‘…and you’ll stay up there until you learn your lesson!’ then she walked away.
Arthur stared at his Mother from the top of the stairs, hung his head, turned and started towards his bedroom. He stormed inside, slammed the door and sat silently on his bed, brooding.
Looking around the room, it was clear to see what Arthur liked.
On the table, at the far side of the room, were action figures from various Hollywood movies, there was wallpaper that had images of Cowboys and Indians from years ago that had been steadily covered with space posters and the carpet was littered with countless model cars and trucks he’d been told repeatedly to tidy up, by his mother.
Arthur looked out the bay window in his room and stared at the lamp-posts out in the street. They were turning on one by one and as they did, Arthur became aware that he’d failed to flick the light switch on his way into his room.
He didn’t care.
Arthur didn’t like being punished, especially when he didn’t think he’d done anything wrong.
He lay back on the bed, flicked his slippers onto the floor and stared, absent minded at the ceiling.
There, hanging amid battle, were a variety of spaceships, some famous (as seen on TV and in the movies) and others that he’d created from broken pieces of other ships.
He rolled onto his side, reached out and turned on his radio. It was a small, blue wind-up, tuned into the news.
Static sounded and then the remainder of a story continued…
…’and as they reach the final stage of their mission, the World will watch as the brave men and women of the first Lunar mission since Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon, nears its end’.
Arthur continued to stare and let his mind wander. He stared out the window and watched absent minded as a star shot across the sky. Arthur let himself wish, wish that he was elsewhere, anywhere. Before too long the charge in the radio died and he was asleep, adrift in his own thoughts.
It took Arthur a few moments to realise where he was. Looking left and right, forward and back, up and down, he slowly came to understand that, somehow, he was floating in Space.
He didn’t remember the take-off, he didn’t remember leaving Earth’s atmosphere and above all, he didn’t remember telling his Mum he was leaving his bedroom.
He’d be in real trouble if she found out.
Arthur glanced down at his hands. They were white.
That was fine, Arthur had white hands, but they weren’t usually padded and as large as these.
He looked further downwards and saw his feet, equally padded, and then he took in his entire body. Arthur was clad; head to toe, in a Spacesuit. He was even wearing a helmet.
His eyes bulged in alarm.
This is a bit strange.
He just couldn’t figure out how he was, where he was and how he was wearing the things he was wearing.
Even stranger, he couldn’t understand how he was just “standing” there.
Arthur was floating and all around him, bright, distant stars shone and flashed at him.
Arthur tried to turn, but wiggling his feet did nothing but make him look a touch silly.
Scouring the controls on his wrist, Arthur found a button marked Propulsion and next to it were a series of symbols that suggested directions. Arthur pressed every button he could see, individually and together.
He floundered and flailed at first, spinning forward, over and over and then, slowly, he found the right combinations of buttons and reduced his rate of turn, using the opposite thrust button and began to come, almost, to a complete stop.
Arthur let out a sigh of relief.
Allowing himself a few minutes to think, again, Arthur realised he didn’t know where he was.
I mean, he knew he was in Space, that was obvious, but he didn’t know where in Space he was?
After all, Space is a bit big when you think about it.
So, he thought about it. He’d seen forward and he’d sort of seen backward- what with the spinning and everything- but he hadn’t seen, not properly, what was to the side of him.
With slow, deliberate movements with the control pad, Arthur managed to get his body to turn and twist a little.
His boots twisted this way and that, his arms moved as if swimming in thin air and after a few minutes of effort, Arthur found himself staring directly at a shining, blue, white and green ball.
Arthur was staring at the Earth…from at least a few thousand miles away!