Avatar Author: Petros I have a wife, two kids, a cat and a mortgage. I design and maintain websites for a living and have never considered myself a writer. I like board wargaming, drawing and I also attempt to play the trombone. Hopefully, I'm... Read Bio

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!”

Becky pondered.

“Daddy? What are shooting stars made of?”

Joe smiled, happy to impart fatherly knowledge.

“Oh, rocks I guess, Honey.”

View this story's details


Oh no! This story doesn't have a prequel. Want to fill in the blanks and write one?


Oh no! This story doesn't have a sequel. Want to fill in the blanks and write one?

Comments (7 so far!)

Average Reader Rating

  1. Avatar Sir Bic

    Interesting perspective on the whole shooting star thing. I don’t think I’ll ever see them quite the same. Just to let you know, most writers use double quotes when writing dialogue, and a break-line of sorts would have made realizing the Becky part was a different place and time, easier.

  2. Avatar BARomero

    Tragic depiction on the accidental death of an astronaut, and the failure of the world at large to realize it. I agree with Sir Bic that a break line would have been useful in delimiting the two separate scenes.

  3. Avatar Petros

    Thanks for your comments, you are right. Story amended…

  4. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    wow, these two stories are like two scenes rubber-cemented together on one page to form controversial art! This is art. Welcome back Petros, thanks for stopping by to amaze us by the juxtaposition of two awesome things.

  5. Avatar Paradox

    This is great! I love the comparison of four feet to four thousand feet. Really shows the hopelessness once you drift to far away to grab on. The concept of the astronaut being the shooting star is great too!

  6. Avatar Spageti


  7. Avatar Miles Letham

    Thank you for writing this! I find it immensely inspiring, appealing to my fascinations of space exploration.

    The mix really strikes home, making a sweet and happy moment almost bittersweet. Nicely done!

This story's tags are