46 comments

Science Fiction Drama

I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this!


Alissa Robertson was in the bathroom, locked in a stall. She was sweaty and pale. She had thrown up 3 times, and she still felt terrible. 


Takeoff was in 3 hours. She wasn’t ready. She will never be ready. 


“Alissa?” A soft voice called from the other side of the door, knocking. “Are you there? The Daily Galette and other newspapers want to interview you. This is your big day!”


“Umm, yes.” Alissa’s shaky voice said. “I-I’ll be out there in a second.”


“Okay Alissa. Just call if you need anything.”


That person was her best friend. Her name was Helen. She had been training with Alissa for over 5 years. But it wasn’t her day.


It was Alissa’s turn.


Every year, one astronaut was to fly to the moon. In the past few years, none of the astronauts made it. For example, last year, an astronaut named Darren Hocksight flew. He had to abort, because the engine wasn’t working properly. His ship had exploded in the atmosphere.


Alissa had wanted to be an astronaut ever since she was a little girl. It had been her dream. She had started training when she was 21, and she was 26 now. It was her time. It was her day.


Alissa walked out of the stall, washed her face and her hands, and strolled out into the hallway. She was calm, but she knew what would await her when she got outside.


She was right. There was a crowd of reporters, wanting to interview her.


How are you feeling?”


“You know that most astronauts in the past few years had to abort their missions. How does that make you feel?”


“You are the youngest astronaut to ever attempt to go to the moon. Will the lack of experience be a major problem?


Alissa tried to answer the questions the best she could. She was flustered, because the different reporters kept shoveling microphones at her.


Finally, the chaos stopped. It was time. Well, almost.


T-minus 2 and a half hours.


Alissa then had to change into her big, bulky space suit. It was hot, but she was used to it. She had practiced and trained in it many times before. It took a while to put it on, though.


T-minus 2 hours


It was time. She had to say goodbye to her family.


“Bye mom and dad.” Alissa’s voice was cracking. “I love you guys so much.”


“Bye Alissa.” Her mom was blinking back tears. “I love you too. And you know, honey, you are the love of my life. I am so proud of you.”


We are so proud of you.” Her dad cut in. “You followed your dreams, and here you are. I love you, kiddo.”


“Thank you so much, mom and dad.” Alissa said. “You were always there for me.”


She stepped up and hugged her parents.


They were too caught up in the moment to speak.


Alissa turned to Helen.


“Oh Helen. You are my best friend." She said, hugging her. "Thank you for supporting me the whole way.”


“Alissa, you encouraged me to follow my dreams. You are awesome. Have fun on the moon.”


Alissa smiled, and went into the car that would take her to the spaceship. She turned to have one last look at her family and friends.


“I love you guys so much.”


T-minus 1 and a half hours


Alissa got into the car. It started to move towards the big shuttle that would be taking off shortly. Last minute checks and diagnostics were going on. Alissa knew it was time.


Alissa got out of the car and into the hall that would take her to the shuttle. She had to climb the stairs all the way to the top. 


When she got to the top, some people were waiting for her to help her into the ship.


“Thanks guys.” She said quietly.


“No problem.” They all replied.


They helped her get into position. Her position in the ship was basically sitting while laying down. It was uncomfortable, but she was used to it. 


She had to stay in that position for a little bit longer.


T-minus 1 hour


Alissa’s mind was racing with all the thoughts that were going through it.


One side of her brain was thinking:


You got this. Don’t forget all your training. You won’t die.


The other side of her brain was:


No! I can’t do this. The past few years nobody has ever made it! You will not be the first.


“Be quiet!” She told her brain.


She looked at the clock.


T-minus 45 minutes


Almost there.


Alissa fiddled with her thumbs. She thought about when she was a little girl.


“Mommy,” Little Alissa asked. “How do you get to the moon?”


“Honey,” Her mom answered. “You take a spaceship. You know that.”


“I’m going to go there someday.”


“Alissa,” Her mom was looking straight in her eyes. “You can be anything your heart is set on.”


When 7 year-old Alissa heard those words, she wanted to become an astronaut. She made cardboard spaceships and had a space themed bedroom.


All those memories came back to present-day Alissa in a rush.


T-minus 30 minutes


She knew America was watching her. It was always on television. She had watched every single space mission ever since she was 8. She celebrated when the first walk was made on the moon.


She had space birthday parties every single year. She was obsessed. When she got to college she knew what she wanted to study.


After she graduated, she knew she would have many more years of training to go. She got with NASA to become an actual astronaut. It took 5 years of hard work. And even then, people were critical about having such a young astronaut to go to the stars. 


T-minus 10 minutes


She was the only one who passed the test. The test that would see who would go to the moon.


But even now, she was having self doubts about it.


Is this what I really want to do? Is it my dream?


“Yes.” She told herself. “It's what I want to do.”


It was time.


T-minus 1 minute.


The engine started firing up. Big blasts of smoke were shooting around the spacecraft. 


T-minus 30 seconds


Alissa’s training took over. Her microphone was turned on so she could communicate with the people who were controlling it from the ground.


“You okay Alissa?” They asked.


“Yeah. I’m fine.” She answered.


T-minus 10 seconds


The rumbling of the ship was almost distracting Alissa. She ignored it.


T-minus 9 seconds


8 seconds


7 seconds


6 seconds


5


4


3


“I love you mom and dad.”


2


1


Blast off.


July 27, 2020 15:21

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46 comments

03:41 Sep 24, 2020

Well written.

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Avery G.
01:48 Sep 25, 2020

Thank you!

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Megan Sutherland
17:44 Sep 12, 2020

Great story Avery!!! Super fast-paced, and I loved it. I'm going to read part 2 now!

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Avery G.
18:51 Sep 12, 2020

Thank you so much!

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. .
03:25 Sep 03, 2020

Lovely story!

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Avery G.
23:20 Sep 04, 2020

Thank you!

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01:32 Aug 28, 2020

Love, love, love, LOVE this!!! AMAZING Avery! Wowwww, I'm really in love with your writing! This is so good, you actually had my heart racing at the countdown!!! Terrific wtitten, excellently told! Needless to say, I REALLLLLY enjoyed this Avery!👏👏👏👏

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Avery G.
03:00 Aug 28, 2020

Thank you!

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23:23 Aug 28, 2020

:D

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I loved this story, Great job! I really liked how Alissa was so passionate and determined about going to the moon. And how even though she was frightened, it didn't stop her from "literally" shooting for the stars and pursuing her dream. Lovely short story and I really enjoyed the flashbacks as I felt it really helped convey Alissa's character.

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Avery G.
01:48 Aug 20, 2020

Thank you so much!

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Raquel Rodriguez
14:20 Oct 01, 2020

Wow, Avery! Good job! There's so much emotion here, I can feel it. The beginning is great, it really shows Alissa's nervousness. The ending is great too. Anyway, I'm going to read part 2! :)

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The Daltons
01:07 Aug 16, 2020

Oh my GOSH! I absolutely LOVED this story! Love the names (so odd how I just notice names) and I completely ADORE the conflict!! PLEASE do a sequel! I'll DEFINITELY read it! I also love how you take a flashback to the past, and I love Alissa's determination to go to space!

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Avery G.
01:20 Aug 16, 2020

Thank you so much!

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The Daltons
01:36 Aug 16, 2020

No problem at all! I love your stories!

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Writers Block
09:21 Aug 10, 2020

Sequel? Maybe draw a literary picture of sights in space? The story had good bones!

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Avery G.
15:34 Aug 10, 2020

Yeah, I might do a sequel! If the right prompt comes up, of course. Thank you!

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San T.
03:13 Jul 28, 2020

Very nice.. loved how you described the turmoils going inside her.. it was a dream come true, it was exciting and challenging too.. I just have a feeling, could you add some surprise element or twist in it?

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Avery G.
03:35 Jul 28, 2020

Thank you! Great idea! I'll think about it, and maybe edit it. Of course, it's not for sure I'll change it, but I'll ponder it.

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San T.
05:32 Jul 28, 2020

Definitely.. it's your story after all.. I just said what came to my mind.. nothing serious.. Would you mind reading my story and giving some feedback too, if you get time?

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Avery G.
14:49 Jul 28, 2020

Thank you! Of course I'll read your stories!

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Great job!

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Avery G.
23:23 Jul 27, 2020

Thank you!

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Conan Helsley
18:08 Jul 27, 2020

That wasn't bad. I would make a few corrections, though not to the story, just the structure of paragraphs. For instance... “Alissa?” A soft voice called from the other side of the door, knocking. “Are you there? The Daily Galette and other newspapers want to interview you. This is your big day! The one that you’ve been waiting for your whole life!” The last sentence is redundant and unnecessary. By saying it is her big day, the friend is implying that she's been waiting if not her whole life then at least long enough for it to be the most...

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Nancy Drayce
16:45 Jul 27, 2020

🤩🤩 awesome story! I really like your character's personality. I would just like to know if she made it safe? Great job! 💜✨

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Avery G.
16:49 Jul 27, 2020

Thank you so much! There might be a Part 2, if the prompt comes up! She does make it safe, with minor technical difficulties. She does get to walk on the moon! But yeah, she makes it safe on the way back too. I may or may not do a Part 2. Thank you again!

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Nancy Drayce
16:53 Jul 27, 2020

I encourage you to write part 2! And of course, if the right prompt pops up. 🥰

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Avery G.
17:24 Jul 27, 2020

Thank you! I might! Hopefully the right prompt comes up!

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19:54 Jun 03, 2021

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee that last line sent tingles running down my spine! Geez, Avery, leave some talent for the rest of us! Amazing job, as always. Rando Writing Prompt: Rewrite a classic fairy tale to be more realistic.

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Aman Fatima
17:52 Mar 07, 2021

WOW!!! such an amazing story.!!!:)

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Avery G.
00:33 Aug 07, 2020

Thank you!

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Aneka Williams
07:01 Aug 06, 2020

Hi Avery! I really loved this piece. Not sure what I can say that the others haven’t highlighted, in terms of deeper and better dialogue and etc. I’d also like to Feature this on my blog (zealcrazewall.wordpress.com) for other writers to see. If this is fine, you can shoot me an email at zealcraze@tutanota.com Also, if you ever need an editor in the future, I have as low as $8USD per month for Inkitt, Wattpad and Reedsy Writers on my Patreon. Cheers and keep up the awesome work. Looking forward to your email. 🥰

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Shiza Ali
18:17 Aug 04, 2020

What a good piece of art! The flow of words felt like I was watching it with my very eyes as the rocket blastes off! The anxiety, the ever growing tension! WOW!

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Avery G.
18:24 Aug 04, 2020

Thank you so much! You are so kind!

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Saron Mengistu
18:32 Aug 01, 2020

This is beyond beautiful. Rarely do I see such classic, subtle, original work. When I saw this prompt, I thought it would be hardest to write for in only 1k-3k words. I'm incredibly impressed. I love how the characters still evoked emotions, and how the italics added something extra to the emotive language, and how you perfectly showed Alissa's ambitions for the future, despite the impossibility of it. Wonderful work. For critique, I think you could've balanced out the emotions. I think you could've worked on your dialogue. The goodbyes ...

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Avery G.
18:46 Aug 01, 2020

Thank you so much! I'll work on my dialogue. 😊

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Saron Mengistu
06:08 Aug 02, 2020

You're most welcome:))

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Deborah Angevin
14:06 Jul 31, 2020

I'm absolutely waiting for part 2 of this story; this is great! Would you mind checking my recent story, "A Very, Very Dark Green"? Thank you :)

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Avery G.
15:06 Jul 31, 2020

Aww, thank you! Of course!

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Jonathan Blaauw
08:43 Jul 29, 2020

I’m so glad I found this story. For a young writer, you have lots of talent. I love space stuff so I was always going to enjoy this, but your way of writing made it doubly enjoyable. You build the tension very well, using the countdown to add to it without relying solely on that for the emotional buildup. Your character’s internal conflict does that admirably, and along with the countdown, it makes the ending brilliant, because you don’t release the tension. We don’t know what happens to our young astronaut after lift-off, and leaving it ope...

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Avery G.
15:27 Jul 29, 2020

Thank you so much! Okay, thanks for your feedback. I'll work on it! I love writing, even though I just started. So I still have a lot to learn. Thank you again!

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