Major Peter Burns finished his spacewalk, and holding onto a rail, unhooked his tether.
It was so unfair – at that moment there was a flash of light as a smiling crew member took his photo through a nearby port. Surprised, Peter jerked up, and his helmet hit a strut. He recoiled, losing his grip. To his dismay, he was now four feet from the grip and drifting away.
But he was already dead, Peter knew. Four feet was no closer now than four thousand feet, or four thousand miles and the vast sphere of the Earth waited patiently behind him.
- * *
Becky leaned on the fence. Her dad, Joe, leaned next to her and they studied the night sky. They’d seen five in the last hour and were keen for more.
A streak of light started in the west, suddenly flared and smoothly spanned the sky before guttering towards the east a few seconds later.
“Wow! That’s the best one all night!”
“Daddy? What are shooting stars made of?”
Joe smiled, happy to impart fatherly knowledge.
“Oh, rocks I guess, Honey.”