Stranded on Infinite
by Kimberly Raiser
forum: Stranded on Infinite
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

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Stranded on Infinite


         Sitting 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.

         The 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."

         For 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.

         Parr 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.

         Looking 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.

         Time 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.

         Suddenly 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.

         Suddenly he didn't feel so stranded, so alone.




copyright 2006 Kimberly Raiser.

Kimberly Raiser:

Recently my work has appeared in the June issue of the Taj Mahal Review, a fiction piece titled, "The Mirror". I have had many pieces of poetry published in print journals and online zines. My true love is fiction. I am currently working on several short stories and a novel.

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