there in a whirl of dust and rock, he could think only of her
smile. Landing on the moon had been a dream of his since he was
a small child, but getting stranded? That was not exactly what
he had envisioned.
terrain was bleak and rocky, just as expected. Parr glanced at
the gauge on his breathing tanks. The gauge read "half empty".
"Twenty minutes," he thought to himself. "Not exactly
how I had planned on living the rest of my life."
a moment his mind drifted home. Cele was making his favorite dinner,
running around the kitchen, singing and dancing as she always
did. He loved that about her. Her beautiful long tendrils hanging
around her shoulders, and that perfect shade of glistening blue
her skin would reflect at the setting sun. It was a beautiful
thought to be having at such a final moment in time. His eyes
closed with his vision.
opened his eyes, glancing up at the night sky. He could see the
beauty of his home. It was so beautiful, so small... so far. He
looked over at the craft that had brought him to the surface.
It was badly damaged. The landing had not gone as smooth as planned.
All but one of the air bags had deployed, which would have been
enough had the exposed area not hit a razor sharp moon rock on
its last bounce, that last bounce being the stopping point of
his roll when the rock had penetrated the side of the landing
vehicle and ruptured the fuel tanks to the point of "empty".
He had stayed in the vehicle until the air was depleted, and decided
to spend his remaining time on the surface. Anyone would have
done the same.
up at the sky, he sat and wondered, as he always did while star
gazing. "So many worlds, so many possibilities," he
thought. "Infinite. Is there really an infinite amount of
possibilities? It is always a mind boggling thought. The possibility
of infinite moments, and lives, and realities. That someone else
was sitting on a moon, looking out at the night sky, running out
of air. It seemed almost insanity after a while, but I suppose
possible." Parr shook his head, the thought seeming almost
too much for him to grasp. Then he thought of Cele. Right now
she would be dreaming of him, tucked in her blankets under the
night sky, not a worry. At the same time, another woman would
be tucked in, under her night sky, not knowing. Parr closed his
eyes again. It was beginning to be too much to think about.
seemed to be at a standstill, his breaths shallow and deliberate.
Jim opened his eyes, glancing back up at the stars. His gauge
was reading ten minutes now. He looked down and tapped it. No
change. He could picture Laura lying under their favorite fleece
blanket, smiling in her sleep as she always did. She dreamt well,
and often. Sometimes whispering to him and never remembering quite
what she said. He would tease her about it in the morning.
he laughed. "So, with an infinitesimal amount of possibilities
in the universe, some poor bastard is sitting around on some moon,
going through the same damn misfortune as I am, thinking about
his woman back home. He smirked, then chuckled. "Hadn't really
thought of it that way." He glanced back at his ship, at
the gaping hole in the side. "So some poor bastard could
be sitting around on a desolate moon, a childhood dream to venture
into the stars, and is staring at a gaping hole in the side of
his ship too!" Jim laughed out loud, and then he calmed.
A tear formed in each eye, and trickled down his cheeks. His expression
turned to sadness, and then he smiled.
he didn't feel so stranded, so alone.