My guest judges and I have read an incredible amount of innovative, diverse and thought provoking entries in the Moon Ate the Dark Writing Prompt Challenge. Now we will announce the 3rd place winners, which were split in a two-way tie.
I burst through the stratosphere engulfed by beautiful coloured light. So silent, yet my voice is loud and echoes back to me amongst the stars as if I’m talking to myself. I only have to think and it happens. Have I found God? Maybe I am God out here. I make the stars disappear and they come back in a breath just as suddenly as when everything becomes brilliant white like the suits and masks they are wearing. Like the moon ate the dark.
They chatter loudly to each other and I wish them to be quiet and to leave me alone and they do for a few seconds, but they return and push me through the rapid light. Then the darkness. Nothing. No room for thought. I must be careful what I wish for out here in the universe. Then excruciating pain and a sense of blood and chemicals roaring through my veins.
It’s a familiar smell. I’ve been pumping gas for a while now, so it should be. It’s a long way from astro physics. You know; heavenly bodies, galaxies and cosmic microwaves. That type of thing. Need to pay the bills though and so this and my other two mind numbing jobs all help with my studies.
He pulls in on his motor cycle and stares me down. A beautiful piece of engineering it is. Too good for the likes of him. He probably stole it along with the expensive shades. Lobbing the keys at me, I am instructed to fill it up as he strolls to the kiosk. Pretty rude but I was used to it and besides, he looks dangerous so I don’t say anything. I had the keys so I should have just climbed on board and taken off. I imagine the exhilarating speed. The ultimate rush. The look on his face. Man, machine and technology as one.
I stand in space, my helmet and gear gone; floating. They have their backs to me, still chattering and I shout at them but they ignore me. I look back at Earth and hold my hand out. So close I can almost touch it. They turn towards me and I see their faces for the first time. Oddly humanlike; I can make out traces of friends and family. I see my mother clearly. I wish for her to come to me; to talk, but she holds her head in her hands and screams at me. I’m not sure what’s real now.
I lose sight of him for a while and then I see him again in silhouette through the window by the counter. He’s pulled a gun on the owner who’s tried to empty the till and keep his hands up at the same time. Then a bang. Another bang and the door swings open. He strides towards me and everything goes from slow motion to high speed in a matter of seconds. I’m still holding the pump handle and look down at the large puddle circling my feet. He demands his keys and as I hand them to him, he casually finishes the last of his cigarette and flicks it at me. I try desperately catch it but as it hits the ground there is an ear splitting bang and a huge flash followed by intense heat.
The rapid lights have stopped but the white suits and masks are all around me again. Only one talks. He barks orders at the others and they mostly concur and hand him things. Everything fades until a piercing bright light propels me back to my reality.
The sun streams into my hospital room and the doctor tells me I had a very lucky escape. I don’t understand. I’m still here.
I am Scottish but I live in New Zealand. I write poetry, short stories and am working on a novel. I blog at Write Away