The Old Astronaut

spacesuit

© A Mixed Bag 2012

I finally made it. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Never thought I’d get the chance to visit. I always wanted to see all these exhibits. I spent my childhood, my whole life really, admiring astronauts and their accomplishments. I used to spend hours pretending I was wearing a spacesuit, just like the one I’m standing in front of now.

It doesn’t look as impressive in real life, but then, it’s just an empty suit. What makes spacesuits heroic are the men and women who’ve worn them, who were blasted into space, who walked on the Moon. I was in high school when Neil Armstrong wore this suit and declared, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

I wish I could have had my shot at even sub-orbital space. I can afford a tourist’s ride on SpaceX now, but I’m too old.

My grandson’s not, though. Next month he and five other astronauts will be launched from the Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station, and from there, they’ll board the Ares One spaceship to Mars. I’ve got my shot into space because my grandson will always be in my heart. Thank you, boy.

I’m writing this in response to the Sunday Photo Fiction – March 12th 2017 hosted by Al Forbes. The idea is for authors to use the photo prompt above to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words. My story is exactly 200 words long.

Oh, I really did grow up with the NASA manned space missions, from Mercury, to Gemini, to Apollo, and beyond. I even got a chance to see and touch (I wasn’t supposed to touch it) one of the Apollo command modules once, although I’ve never been to the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum (I wish). I’ll never go into space, but my grandchildren’s generation will. To the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

To read other tales based on the photo, go to InLinkz.com.

Left Alone

boy alone

© Jessica Haines

Joey was softly crying. His Mommy forgot him, forgot to pick him up at the Boys and Girls Club where he went everyday after school. Now everyone was gone and he was alone. It was cold and wet out and he was scared. Where was his Mommy and why didn’t she come to get him?

Car after car went by. He looked at each one with hope and then despair. None of them were Mommy. Should he try to walk home? Maybe he could ask a policeman for help, if he could find one.

A car! It was pulling into the parking lot. “Grandpa!” He’s come to get me. He’s getting out of his car to come get me.

“Grandpa! I love you.” They hugged.

“It’s going to be okay, Joey. Your Mom was in a car accident, but she’s going to be okay.”

They went to visit Mommy in the hospital. She was going to get better soon.

Written for FFfAW Challenge-Week of January 31, 2017 in response to the photo prompt above.

The word count limit is 100 to 175 words and mine came in at 159.

Read other stories inspired by this challenge at InLinkz.com.

Daylight

tour boat

© The Storyteller’s Abode / Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

It had been sixty-two years since Sean Becker had last seen the light of day. He had been thirty-five years old when he was murdered in the early morning hours of July 23rd in his native Los Angeles. Cause of death was a mysterious loss of blood.

For six decades, Sean walked the night and shunned the day; a creature whose name was only whispered in dark secrecy: “vampire”.

He first encountered Dr. Elizabeth Woods as she was leaving work at London’s Biomedical Research Centre. He stopped attacking her when she cried out that she could help him. Woods was developing treatments for rare blood disorders. Fourteen months later, she’d cured his.

Woods wanted to run more tests, but Sean was more interested in taking in the daytime sights. Tears streamed down his face as he boarded the tour boat.

I wrote this as part of a flash fiction writing challenge. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story with a word count of 100-150 based on the weekly photo prompt you can see at the top of the page. Find the challenge at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.

To read the other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

Once again, I “blame” Iain Kelly, since reading his work, including his response to this challenge, has inspired me to write more flash fiction. I brought this one in (not including this after-statement) at 148 words.