Chapter Five

It was cold out despite the sun trying it’s best to shed a little light on the situation. Matt looked up at the sky and closed his eyes. He wasn’t sure why, maybe he was praying or maybe he was just trying to take one last moment before he tried to leave this world and find the one he’d seen that night. When he opened his eyes, he could see that all the people that had gathered outside and found their way into his own little Fort Lauderdale. Some of them shouted over at him (the reporters he’d bet) but most just took their phones out and started filming and taking pictures. He let them. He had too much lying in front of him to be concerned with them. He thought then of Buzz & Neil & Michael and what their thoughts were before stepping on the Apollo 11. If they looked at the shuttle that would be their temporary floating home and thought about the hands that built it. The shuttle that stood before him now would put most of NASA’s to shame. It was a one-man shuttle, no larger than a shed but thankfully more robust, with two small fuel canisters that he would release upon entering orbit. Standing here, it looked a little like a misshapen sunbed with a small round window and enough room to sit down and move about in. More importantly, it looked like it could fly. Nobody believed it, but they would soon see. He knew what he was doing, he was a skillful build and enough knowledge that saw him rise so high at NASA. There was no reason that this shouldn’t work. No reason at all. 

As he turned to look back at the house, he saw his sister stand in the doorway. She looked like she wanted to run toward him but something was stopping her. Maybe it was the look on Matt’s face, or Charlotte standing between them or perhaps she was just tired of it all. He broke into what his sister described as a shit eating grin and gave her a little salute. She didn’t return it, in fact, she looked like she wanted to return back to her sleep and away from Matt. But it was no matter. He’d be proved right soon enough. 

He moved forward, and next to his shuttle, was an astronaut suit he’d managed to borrow from his former employers. Slipping it on, with help from Charlotte who sealed up his helmet, he stepped into the rocket. Taking one last look at the house, he got in and closed the door, sealing it tight. 

It was time. 

He readied himself and moved to press the buttons that would fire up the engine when something out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. Something on the roof.

 

Chris Patrick