September 30, 2014

Short Story: Movie to Mars

Based on the following prompt: People back home say you're the luckiest person they know. No one could remember anyone winning a lottery that large before. It just barely paid for your one-person shuttle into space. You were on a trajectory towards Mars where you hoped to live the rest of your life out in peace, when after a particularly restful nap you saw some bright, ominous lights outside a nearby window.

The first thing he thought about was that one Simpsons Halloween episode where the earth was destroyed by Y2K and all of the geniuses of the planet were sent to Mars. The joke, of course, that while Lisa and Marge had gotten onto that spacecraft, Homer and Bart had run onto the one with all of the worst people on Earth, who were sent to the sun. For a brief, panicky moment, he thought that the entire "one-person shuttle" project had actually been a perverse joke to send him into that great big fireball in the sky.

That is preposterous, he thought to himself. I should have noticed the sun getting brighter during this trip. And indeed, much to his relief, when he actually went to look outside the window, the sun wasn't there. This was fortunate for him, because if the sun were, in fact, there, he would have gone blind, and maybe have been seriously injured. What he saw, however, was even more confusing, since the ominous lights outside of his window were actually from a spaceship that was identical to his.

"Damn," he said, out loud, to nobody in particular because he was on a shuttle by himself going to a planet with no people for no good reason other than because he was a germanphobe (which, unlike being a germaphobe, wherein a person is merely afraid of germs, he was in fact, afraid of Germans, and couldn't stand to be on the same planet as them). "This is both confusing and upsetting to my plans of doing nothing today followed by furiously masturbating." Perhaps if he had other people around, such strange statements would make him seem like a psychopath, but then again he was on a one-man shuttle to Mars, and so no inhibitions (or really, anything to do other than touch himself) really remained. Perhaps the fact that he had decided to take his, for lack of a better analogy, one man Broadway play to Mars was a sign of psychopathy already.

Regardless, all that the appearance of this ship had done was change his plans from "nothing and touching himself" to "staring out the window pondering life," because he had built a shuttle with no external facing communications equipment since who would do that on a on way shuttle to Mars. He, of course, had no choice but to try and look into the windows of the other spacecraft to see if there was anyone in it.

What he saw was himself. Not in the sense that he saw a reflection in the window, mind you, but in the sense that someone who looked exactly like him was staring out at him from the other ship.

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