Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ticket to the Moon

 The following is a work of fiction. The characters are fictional.  Any resemblance of characters to real people is a mere coincidence and unintentional.

"Can we really go to the moon, Dad? Can we, can we?" Nathan's small arm pointed in the night sky at the bright unworldly object in the sky.

"Sure we can, son." Scott was setting up the telescope with the right angle and magnification trying to concentrate and keep the conversation going at the same time.  There were other families on that hill that night doing the same thing.  "We'll take Mom with us."

"Alright!" Scott took hold of the wheelchair and rolled its wheels over the grassy floor.  It was now in position.

Nathan leaned forward and looked through the small lens and exclaimed, "Oh boy! I can see Theophilus crater.  She's a beut'."

Scott had already bought tickets for a trip to the moon months ago.  He had just told Nathan about it.  The flight was to the first hotel on the surface of the moon.  It was a trip of a lifetime for Nathan who enjoyed all of nature and especially space.  Scott smiled at the thought, and then took a deep long involuntary sigh.  Nathan didn't notice, but just kept on enjoying the view.  Scott patted him on his bald head covered by a cotton hood.

A week after their astronomy night, Scott and Nathan found themselves strapped in some seats with eight other people.  They all wore some pressurized suits with helmets.  Scott could see Nathan really enjoying himself.  The boy marveled at all the gadgetry and took in the full experience.  He was elated and awed at the rumble of their spacecraft as it lifted off the ground and into the black sky of space.

Well on their way to the moon, father and son played fearlessly in the weightless environment.  Their capsule had two inflatable rooms to make more space after launch.  The other passengers were also enjoying them.  This setup made the three day trip to the moon more comfortable.

"Weeeee. Look, Dad, I'm flying like Superman." Nathan whizzed by Scott.  He caught his son by his heel. "Gotcha."  The smiles and laughter filled the spacecraft contaminating the other passengers with giggles, smiles, and jokes.

At one point, Nathan looked out the window and marveled at the large blue green marble outside. "Whoa!"

Scott came up beside him, "That's Earth, Son."

"I know what it is, Dad.  I just wish Mom could've seen it."  They watched it roll for a while and noticed that it was seemingly getting smaller and smaller as their craft hurled away from it.  The laughter and smiles turned into solemn contemplation and yearning.

Their craft finally docked to Lunar Station 1 in orbit around the Moon, and they took a lander to the surface where the hotel was.  After getting set up in their room, Scott got Nathan ready for what they came to do.

The airlock door opened and Scott stepped out onto the surface of the Moon.  Nathan followed in a motorized wheelchair.  Both were trying to get used to their space suits as they took in the sights.  Grey peaks and dark shadows were all around in stark contrast.  They looked around the strange world they found themselves.

"Come'on. We got to move." Scott pressed in a certain direction and Nathan followed closely behind.  Soon they came up to what looked like a black iron fence and a gate.  The gated area had carved stones all about it.  They went in and stopped in front of a hole next to a pile of dirt and a shovel in the pile.  There was also a head stone that had the engraved words, "Let thy Blue face shine brightly from my resting place - In Loving Memory - Evelyn Brookes - 2015 - 2045."

Scott ritually reached for the pouch in the back of the wheel chair and pulled out a metal urn with "Evelyn" inscribed on it.  He place it in the hole.  Then he stood up.

"Want to say a few word, Son?"  Nathan nodded in his helmet.  The comm had a little static, but it was enough.

"Goodbye Mom.  I hope you like the view from here.  The Earth is bright."  Tears started to stream down his face.  "I miss you, so much."

"Goodbye Darling.  You will always be with us.  Nathan and I are looking out for each other...." Scott tried to compose himself but failed.  He bent over in his sobbing.  After a few minutes he covered the urn with the dirt.  Then, father and son hugged.

They enjoyed the rest of their time at the hotel and spent every minute with each other sharing thoughts and playing games.  Then it was time to go home.

A year passed.  It was a rather stressful year for Scott.  There was a lot of paperwork to do, as well as work and all the rest of his responsibilities.

He was sitting on a bench in the large room.  His sorrow was drowning him.  How will he go on now?  He still had duties to accomplish.  A well dressed man in a black suit came up to him.

"Mr. Brookes.  Here you are."

Scott stood up and received the metal jar from the man.  He fingered and caressed the name scribed on it, "Nathan."

"I'm sorry for you loss. No one should have to bury their son.  Where will you place him, Sir?" Scott paused.  The man seemed so damn relaxed and normal.  Scott pulled out a single ticket out of his pocket.  He inhaled air and rounded up some courage.

"With his mother, on the Moon." 

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