Twelve Days of Fiction, Day Five: Farewell.

Shared publicly — 2014–12–29

Twelve Days of Fiction, Day Five: Farewell.

I’m going to be the first human being who dies on the Moon. That’s it. And I thought, what the hell, let’s leave a recording, shall we?

Frankly, it was bound to happen, sooner or later. The effort of finally colonizing our satellite means that people would live here, and I’m afraid that living ultimately means dying as well. But everybody thought that some colonist or another would wish to pass away here in her old age. Or something.

But no, this was a lottery and I won it. One could argue it was unavoidable as well. For instance, just a few years ago no-one would have been allowed to leave Tereshkova Base in a rover alone. I guess that, given the circumstances, it would have mean that two or more people would die today instead of only one. Accidents do happen, so one would have to take place sooner or later. Just my damned luck.

No, not really. In fact, I have been relatively lucky in my life. Well, yes, being an orphan sort of sucks, but you know those people who have sad stories of always switching foster homes and being abused? I was not one of them. I had great foster parents who loved me, cared for me and gave me an education. Love you, mom and dad, wherever you are now. Ah, you know I don’t really believe you’re anywhere, do you? We’re stardust and all that, and we’ll be back to where we once belonged, or our constituent atoms will. In a few thousand million years.

Anyway, it was because of you and the dreams you allowed me to have that I wanted to become an astronaut, and look at me, here I am. It was hard, and I left many things behind, but here I am. Yes, just about to die, but hey, one cannot have everything.

Speaking about not having everything. Stephane, I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you, and you always knew my career was the most important thing in my life. Someone please make this arrive to him.

Well, everybody back at the base knows it by now, but here’s what has happened: I crashed against a rock. I have an engine malfunction, and the emergency battery is down as well. What that means is that my rover died on me, and the backup cannot make it run either. And here comes the real bad luck: a punctured liquid oxygen tank. Therefore I am sitting here waiting for a rescue mission that left the base… some thirty minutes ago, and won’t arrive here until at least two more hours. But I only have air for twenty minutes. Or so.

As I said, it had to happen to someone. Sooner or later. But it’s happened to me.

The base told me to economize air, not to exert myself. They said I needed to try and relax, and in the very last moment don my suit. Mind me, these suits we have here are just for short hops. If one needs to work for a long time, we have the bulkier autonomous, or we hook up oxygen lines. Which in turns means the suit is good for, say, ten more minutes. Neither them nor me mentioned that the maths didn’t add up. It was not necessary.

In short, if I was religious I would have tried to make my peace with my god. Or gods. Or whatever. But I’m not. And as people who know me will say, I’m never been one to just sit and wait. So I decided to do two things. The first one is to record this message. And the second one is to wear the emergency suit at once and wait outside. Because, damn it, if I’m going to die I want to do it in style.

I recall an old film from the 20th Century where an old astronaut ended up stranded on the Moon and died here, looking at the Earth. I’m on the far side right now, so I cannot see the Earth from where I stand. But I’m lucky, because I can see the stars. More than lucky, since there’s Orion the Hunter, my all-time favourite constellation. Just being here is… well, not great, bit I’ll take what I have. I’ll just sit here, outside the rover, watching the universe, and feeling happy, until the end comes.


Mars by Alex Currie via 500px. Used without permission, will remove if requested.


And that’s the fifth entry in my Twelve Days of Fiction challenge. It’s a bit dark, but the story came into my mind more or less like that, so here it is. The film the protagonist refers to is, of course, Space Cowboys.

#AmWriting #TwelveDaysOfFiction

Vicente L Ruiz’s photos

Originally published at

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