Science Fiction

Through a Great Distance




“Andrew, God, I can actually hear your sulking,” Becky said across the hull to the large man sitting with his head hanging and his back facing her. “It’s like I have the endangered, sniveling vagina bug crawling in my ear, right now.”

           “I am not sulking!” Andrew informed her angrily as he lifted his head and stared ferociously at the corner. “As a matter of fact, I was just now having a soliloquyial discussion on the selfish disregard of ingratitude and how Princesses only crap on other people’s property!” He screamed at her from his walled in position and Becky rolled her eyes in return.

           “Look, man, the alfredo sauce was too salty, I don’t know what to tell yah,” she replied with a guiltless shrug. “Maybe, next time, I don’t know, don’t add the entire salt lick to the pot.”

           “That is a reward winning recipe!” Andrew bellowed and turned his purpling face towards her. “And I’ll let you know that having all of the culinary delicacy of a frozen lake, does not excuse, nor forgive, straight rudeness.”

           “Whatever,” Becky grumbled and returned her attention to the blinking lights of the ship’s internal computer.

           “Fine,” Andrew agreed to her resolution and sent out a cold silence across the room.

           “I don’t think that, “soliloquyial,” is even really a word.” Becky poked and to her delight, the bear stood-up and stomped out into the hallway.

           “There are rules of engagement!” Andrew roared and jabbed his pudgy finger into the chest of no one as he clomped down the hallway. “Once an argument is clearly at the point of appropriate silence,” he said while gesturing wildly with his hands. “I mean, that’s it, you just shut-up. But no, not her, she always has to get that last little…” He paused, too angry to finish the sentence and, instead, bit down hard onto his knuckle. “I want my GD dog back!” he finally screamed at the top of his lungs.

           “Becky! Becky!” Andrew yelled desperately as the terrified animal clawed free and leapt from his grasping arms. “No, no, bad dog!” he scolded the Pomeranian, but another crack of lightning from the newest freak storm put her tail between her legs and sent her scampering into the throngs of the many on-lookers and partiers across the barricade.

           “Japan…swallowed…unprecedented tsunamis,” Andrew heard the radio from the nearest booze and food tent scream in between its static and he helplessly turned and looked at his escape vessel.

           “Becky?” He whimpered with his whole body moving in feeble motions and the tears choking out his breathing. For the briefest of moments, he considered leaving without his precious Becky, but then he remembered all of the hard work and strings that he had to pull to gain passage to the new world and procure his own personal carriage. Failure was not an option.

           “You sir!” Andrew pointed and yelled with newly found determination as he marched across his lot towards the security at the gate. “I will have a moment with you,” he said and pushed his impressive mass in between a small helmeted guard and the rest of the world. “Do you know who I am?” Andrew more demanded than asked.

           “Yes sir, mister Chizka, sir,” the guard said with what he thought was machismo. “I am assigned to your post, sir, I’m, I’m your takeoff guy” he added lamely and immediately regretted it.

           “Good,” Andrew replied with zero satisfaction as he assumed his own notoriety. “Then you know that I am never, EVER, without my Becky!” he blustered as the guard tried to catalogue every piece of information that he had on the man and a wife Becky seemed to ring a bell.

           “Yes sir, mister Chizka, that is well known,” he decided to answer in the positive.

           “Well?” Andrew asked as he looked around himself incredulously. “Do you see my Becky with me?”

           “Oh, oh, no sir,” the former shoe salesman caught the drift and put his two weeks of military training into action. “Where was the last place you seen her, sir?”

           “She ran off into that damnable ruffian tent,” Andrew answered with distaste. “She is very likely right at the entrance, trust me, she won’t wander far from a constant source of sausage.”

           As the guard struggled with a reply, he was spared by the sudden upheaval of the earth’s crust, causing all to stumble and cheers to erupt from the tent dwellers.

           “Listen,” Andrew said in a sudden rush, trying to quickly compensate for the earthquakes two-day early arrival. “What’s your name son?” he asked the guard.

           “Thomas Jensen,” Thomas Jensen answered astutely.

           “And now, Thomas,” Andrew said in his straight business voice. “I can assume that you’re not one of these tent cretins, right? That you plan on leaving this degenerate planet and make a fresh start on the new world? Yes?”

           “Yes sir, mister Chizka, our craft leaves tonight.”

           “Good Thomas, I’m relieved to hear that,” Andrew said while putting his meat hooks onto the guard’s slender shoulders and drawing paternal serenity onto his face. “Thomas, I need someone to march into that Hell pit and get me my Becky,” he said while pointing at the tent. “And whoever that person is, well, let’s just say that they will be very well rewarded in the new world,” he stated and then paused for dramatic affect. “Do you think that you could be that person, mister Jensen?”   

“Yes sir! Absolutely sir!” Ole’ Thomas was pretty sure of himself.

“Excellent!” Andrew applauded. “Bring her to my sleeping quarters, get us off this God forsaken planet and I assure you that the goose will be splendid.”

Andrew stared out the bedroom window as the world deteriorated around him. “Where are you?” he whispered harshly and took his third pill in less than ten minutes. “I do not feel calm!” he screamed at the window and shook the pill bottle angrily. “Stupid---useless…,” he mumbled softly as his chin dropped down into his chest and time slowed down around him.

“Who the Hell is this?” the drunken slur of a tiny, blonde woman and the sound of a locking door caused Andrew’s eyes to flutter open.

“Becky,” he pleaded unconsciously as the engines started to rumble and the planet Earth began its long series of chain explosions.

“I want my GD dog back!” Becky heard Andrew yell from across the ship and she immediately felt a twinge of regret for that last jab.

“Ah, the big lug,” she said as she drew her legs up onto the chair to hug her knees, thinking about their first conversation.

The world, she believed, was gone. The navigational system, fried on take-off. We could be the last two human beings alive in the Universe and dude couldn’t stop blubbering about his stupid dog.

“Cute little shit,” she said with a sigh and grabbed her rubber ball to squeeze.

The mix-up, she supposed, was favorable to her. She should be dead and at one point and time, it was all that she had expected, wanted, maybe. She was in a weird place at the time. Still though and in retrospect, she made out pretty good. The vessel was equipped to accommodate and feed eight people for no less than ten years. There were like a zillion different movies and video games to play and the regurgitating ventilation system provided a lifetime of low-quality, but breathable air.                      

The dog, she felt, would have been very happy here.

Words can’t really describe the awkwardness of getting to know the last remaining member of your species. The last real face that you would see in your entire lifetime. Uncomfortable, she guessed. Discomfited? But, after a long mourning and bonding period, it took them all of fifteen seconds to realize that they were trapped in space with a complete and utter moron. He was a proclaimed dog person and she held firm that Becky was really more of a cat. He was a staunch Republican and she didn’t really care what you called a crook. How was it possible that she got stuck with the one person who could witness the explosion of their planet and still continue to deny global warming?

It was the absolute worst possible case scenario for the both of them.

Becky smiled and gave the ball two quick compressions.

“No, no, you’re doing that all wrong,” Andrew said as he watched her gaming in the family center and grabbed the controller out of her hands.

“Oh, really?” she asked, a little shocked at his playfulness, as they had been on a, as needed, communication schedule for the previous three months. “You know how to play Super Mario Brothers?”

“Oh yeah, my brothers and I ate up the classics,” Andrew answered as he deftly moved the courageous plumber across the screen. “I saw Zelda in the game catalogue,” he said while pausing and smiling over at her. “Have you ever played it?” he asked with a school boy innocence that would eventually charm his way into both her pants and their first marriage.

Andrew had considered all four of their marriages as a silly waste of time, but, Becky, although far removed from her deflowering, was a traditionalist. Not so much the religious stuff, but a commitment was needed if you wanted the long-term, personal attention sex. She was, after all, a lady.    

Initially they had the children conversation, you know, the old, save the homo sapien rally, but ultimately decided against it. Their little family, alone in the middle of outer space, trying to maintain the human race was, well, just gross, once you ran the numbers and, besides, neither one of the them were exactly, kid people, anyhow. So, they kept rugrats out of their tumultuous and mostly predictable cycle. Right now, as far as Becky saw it, they were within four months to their next marriage. This was clearly a make-up fight. Right now, he’s standing in the master bedroom, staring out the window, waiting for me to come and apologize.

“And apologize I will,” she thought happily as she stood-up and bounced the ball off of the floor and back into her hand. The truth was that over the last six years, she had really grown to love the big ape and she knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he loved her. Only love can make a person as crazy as she made him.

Besides, she had put a lot of effort into making him a suitable partner, the, sometimes, aggressive tips and hints on how to be a better lover, alone, claimed her ownership. She wasn’t about to give up her man and her apologizing for hurting his delicate nature had also become part of their cycle.

“Hey Andrew,” she yelled as she bounced her ball down the hall towards the bedroom. “About the alfredo sauce, you know that I was just being a bitch, right?” She asked, taking the low road and hoping for a quick make-up.

“Becky, get in here,” Andrew yelled back at her in a dazed and far away voice and Becky quickened her pace.

“Holy…” she stood frozen in the entryway, staring through the window at the last thing that she ever thought that she would see again. “Andrew, it’s a planet!” she exclaimed and Andrew turned in his standing position to nod absently.

“You said that the odds were astronomically against this,” she said as Andrew, the human fun sponge, had calculated its chances to being exactly impossible.

“They, they are,” he stammered and returned his gaze to the looming planet.

“Well, is it, you know, liveable?” Becky asked with excitement growing in her voice.

“Yes, perfectly, its atmosphere doesn’t appear to be much different than earths,” he answered.

“It’s unbelievable,” Becky marveled as she walked to stand next to Mark. “What about other creatures? Is there anything alive down there?”

“Affirmative, be it food, friend or foe, the imager shows plenty of animal activity at the surface.”

Awestruck in silence and as they slowly absorbed the colossal potential floating before them, Andrew and Becky’s fingers gingerly touched together and gently entwined.

“Take us home, Captain Chizka,” she said while looking up at her future fifth husband and Andrew set the thrusters to manual.





January 18, 2020 02:57

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