Short Story Sunday: Take Me Away

February 28, 2021

It wasn’t as if she needed to go out. It was that connection with the surface and letting the cold air on her skin wake up all of her senses.

As she put on her camouflage jacket she thought about how as a child she’d never been able to go out on her own. The adults had been so overprotective. There was nothing out there to be afraid of. One outside she walked along her usual route, taking in the sun and imagining what it was like to be somewhere else. Anywhere else would do right now.

Somewhere else. Jack had broken her heart, along with smashing her dreams to oblivion. Every secret of her heart was smashed by his cruel words. He’d called her unrealistic and unpractical. He told her she could never leave, but that she’d never have his heart. The more she thought about it the more she realized that this perfect man was nothing but imperfect. He was a fraud. He was an uncreative, selfish, and boorish prick. Good riddance.

After several hours of hiking she stopped for a snack, and a quick look at her map. Then out of the corner of her eyes she caught motion. WTF? Nothing should have been out here. Nothing.

About a hundred feet away was a machine. It had wheels on the ground. How odd. It was about ten feet long and almost the same across. Approaching it without caution she thought about Jack. That jerk-off was afraid of everything. Sure he pretended to be tough and a big man but underneath it all he was afraid of anything new. He lacked curiosity. Everyone she knew lacked curiosity. It made her sick to think that she was considered the weird one. Everyone else was weird to her. She was stifled by their attitudes and smug sense of complacency.

As she walked up to the machine she suddenly wondered if there was life on it. Where did it come from? More like who did it come from? She knew where it was from.

“Hello?” she said quietly as she approached it, the same as if she was approaching a wild animal.

It moved. Ahhhhhhh she thought. Cameras.

This strange new machine was adorable. She moved closer and looked straight into the lens. Pushing her hood back off of her head, and then smiling she said, “Come get me. I want to leave this place. I want color, and the warm sunshine on my bare skin, and everything you take for granted. I want the freedom to think my own thoughts without being told I’m crazy. I want to know who you are, sing your songs, eat your food, and listen to your stories.”

On the side she saw letters, then took her gloved hand and wiped off the reddish brown dust. In a blue circle was a name. NASA.

“Take me away,” she said. “I want to walk on your beaches. I want to feel sand in my toes. I want to look up in the night sky and see where a glowing red dot and know how wrong everyone was about me.”

136.73 million miles away in Pasadena, California, on the planet Earth, someone yelled out in excitement, and almost knocked over her coffee. “OH MY GOD. You have to see this. YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS.”

Back at the wheeled rover she smiled again. “I’m here. Take me away.”

~ end

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