An Evening Spaceage Travesty

( 5 stars · 1 review )


Was the only thought on my mind after the few seconds my pod went silent in the diamond-covered cosmos. Aligned between dozens of other personal transports that floated above, below, and beside me. All of our capsules’ windows faced towards the projected show stage. Earlier was better than later, and I had wrangled a position far better than the strangers around me. With lights brought down to a dim glow within and outside the pod, I was able to step away from the control board and set on the edge of my bed.

Nice could describe the dazzling arrangement of drones with their holographic, preshow, presentations floating­ advertisements before the impatient audience. The colorful, evil words to have you buy anything from oil to chewing gum blended together into a space designer’s canvas when your focus pulled back. It could describe the wood, smoking pipe in my wrinkled hand. So that every time I went to relight the delicious leaves, the sparkling metal around my finger reminds me of all of life before reaching this very moment. For most of us waiting for the travesty, nicely described the opportunity we had to buy a set of coordinates to stale our ships, allowing the ones with families to not even have to get dressed to witness such an expensive, overground showing.

Yet, my mind only followed what my eyes saw while I sat in the dome-like window. Engaging in filling my cabin with smoke faster than the ventilation could be rid of it. I did not dally on the preshow drones, because what would an elderly man need that he didn’t already have? An acceptance that the travesty has a final act is only satisfying to me when I know there are more operatic performances somewhere else in the current era cosmos. New life is what my eyes sought and found in the ship beside me. An illustration of youthfulness that no longer possesses and that the travesty performed by drone slightly conjure.

Ricky was the man I saw leaning against his ship’s dome, looking glass. Holding himself up with an arm on the window, either half-asleep or half-drunk from the looks of his drowsy composure. The young man was reckless and stupid, but not evil unlock the dogs that we’re presenting this showing. I saw the kid at the ports years ago when he bought that space pod, for I was purchasing the same model with what was left of my late wife’s savings. To take myself to the place I had yet to see. My excitement for the purchase was stalled by Ricky’s forged bills he attempted to slide by the porter. Bills he could have only acquired through dangerous means, despite having the actual money to buy the pod. The risk was something that never crossed the boy’s mind, and his child across the cosmos kept that observation accurate with every passing year.

Why Ricky was at the travesty production of a script I know he had had never heard before, I have no idea. Perhaps he was here to make a deal with a nefarious associate of his. It would make sense that such a rough, quickly planned showing that was created by vagrants attracted the likes of themselves to the audience. It piqued my interest enough to push my old bones off the straw-filled mattress to better see the man. When I did, through the smoky window, I could see a woman standing on his left. However, I could not see the metal, beading that would reveal her to have an artificial body. If the attractive girl didn’t then how she stood in only her undergarments did, and she was fake in mind.

Unlike the illuminating adverts and the familiar ship of his, I could not conjure similar memories when looking at the couple. How rushed their courtship must’ve been made me ache when compared to me and my deceased own. I’ve learned to hold my judgmental tongue. Even in metal, oxygen precious cells waiting for heavenly lights to distract us for a few hours, the end for them would be the same as it was for my wife and for me in just a couple years. Yet, despite never speaking to the boy, I wished I had and I wished I could beg his parents, wherever they are, to keep him in school so that he could charter a legitimate course through the cosmos. Instead, he dodges authority as much as responsibility and I can only foresee how such a life will be imploded by its surroundings.

I interrupted my own prodding thoughts by dumping the ashes onto the riveted floor before grabbing the hemp lined pouch. My eyes never left the two in his cabin. How they passed a clove cigarette to each other while they stared at the preshow lights. It was usual for a while and peaceful enough for me to strike a match for the pipe.

A clanging jumpstarted my slow beating heart from outside my capsule. It was close, perhaps my own, but what would someone want with a widower trying to escape space for a little while. A suspicion that it was not authorities grew in the back of my mind, as the clanging rang again but this time for more aggressively. The loudness of the racket would have sent vibration under my slippers, yet my ship remained still. That’s when I saw Ricky and his girl move from the window. The girl quickly trying to cover herself with a bedsheet while the boy slipped into his own spacesuit. The men floating in the void outside Ricky’s ship wore black space garments under their helmets, which on the glass had frosted insignia blown into it. Even my peaceful years in different worlds, I could spot bad men, perhaps mostly from education with the cinema from an early age. From my window’s corner, I could see Ricky in his skyish, blue suit floated out from his pod. Immediate, muffled shouts came from the bad men, too distorted for my ears to hear. But I watched them shove Ricky into his own seed, laughing as the poor kid spun holding his gut from a suggested hit that passed my vision.

Suddenly, the opening act began with the laser lights of a thousand performing drones shooting through my own ship, knocking myself back into my mattress. Dazzling beams brightened the dark all around and like how it startled me, it must have startled the three-floating outside. I sat up once the audio from the showing’s radio frequency began to come from my pod’s speakers, a strange sound of boot steps scraping over my ship added itself to the controlled chaos of notes. After Ricky had climbed over, it was almost immediate that two more sets of boots trampled after him. I hadn’t moved so quickly in decades to my window, pressing my cheek so I could see to my pod’s right. Like I imagined in the glowing lights, I saw a blue spaceman getting chased by two firmly behind him.

I was too distracted to enjoy the first few lyrics of the chorus. I can hear my wife telling me to not pay attention, but she was not here to lecture me tonight. I was alone in the palate of swirling lasers in my cabin, but I was determined to watch the runaway boy like a silent star.

Similar to how he climbed over my own, I watched Ricky put some distance between him and the goons, pushing himself with new force from each spaceship’s roof. He had done this before, but where and why was lost to me. I was more surprised that the real authorities had not arrived to stop the three men from distracting the audience from the performance. Yet they kept moving and my eyes turned to the immense showcase of drones flying in distinct patterns. Ascending from the ocean of yellow and pink, the android forged from salmon-red, plastic and rosin. It’s hinging jaw opening and closing with the spewing, Italian lyrics coming from my speakers. Before I returned to watching the chase, I swear I saw the fake eyes of the robotic human watch the kid as I did, even for just a minute.

The robot’s soliloquy continued, undistracted from the slight interruption in the tiny portion of the crowd. Like its singing of lyrics of new love and foreshadowed tragedy, I also resumed my travesty’s occupation of watching Ricky try to escape the men he had offended. The boy neared the end of my row of pods, and I watched him throw himself dangerously to a ship several dozen feet above. When he hit the metal belly, I squinted to see his gloved fingers try to hold onto something so he would not merely bounce off.

The rhythm and tone of the travesty raised with purple flair into the second act. With the android’s personality displayed by its arm movements, its faceless, metalhead matched my own. Both of us following Ricky above, climb on a stranger’s pod. Mirroring the synchronized, drone lights that increased from a few scores to a full platoon of artistic dance, more of the black spacesuits were already floating towards the high kid. There was a plan the knifemen had. My heart skipped a beat at the sight while the anonymous toy of the show laughed painfully at its own silly, operatic lyrics.

Ricky must have been here before, scrambling to his feet with little exhaustion. The fluttering music had a crash of symbols, followed by the crying demands of the opera’s protagonist accusing its fictional fate of mischievous efforts. The conflict glowed with its pink hands over the shining light pointing indiscriminately at the audience. I watched the android point at Ricky above, who clawed at the fire ax latched in a case by his boot. Picking up the pod’s ax with a symphony of epic trumpets, the knifemen reached the boy. In that shower of purple rays, my pipe dropped next to my slippers. The dazzling faces of stars being covered by the imploding knife men cut by Ricky’s defense. Adding dramatic screams above to the lively music from my speakers. Two floated away motionless, but the others forced the boy to leap boundlessly.

Far up there, but close enough for me to see, Ricky bounced from pod to pod while lifeless bodies drove guests away from the opera. I could see him less and less as he reached the ship above my own. Even in my half globe window, I could not see the boy above, worrying the parental subconscious of myself. His girl also looked out the window to Ricky on high and her face had a grin of cockiness. Mocking the mockery of the android who sang its melancholy ballad as drones with pretentious death.

My back ached from the quick movements I made, yet determined to stay aware, I pulled the mattress off its box, laying it partially in the window so I could sit. The metal floor of the cabin was cold on my feet, and the third act music was louder than the first two. The climactic shrieks of the protagonist were being followed by the resolving tunes of an outro. Bouncy, lively resurrection paints hope across my mind. The morning oranges that introduced the android had returned to close its story. The sowed deeds of the travesty were reaped and celebrated in triumphant, flowery fashion. The pedal patterns of cycling drones flurried in the artificial wind. I could not resist the memory, the reason why I came to the travesty. The celebration of life at the end, the thing my wife would want me to treasure. It was beautiful and the shady performance she said to me brought peace and allowed her to dance in the grave.

Ricky’s girl was completely pressed against the window of their pod. I saw from my eye her happy face grew with shock. Her hands pulled from the window and hopscotch from her mouth to her eyes. Falling to her bare knees. I turned away, remembering my wife, watching the androids hysterical realization of some sad truth. It laughed through its final lyrics while the music swelled my cabin. Even my foot began to tap into the music. The serenity was merely a mirage and my eyes were not prepared to be unblinded.

Floating with his arms out to his sides and spinning ever so slightly in the nothing. It was the end of the performance, and the ax sticking from his shattered helmet stole him from the final moments. In a cruel irony, the android laughed at its own mortality in the story. Singing and singing about its joys and touches of humor on its journey, like it was human. Watching Ricky float in circles between me and the opera revealed the hideous fakeness behind the neon lights.

It was a gross characterization of closure. Closure to move on as the android descended back into its space stage. The guests were flying away to different lives, but I sat still. Even as the colors dimmed away to the little, white interior lights of my cabin. His girl left almost immediately after my own discovery. I envied her ability to move on as quick as everyone else around me did. They would be back. All of them at some point. In their later years or in nearby days. They would have to sit and watch Ricky float lifelessly just a few feet away.

So that was nice enough.


Formats: EPUB, MOBI

Pages: 13

Reading Time: 0.15 Hr


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User Reviews

· May 18, 2020

I love how lucid and creative this work is! The characters are so real in an unreal setting.