July 22, 2014


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc.) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

H Trope: Ghosts

Current Event: “To be a ghost in space, I expect you would have to die in space. There is a rumor that just before the Americans landed on the moon, the Soviets had a manned mission crash on the dark side. The cosmonauts died, and no one collected them or their rocket...”

Uiloq Chokim pursed her lips then said, “You know the advertising slogan for the old pre-D movie about some space mining ship that picks up an alien infestation?”

Lachlan Maposa squatted as much as he could in the surface suit to gather up the aluminized shroud. Flotsam and jetsam from the thirty-something annual Jules Verne Medallion Races dribbled down from the “race course” between the International Space Station Museum & Bed & Breakfast and the luxury orbital resort, Kubrick. He grunted as he stood back up and said, “Of course, ‘In space, no one can hear you freak out’.” He moved off in pursuit of another  piece of shroud, following a silvery fiber wending its way across the surface.

“No, stupid! It goes ‘In space, no one can hear you scream’. It was for the movie ALIEN. Late last century it was all the rage. Grandpa talks about it all the time.” She looked up to see him disappear around a lunar stone. “Are you listening to me?”
There was a long pause. She frowned. Then Lachlan said, “Good. Scream. Grandpa.”
She sighed. She was definitely thinking about breaking up with him. He wasn’t the worst boyfriend she’d ever had, but he sure wasn’t the brightest bulb in the Dome. Besides, she’d started to think that she was never going to make her fortune up here. Mineral rights were tied up by two dozen conglomerates and a handful of nations – the Moon looked like Antarctica had in Early Twen – so there was no way to get a job if you didn’t work for them. Service jobs were plentiful – clerks, programmers, stockers, teachers, and suitjockeys – but you needed licenses for that, too. It was the license that cost as much as a year’s apartment rent. She heard a gag on her headphones and said, “Lachlan?”

“What? Quit bugging me! I’ve got a good lead on a big strike, but I think I see another light over the horizon. It’s reflecting off the Dome Base.” He was panting. She should make them exercise more often. Especially since she was semi-planning to head back to Earth sometime soon. He suddenly spoke up, “Besides, it was a stupid movie. I zipped it once,” she heard the swish of the snoopy cap against the helmet rim. He continued, “Aliens! There aren’t any aliens in the universe, let alone on a backwater like the Moon.”

 “How can you know something like that?” she asked, irritated despite the fact that she agreed with him. “No one can know that!”

“Just like I’m supposed to believe in Lunar ghosts?”

Stung by the mocking tone of his voice, she snapped, “Two cosmonauts died in 1968 – almost a year before Aldrin and Armstrong. Their spirits inhabit the Moon! It’s a well-known fact!” One more nasty word from him, and she would break up with him here and now!

She opened her mouth to tell him just that when he shouted, “What...”

Names: ♀ Greenland, Kazakhstan ; ♂ Tasmania, Botswana

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