Francis, he’s almost squeezing his son’s hand. They’re outside, watching the moon. His son has a little ball cap with a propeller on top and it spins. Standing underneath the porch, they’re just looking at the moon and a shooting star flies across the midnight sky. Francis’ oblivious kid, he says, “Make a wish!” And Francis looks at his kid and deep down, he wishes for real.
The child with his propeller hat, now he’s on board one of the first shuttles out of this place. Earth. Everyone is huddled in one big area. Maybe one hundred, maybe two hundred people in such a small ship and this kid is being squished against a window. A man on a podium that reads ‘Sending Knowledge Aerospace’, he speaks into a microphone for everyone to hear. “The best thing to do is to accept these changes,” he says. The crowd is silent and listening, only the sound of coughs and sniffs can be heard. The man continues, “Our attempts at expanding earth’s population to the moon have failed as you may have noticed, and we were defeated by something…” the man struggles to find the words. “Something unknown,” he continues. “But I urge you not to lose hope as we are some of the lucky firsts on this frontier.”
“What’d you wish for?” The kid asks his father while a light breeze spins his propeller hat. This is before getting on the flight. And another shooting star flies through the empty sky. And another. And another.
Outside the window glowed a big blue, green, white, red earth getting not so big, getting less big, small, maybe a giant blue, red yin and yang marble. A shift in the ships course reveals thousands of other tiny ships heading in the same direction as this one. Little space mice, making their way through the maze that is space. Now the kid can examine the craters of the moon as they pass by it. One, two, three, really big four, five craters and the man is still talking to the crowd, the rats, and they’re still packed in this tight space of a ship, or more probably a testing facility. Like a mouse that’s found its cheese, everyone shifts their head to see the massive, bright, and holy moon. Examining further, everyone’s eyes get big, bigger, falling out of their heads. The kid sees what he thinks could be fireworks coming from a crater. But someone screams and the boy still doesn’t realize what the fireworks are until it’s too late.
Back on Earth, before all of this, Francis couldn’t hold back his tears and they began to flow down his cheeks. He says to the little boy, “I only wish for your happiness.” The boy looks up at his father, probably confused. Francis tries to smile, “You’re going to like living up there, in space. Just keep your hat on and you’ll be safe.”
The kid’s propeller hat now drifts through the dark, silent space with no sign of the kid in sight. And the hat is propelled by the explosions from earlier, drifting back towards the blue, white, green, red marble. Through all the ship debris, you can see the marble getting red, redder, maybe all the way red. Drifting, and drifting, this propeller hat makes its way back home.
Spencer Black is a student before anything else. But he still manages to write stories and play music. He can be seen at www.spencerblack.org.
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