Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Space Junkie




Fritos, Twinkies, red Kool-Aid.... Damn! I felt angrier than I should have when I realized I forgot the Swedish Fish. There wasn't enough time to go back to the store. I’d have to do without them this time. I was about to head out to the porch with my armful of snacks when the phone rang. Who makes phone calls anymore? I checked the number on the display – my mother. Grudgingly, I placed each item back on the counter one by one, the phone continuing its whine until I satisfied it.

Mom had nothing to say. I watched the clock as she prattled about Erin’s new baby and the neighbor who wouldn’t keep her dog on a leash.

“Mom, I really gotta go…“ I interjected.

“Okay, honey. I love you. Enjoy the—what is it?”

“It’s a lunar eclipse, Mom. The moon’s going to—“

“Okay, well enjoy the lunar ellipse. Bye, honey!”

I rolled my eyes and put down the phone. I gathered up my things from the counter and shuffled outside, nearly dropping everything while trying to squeeze through the door.

Outside, I settled into my normal spot, the old folding chair where I would spend the next several hours. I wanted to be in the right frame of mind when the eclipse began. My iPod was already outside, so I popped in my ear buds, turned on Until the Ribbon Breaks, and opened a bag of Fritos. I let my mind drift while I devoured my snacks, all the while keeping my eyes comfortably on the sky.

Three fourths of the way through my Kool Aid, darkness began to attack the moon. My chewing slowed as I absorbed it all. I scarcely noticed my neck becoming stiff from the last few hours looking upwards. "2025" was playing for what had to be the fourth time that night. I stared at the moon like it might actually disappear. Time was passing, but I couldn’t tell you how much. An hour, maybe two? Finally, the moon gave birth to its orange-red glow, and my heart rate quickened. I clutched the arms of my chair as awe blanketed me. Brighter and brighter, the glow consumed the moon like a spider devouring its mother, and I reached the dual realization that the music was too fast and I couldn't breathe. Over the blood moon's light, the clouds shifted, casting an ominous shadow on the ground, then floated away again. With the beat of the music pinning me down and my eyes still frozen on the sky, rolling in the deep, I prayed simultaneously for the celestial event to stop so I could catch my breath and for it to never end. Slowly, the glow overtook the darkness of my peripheral vision.

The next thing I knew, I was waking with a Twinkie sandwiched between my cheek and the porch floor. I had to be at work in forty minutes. It was going to be a long day.





If you are a space junkie, check out the many cool things on Astronasty.
DJ, if you see this, this post is inspired by you and aided by some minor internet stalking, but don't worry -- the guy's not you!
Photo from CNN.

10 comments:

  1. What a great take on the prompts! Love the narrator's voice. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. That would've been cool to see (I can relate to the staying up too late followed by a long work day!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was just a blood moon in April. I only just found out when I looked up lunar eclipses to write this, though.

      Delete
  3. That would have been an awesome sight! Love how the main character loaded up with snacks and ipod in preparation for a long wait.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it does sound awesome! Now I want to see it. Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  4. Fascinating use of the prompts and I laughed at the ending :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm always glad to get a laugh. :)

      Delete
  5. Nice! :D Really enjoyed this one a lot. Being a city-living guy I don't get to enjoy astro-phenomenon nearly as much as I'd like but it's awesome when you can.
    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm not in the city, but it's still hard to enjoy the sky so much with all the light pollution.

      Delete