Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bringing Down The Moon

*Le gasp*  A serious short story?  From me?  HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD?!  Well, I dunno.  Ask someone else.  I'm just a blogger.

I don’t have long now.

That’s what they told me. Malignant tumor. Inoperable. Months left. Should’ve gone in when I first started feeling it, I guess. Could’ve done something then, but I was busy. Always was.

My father worked for the space program. Before it shut down, I mean. After it shut down he didn’t work for anyone other than old Jack Daniels. Was he the one who planted ideas in my head? Before he was a dreamer. After not so much. I guess I take after him before more than after.

I have to work. My headache isn’t so bad yet. I don’t feel nauseous. Boss says I should keep working ‘till I can’t. He’s probably right.

I don’t have long now.

I keep saying that to myself, but it’s hard to believe it. My head doesn’t hurt much more than a night drinking. I can still work. I can still do whatever I was doing before they told me. But they showed me the picture. Told me what was happening, what was growing inside me.

Death loves to play catch-up with me. The first one who died was my mother. No, actually, now I think of it it was probably my parrot Jimbo. He died when I was one. My mother died when I was two. An old disease brought in from asteroids the program picked up from the planet’s belt. The “Black Cough”, I think they called it. It was wiped out when I was three. I don’t remember my mother much, but my father told me she was a dreamer too. She loved to look at the moon, he said. Loved to watch it with him.

I don’t have long now.

It’s getting worse. I vomited today, during work. Middle of the factory floor. Boss was upset. I couldn’t care less, but I struggled home with him yelling at me. I don’t know why I did, but before I left I stole an ol’ engine from the factory. It was heavy. Getting home I vomited again. More than once. My headache was bad until I lied down. Now I’m staring at the engine. It reminds me of my father’s rockets. He drew them on little pieces of paper and flew them over my head. Telling me how he’d be in one one day. How I’d be in one one day.

I don’t have long now.

Now I think I might believe it. My headache is getting worse. It’s hard to work. I keep getting dizzy. Boss yelled at me. I told him to fuck off. I think I got fired, I don’t really remember. I took some more stuff from work, too. Oil. Power couplings. Bits and pieces. Maybe it’s the tumor. The disease. Maybe I’m acting weird because I really am dying. It’s hard to believe, but now I think I might. I don’t think this is going away. Just like my mother’s didn’t. Just like my father’s didn’t when he died in a gutter, still dreaming of the moon.

I feel strange when I look at the parts. And the parts already in my house. The husk. The frame. The engine. I feel a hand reaching out to me. It wants to take me to something I abandoned a long time ago.

I don’t have long now.

But I know what I have to do. I realized it today while I was staring at the body. I realized why I had taken those things from work. I don’t want to become my father. I never did. He got lost in his dreams of the moon and he broke down when he couldn’t achieve them. I told myself I could avoid becoming like him by abandoning my dreams. I had it the wrong way round.

I stood up today and I found my pipe wrench. It was rusty, so I oiled it with some of the oil I stole. Now it works. I found my old schematics. They were moth-eaten, I could barely read them. But I can remember them. The headache makes my mind not work, but I can still remember the blueprints.

I don’t have long now.

My vision is blurry. I see spots. I can’t stand up for too long. I can’t remember the last time I slept. But I still have the pipe wrench in my hand. After dark last night I snuck into my old work and stole more parts. I have what I need now, I think. After so long.

As I work I think of my father’s words. He told me of the stars and the planets and how glorious it all was. Even after the space department closed. Even after his dreams were shot down. I can almost feel him with me. Encouraging me.

I don’t have long now.

I feel better today. I feel better than I have in a while. It probably means the end is soon. I haven’t kept track of days. Today I finished the inside and now I have to finish the body. I can feel my father and mother with me. I know they’re watching. It’s right.

I don’t have long now.

But it doesn’t matter. I’m done. After all this time I’m done. After so many distractions. After work. After life. After putting away dreams to die. I’m done. Done. And it’s beautiful. I cried today, for the first time in a long time. The convulsions made my headache and my nausea and my weakness come back. I don’t have long now. Only a matter of days, probably. My health will descend rapidly from now on, I think.

It’s probably not safe, my dream. But that doesn’t really matter at this point, does it? I can see my father and mother waving as I climb in. As I close my eyes I hear them whisper encouragement. I feel their hands with me as I pull the ignition and it begins to move and I feel the searing heat on my body. I see them smile behind my eyelids as I lift into the air. I feel them bringing down the moon to meet me.


  1. Nice. Very bittersweet story. Little hints paint a picture of the larger world while the story stays intimate.

    I have to ask, though... was it in any way inspired by To The Moon?

    1. No, actually, although I definitely see why you said that. It was actually inspired by having a bad headache (from wisdom teeth surgery) while reading this: