Thursday, January 27, 2011

short trip home

2092.4.22. :

I distinctly remember landing the Vagabond II in a soft white *poof,* kicking up very little dust. One of the sweetest three-point landings I ever made - right down the glide slope. The main engine left the tiniest of scorch marks. When the dust settled, the first thing I recall seeing was the crimson colored trees. I thought we were home at last. I honestly thought it was Earth. I looked over and could tell Mooney was dead. Maybe the excitement - his heart, you know. Or maybe it was the out-of-date beef jerky - that'll do anyone in. Me, I stuck with the dried fruit - one gets hooked on apricots.

It seemed the proper thing to do, to bury him - there - amongst the crimson landscape. He grew up in the country; Ohio, I believe. Buckeye. I carried him, stopping in intervals to scoop arrows in the snow with my foot to find my way back in those blinding white-outs. Wore out my shoe fast. Snow dust like sandpaper. That's why I wrapped it in duct tape. You know, duct tape works - I used it to re-enforce the crumbling heat shield. No, really, I did, it works. But the marks disappeared in the howling wind, and I had to dodge the fallen frozen tree limbs that would catch a ride in the violent crosswind and become flying daggers. For the first time the whole mission - I was scared. One pierced him in the heart, but he was long gone by then. So, I guess it didn't matter. I placed Mooney's helmet, gloves, and his beloved white bible against an ancient tree stump to mark his final home.

I was exhausted long before I found my way back. I guess I must've passed out, I don't remember. I awakened when the wind stopped and all was silent. Isn't that funny - awakening by silence? Or maybe it was the loneliness. Then I saw that bone-chilling strip of duct tape with the arrow cut-out plastered on the port hole window and I lost all my apricots.


6 Comments:

Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

I love that you called your partner "Mooney". Perfect. Amazing what duct tape and beef jerky can do. Great write, as always, Phil.

1/27/2011 9:45 PM  
Blogger Tumblewords: said...

A wonderful tale - you always present a fine story. Thanks!

1/27/2011 11:50 PM  
Blogger Jinksy said...

We don't see many Sci-fi magpies! :)

1/28/2011 7:50 AM  
Blogger Sue J said...

I enjoyed reading this. Thanks.

1/28/2011 10:10 PM  
Blogger thingy said...

Hahahahaha. That was alright. LOL.

1/28/2011 11:18 PM  
Blogger Sioux Roslawski said...

I agree with Jinksy. I think this was the first sci-fi Magpie I've seen.

1/29/2011 4:53 PM  

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