Tragic Space: Salvagers Moon

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Tragic Space: Salvagers Moon

Image courtesy of Creative Commons

Image courtesy of Creative Commons

Image courtesy of Creative Commons

Image courtesy of Creative Commons

Caleb Davy

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This is the first chapter of a fictional story

I lie awake on my cot, blink a couple times, sit upright, and rub the sleep out of my eyes. The morning grogginess hits me like a truck, and my limbs feel weak and stiff. What also hits me is the thought that I’ve been in space for 62 “Earth” days. I say Earth days because I’m currently on the moon, all alone, no crew, no contact, no son. Just a few hours ago my son Cole went missing. Most people would look at me like I was insane, “What kind of parent brings their kid on a space mission?!” My answer to everyone is usually the same, a desperate parent and a single one, and unfortunately I am both of those things.

To be fair, I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. Cole’s mother, who’s now my ex- wife, wasn’t really in his life. To say she had a drinking problem would be an understatement—she abused the bottle every chance she got. Being the remaining and somewhat responsible parent, I gained custody of him, and it’s been me and him against the world ever since. That was until we left it, literally.

It all happened during a routine scouting mission. I had been tasked by mission control to look for anything exotic lying on the crater filled surface of the moon–for research purposes of course—but if you ask me, I’d say they have me out here so I can bring them back a souvenir.  

All jokes aside, my personal mission was to spend some quality time with Cole. As an astronaut and former biologist, there is really no room for father son bonding time, so taking my son on a moon mission is as good as it gets. I watch him jump and skip on the moon’s surface, I don’t stop him because he’s doing what any 9 year old kid would do in outer space, enjoying it. I probably should warn him though, the last thing I want on this mission that’s going all to smoothly is for my son to float away into the endless abyss of space.

“Slow down Cole, remember the gravity here isn’t the same as it is on Earth.”

Cole looks at me with this joyful certainty and confidence in his eyes. “Relax, Dad, I know what I’m doing.”

I decide to back off at this point. After all, once Cole puts his mind to something, there’s little you can do to stop him. I watch him jump from crater to crater, his body light as a feather. The kid must think he’s Superman, with his high jumps and smooth landings, but in just a few moments he and I will both remember that he is not. Cole is just about to land on the next crater, when I notice the crater he’s about to land is unnaturally huge, I try to warn him,

“Cole, be care-“

But before I can get the full word out, he lands, and the crater he lands on shatters like thin ice from beneath him.

“COLE!!!” I scream, I reach out as if I’m close enough to grab him, I’m not. I can’t. I’m too far away. As I run towards the crater I can hear his high pitched screams, they are harshly cut short. When I finally reach the hole I yell for him again,  

“COLE?!” I shout. There’s no response.  

“COLE!!” Again, no response.

I look down the hole in which he fell, and it’s pitch black. I turn on the lights on my helmet in hopes of enhancing my line of sight. Still pitch black. In spite of my analysis, I decide to go down the hole. As soon as the thought passes, I unstrap my bag and take out the climbing gear. I’m rushing through the process of strapping myself to the harness and cord because there’s the constant lingering thought that my son could be dead at the bottom of whatever this is, and with that thought in mind, I descend into the pitch black abyss.