I know, I know, I should be working on "Geronimo", but I have been totally writer's blocked when it comes to that story. No idea why. So here, have a random drabble I wrote based off the music video for Alligator Sky.
It was launch day, but his feet were still firmly on the ground. There was still cataloguing to be done, a few last-minute details that needed to be taken care of.
And, if he was totally honest with himself, he would admit that he wasn’t ready to leave just yet.
His satchel was full of labeled Polaroids and vials full of dirt and flora. Not much room left. Still, he marched on, taking in the beauty around him. Some might disagree on whether or not the parched landscape could be called “beautiful”, but it was to him. Especially when he reached the ocean. Even after everything the planet Earth had been through, the ocean was still there.
And it was still the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
A lump formed in his throat as he stared out into the water. Despite the beating she had gone through, there would never be another planet like earth. And there would never be another ocean like this one.
He took two vials of ocean water; one for the archives, and one for himself.
The city was deserted when he finally made it back. Everyone else had already left. The remnants of their celebrations still graced the city streets. Stray balloons floated into the air, and streamers fluttered in the breeze.
They’d had every right to celebrate. Mankind was taking off, going to a better place. Expanding. Exploring. There were whole new worlds out there, and they were going to see them all.
He used to dream about space when he was a little kid. About seeing the stars. He’d wanted to be an astronaut. And now he was one.
The thought brought a smile to his face as he rounded the corner and saw the rocket that would carry him into the summer sky. This is it. I’m really going to do it.
His co-pilot was already on-board, waiting. He was sitting in the pilot’s chair before he know it, hands on the steering wheel, ready to start the engines.
For a second, he hesitated.
Then, he pressed “launch”.
Console lights flashed, alarms blipped, and gravity fought back, pushing him against his chair. He closed his eyes, and when he did, he remembered.
He remembered snow, his parents, his home. Earth hadn’t always been so dry, so beaten and bruised. It had been beautiful. It was still beautiful.
He was going to miss it.
The pressure against his face eased up, then ceased all together. “We’re clear” said the co-pilot. There was a smile in his voice. “Would you look at that?”
They were surrounded by stars, glistening in the sky like fireflies. Never before had he been so close to those lights. He felt as though he could reach out and touch them. It was beautiful. It was enchanting. It was everything he’d ever dreamed it would be.
And yet all he could manage was “wow”.
Later, later he would be able to wax eloquent about the sight. Later, he would be able to describe the sensation of weightlessness, of simultaneous melancholy and rapture.
But now, all he could say was “wow”.
He was going to miss Earth, all right. But, as the ship drifted further into space, he began to think he might not miss it too much.
There were new memories to be made, and a new home to explore.
And, even though he was facing the unknown, he wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Even though I never know what’s up ahead,
I’m never letting go
I’m never letting go…