the best colleges in the country as much for his ball handling skills and blazing speed as for his talent in the sciences and passion for astronomy. But lately Mercury's orbit is behaving oddly, and sometimes it even feels as if he's moving backwards.
He's come home to a place he doesn't remember - where tension between the police and young black men is far different than in the suburbs - a girl who remembers everything about his past that he's forgotten, and a changing relationship with the man who raised him, a retired white cop who does everything he can to help a forgotten Baltimore neighborhood, even buying and restoring an historic corner diner.
And then he dies. And sees the universe for what it is.
2017 O'Neill Finalist