Unplaced entry published in Microcosms Flash Fiction competition – Microcosms 150 – on 23/11/2018. The rules required a story in no more than 300 words in response to the following prompts.
Character – Astronaut/ Location – Retirement Home/ Genre – Comedy
The story had to be written and submitted within a one day deadline.
Returning to the Moon
The residents were in the dining room of the retirement home; Gus sat on his own. He’d chosen the location so that he could speak privately to Karen. She was his favourite carer and seemed to enjoy his stories about space. He’d something to ask of her.
‘You know about the 60’s …when I went to the Moon.’
Sure.’ She handed him a laden plate. ‘You were a hero. You and all those other young astronauts.’
No-one else in the dining room could hear them.
‘I need a favour …tonight.’
‘In your dreams, maybe.’
‘Maybe not if you’ll help. Listen.’
They sat in a booth at the far end of the bar to hide them from the street. He had a beer, she had a cola.
‘I could get into trouble for this.’
‘Quit worrying, we’ll be ok. It’s still a free country. I’ll take the blame if we’re seen.’
‘This isn’t exactly what I thought that you had in mind when you asked for a favour.’
‘What? When I said that I wanted to go back to the Moon one more time? Just what the hell did you think I meant? I’m not senile yet.’
‘Well, you’ve got to admit that it was an odd request to make, especially with you being an ex-astronaut. I jumped to the obvious conclusion. Anyway, what’s so special about this place?’ She was studying the photos on the wall.
‘When I was young, on the training programme, all the astronauts used to come here to celebrate the landings. It’s where I met my wife. Have you any idea what it’s like stuck in that Home all that time since she passed away. The Moon Bar is about as near as I’ll ever get to her… and to space now.’
©David Lewis Pogson 2018