Avatar Author: awayken I've made a smart playlist of all the songs with 0 plays. I listen to them because I feel bad for them not because I like the music. I'm THAT guy. Read Bio

Space hung like black infinity before Darren. As on every space walk, he gasped at the awesomeness of it. Behind him floated The Impetus, to which he was liberally tethered. At his feet spun the Earth, all blues and greens splattered with white. Watching, he suddenly imagined the billions of people spinning an impossible number of miles per second, and the thoughts waved vertigo over him.

He snapped his lids shut. He micromanaged his breathing. He corrected.

The most of his view was space, that star-dotted darkness that seems unnaturally bright and empty. A new ache churned his gut. He longed for an artistic hand, so he could capture the perspective. Even a photograph could only imitate the expanse in rudimentary ways.

“I hate to do this, Cap’n,” came Melody’s voice in his helmet, “but we have T minus ten minutes.”

Today his crew went home, playing “tag team” with another, and he’d be sent to terrestrial endeavors. Where do they put old astronauts? What would he do now?

He smiled sadly. Maybe a pilot.

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 (4 so far!)

Average Reader Rating

  1. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    I like it a lot. You set it up really nicely to make the last line come in smoothly and convey a very real phenomenon, that you can’t go back. Most of us would think, “Ooh, cool, I could be a pilot,” but I suppose after space it wouldn’t be that exciting. It’s like going back to a ten-speed after owning a Harley.

  2. Avatar BiC

    Title = bonus point. Theme = bonus point. First/Last = bonus point. Using personal names such as ‘Darren’ and ‘Melody’ gives the story a homey feel. Still, the ending seems rushed. Maybe you tried to hard to land the pilot?

  3. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    I don’t think the end is rushed at all. Reminds me of the astronaut whom I heard speak at the Children’s Museum. He was a scientist, an expert, a public speaker, and inspiration.

  4. Avatar JonB

    Lovely, although space is black infinity, so I’d kill the simile in the first line. I like the longing for an artistic hand and the comparison with a photo; some things can never be fully captured by a mechanical process.

This story's tags are