Occasionally I like to write made-up stories, as opposed to the real-life exploits you're used to reading here. Below is a story I started working on today. I figured it was time to justify the title of this blog. Maybe every week I'll put up a new installment. Maybe you'll never hear of it again. Who knows.
The First Couple of Outer Space
My first thought is that I have gone deaf. It’s paired with a sudden, searing headache unlike anything I have ever known. I hoist myself off the rec-room floor and grab the sides of my head as if my hands can keep it from splitting apart. There is no sound, no sound at all. Not even that hollow rumble that comes from time in the pool or a too-long shower. I rub my hands over my ears, I rap my knuckles against the ping-pong table. I cry out until I can feel my throat tear. Nothing.
I think – hope – that there is something wrong with me, but then comes the light. The wood paneled walls begin to separate, replaced by a white glow. No, there isn’t anything wrong with me. Instead I am caught up in the middle of Mankind’s first space disaster. I guess that’ll get my name in the books. That is if the people below ever find out about us, which I’m sure they never will. Wouldn’t look good in front of the Soviets.
I worry about Lilly and start to panic. Last I saw she was in the garden tending to her plastic flowers. What is happening? Could she escape? Could she hide? Could she be dead right now?
The white light fills the room. No, not even light. Just…blankness. Like a fresh sheet of type-paper. My surroundings are being erased. I reach for the door but there is no longer anything for my hand to grasp. I turn for the window but it’s gone too. I roll open my bureau and grab anything and everything that is still there: a mock-up of our magazine ad, the dog-tags that I refuse to wear, the cute little note that she passed me under the table on our first date. I cram everything into my polyester pockets. I want these things close to me.
I pray. Not to God, but to Kennedy. The framed picture of his well-coifed pompadour and toothy grin is the last thing I see before it all evaporates and the blankness washes over me.
I am gone. When I return I can tell that time has passed but I have no idea how much. I’m on solid ground, but it is unfamiliar. Everything is white. I can’t see a horizon or a wall or a ceiling or a floor, but I can sense the open air. I clear my throat and this time I can hear it. Sound has returned to my world. Occasionally I hear a pop, like a needle on a record. I stare at the distant whiteness and see scratches and lines, as if I’m watching an old film. I call Lilly’s name, but no response.
I reach into my pockets. Everything is still there. I pull out the magazine ad and unfold it. There’s me and Lilly, sitting chastely on our aqua-colored bed, the copy boldly proclaiming in thick, swooping letters, “The First Couple of Outer Space!”
I have to find her.
I pick a direction and start walking.
end of part 1