Science Fiction Funny

Let’s face it. Aging sucks. At eighty-five years old I was not exactly excited to celebrate my next birthday. It just meant that I was just that much closer to death. I guess you can say that I am one of the lucky few that still had most of my mind in tack. Looking in the mirror I still recognized myself. Even though now I was a silver fox, wrinkles were randomly drawn across my face and the bags under my eyes were now permanent. I still recognized it was me. I still remembered what and who I was. My body is not as strong as it used to be and that is to be expected. I walked a little slower and my reaction time lagged but I could still function for the most part. Especially if I rely on my wheelchair. Even though I still had the strength to walk. I loved it. Most people would think of it as a nuisance but for me it is an extension on my body. It gives me freedom. At my age I cherish the fact that I could function in everyday life. That was until the day I tripped. I was fortunate that I came out of it with only a few bruises but it worried my family to no end. Ultimately making a decision “for my own good” to put me in a long term care home. Despite how much I protested. The day I tripped was the day I lost my voice to choose what was best for me. 

“Uncle Rob!”, my nephew charged into my room. My family was constantly doing that.  Feeling that they could come in randomly without a simple knock on the door. The oldest of the seven of us you would think they would have a bit of respect. I love them but their lack of boundaries. 

“Benny,” I put aside my annoyance for a moment. Happy to see the boy. Not that he was exactly a boy anymore as he was pushing forty. It has been a while since I have seen him.  Out of all my family he was my favorite. I was not blessed with any children of my own and he was the closest I had to a son. My sister was a single mom and so I tried and help out as much as I could.  “How are you my boy!”

“Good, good.” he seemed a bit jumpy today. Bouncing around like an out of control super ball that you can not quite catch. 

“Sit down boy. It’s hard to keep track of you with you bouncing so much. Do you want some water?” It was about all I could offer him. 

“No I’m fine for now.”he finally found himself after spinning himself around the room before finding the perfect spot on my single bed. 

“What has gotten you so wound up?” Pins and needles tickled my legs. I shifted myself around in my wheelchair to regain much needed blood flow. 

“Uncle, something happened. I don’t know how you are going to feel about it.”

“Well spit it out boy. You are not getting any younger. You may die before I get this news.”

“Well you know how when I was little and you would take me out to look at the stars.” he shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “ and how we would talk and dream that it would be so cool if we could one day visit the moon.”

“Yes, those are some of the greatest memories.”

“Well remember a few years ago I told you that they actually started letting civilians travel to the moon. Only one lucky person a year is chosen.”

“Oh ya, we thought it would be fun to sign up for that lottery. That reality tv show...To the moon! Right?”  The idea that either one of us would get such a chance was low. So there seemed no harm when both of us clicked the agreement online. Among the thousands of applicants what were the chances that my name would ever be pulled. Who would want to watch an old man soil his pants as he blasted off to the moon. After all the lottery must be rigged. It was just mostly younger good looking people that were the lucky few. “What about it?”

“Well, the producers of the reality show that holds the lottery contacted me.”

“You won! You actually won! They pulled your name! That’s fantastic!”I sprang from my wheelchair, unable to contain my excitement for him. What a great opportunity. Something he had always dreamed of doing. The sides of my cheeks hurt but I could not contain my happiness for him. 

“Uncle no!” Ben raised from the bed. Circling the room as his thoughts seemed to spiral in his head. “They chose you.”

My muscles buckled beneath me. Collapsing back onto my wheelchair. My hands shook as I struggled to bring them to my forehead to rub away the tension.  My eyes blurred out of focus. What the hell was I thinking when I clicked that agreement. 

“They want me?”


“I know that I may not look it but they realize that I am going to be eighty-six in a couple of months.”

“Yeah! They think it will make for great TV. Everyone roots for grandfather type figures.”

“Not doing it.”

“Look Uncle, I get why you might not want to but it seems like you have no choice,” goosebumps stood at attention as Ben whisked passed me towards the window. His two fingers peeled apart the heavy curtains. Peeking to see what laid just beyond them. He took a moment before gesturing me to come closer. “Have a look.”

Gliding toward the window. My knuckles cracked and crunched with every turn. Clicking the break into place. I braced myself to stand. Feeling every muscle as it stretches and twists into an unnatural position. Grabbing as tightly as I could to the curtains. Steadying myself before heaving them open with as much force as I could.  My eyes blinked out of focus as I was  greeted with an abundance of clicks and flashes. The chattering of questions vibrated the window. The extra weight that was now placed on my shoulders bounded me back into my chair. What have I done? 

“Look, I know that you may feel like you are not able to do this but it is a once in a lifetime experience. Nowadays traveling into space is very much like flying in an airplane. Completely safe.” the room darkened again as Ben pressed the curtains back together. 

“I am old! I can barely climb a flight of stairs let alone blast off to the moon!” 

“Let me go and talk to the producers. Let’s see if there is a way out of the agreement. A compromise. The insurance fees to send you up there alone must cost a fortune.”

Without any notice Ben slinking his way out of the room. Leaving me to wallow in my murky troubles. I wheeled up closer to the window. Curious. It was amazing how they were scattering up on one another trying so desperately to be the first to get a response from me. What do you plan on saying as you take your first steps onto that dusty plain? What are your thoughts on being the oldest person to step on the moon? Are you scared that you may not return home? Damn right I was scared. I was not going to have any of this circus. I spun my chair around and approached the door to my room. This was not going to be easy. I opened the door to find the narrow hallway nearly empty. Except for dear old Elroy wandering about. He was likely hot and bored sitting in his bedroom day in and day out. Whoever thought this was a comfortable place to live out the rest of your life. Clearly missed the day the teacher taught the definition of comfortable. 

Satisfied I was not gonna be discovered. I rolled myself through the hall. Trying my best to push past cleaning carts, medical carts and the occasional bed. This place was far from being the Ritz. Vinegar and ammonia invaded my nose. It was still a smell I was struggling to get used to everytime I travelled down the corridor. 

“Hey there Robby! What are you doing out here”  I must have leaped ten feet from my chair at the sound of that voice. I grabbed my chest trying to contain my heart. 

 “Bethie!” I spun around to find one of the orderlies pulling her cart from a nearby room. “I just needed to get out of my room for a while. A bit of a stretch. Gonna head out to the courtyard since it is such a nice day.” 

“Ok then Rob. Try to stay out of trouble.” 

“You know me! I am by the book. No trouble at all.” I got to be more careful. I pushed myself forward in the direction of the courtyard. 

I reached a crossroad. Right was the courtyard. Left the laundry room. Peering over my right shoulder ignoring the sharp pain that invaded my back. I caught the tail end of Beth entering her next room. I made a sharp spin to the left. Needing a place to hide. I hoped somewhere there would be significant coverage. I did my best to slip into a nearby supply room as I heard footsteps approach. 

“Don’t worry. I am sure he is around here somewhere. He couldn’t have gotten far.”

“I really thought he would be excited about this. Compared to how he is living now. No offense but I didn’t agree when they decided to put him in here…”

With the softening of the echo.  I knew they had cleared the corner. I continued my travels when I reached the laundry room and pulled myself in. Mountains of white yellow stained sheets and clothing were everywhere. Easily I tucked myself into a corner just to the side of a large commercial dryer. It vibrated my side as it ran through its cycle. Ducking down when a cackling of laughter filled the room. 

“I can’t believe she called in sick again. It’s the third time this month.”

“No coverage I am guessing.”

“Do they ever? Saves them money. Why would they replace her when we manage to get the same amount of work done with just us.”

“Sometimes more. Did you see the mess Ms Johnstone made. It just never ends sometimes.”

They finished their routine unaware I was listening intently to their discontent. I could not blame them. They definitely did not have an easy job. I would be complaining too if given the opportunity. Not exactly where I want to be either. A whiff of salty sweat and flowery detergent encased me as the dryer heated up. What was I doing? Why was this opportunity terrifying me so? Space travel was so much safer than it was years ago. Did I really want to stay here another day? Or did I want to travel to the moon?

I pushed my way from my hiding place as soon as the orderlies excited the room. As I looked out the door. I had two choices. Do I go back to my room where I await for someone to make the decision for me. Or do I head towards the front door. Squeeze my eyes tight. It would be a time stopping moment when I would look down upon that spectacular blue orb. I had to do it. 

“Uncle Rob!” not surprising that he did not knock when he crashed his way through. “Where have you been? I was so worried.”

Not really giving me the chance to answer. Ben as if he was a child again wrapped his arms around me. Squeezing me to the point where I grasped for air. I knew that this is what I really wanted to do. That I was going to make this choice for myself. 

“Benny! I am going to the moon!”

“But I just talked to the producers. They are looking at over options. You were so sure that you didn’t want to go.”

Looking around the blank endless corridor. The echoing of creaks and clatter medical carts working their rounds. My heart dropped. I can not live out the rest of my life knowing full well on what I gave up on. All for a moment of fear change that paralyzed me from checking off a dream. Why did I do this!

“I need to talk to them.”

“I think they are still talking to reporters...”

Instinctively my body reacted to that announcement. Swiftly I stood to attention from my chair. Swirled around and positioned myself towards the entry. I did not realize that my body still knew how to function like it did at that moment but I found myself racing. Nearly knocking down Ben as I passed him. 

“Uncle Rob!” 

“Don’t stop me now boy!” I felt myself dodging orderlies as they crept out of rooms. I shot past other residents as they waved “Hi”. Some clapping not really knowing what they were clapping for. I abruptly stopped at the front automatic doors.  I forgot that they locked them. Now how do they open these? I looked around hoping to for a clue. Awe the keypad. The numbers and buttons were small. Not ideal for my arthritic hands. I stretch out my pointer finger. Using My left hand to stable it . I started randomly punching in numbers. A loud screeching sound indicted my error. Tried again. No luck. 

“Mr Davidson.” a stern voice hit the back of my head. I turned to see the head nurse narrowing her cold blue eyes at me. I felt like my last chance was fleeting away.  

“Nurse McKnight! How are you doing this fine morning!” I shifted my feet back and forth as a child who just got caught with their hand in a cookie jar. 

“The code to the keypad is to the right.” she winked and continued on with her duties. As if nothing had happened. 

I focused my attention back to the keypad. Noticing clear as a bright sunny day that it was to the right of the keypad just as she said. I shook my head knowing full well I should have noticed it. Frustrated with wasting so much time. I enter the code. Four, three, two, one. The doors slide open before me. Reporters surrounded two individuals who I could only guess were the producers of the show. I stepped behind them. 

“Excuse me folks.” in sync they turned towards me. Eyes curious on who would interrupt their announcement.  “My name is Robert Davidson. I believe you have been looking for me. I am ready. Ready to go to the moon!”

July 27, 2020 21:52

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Clara D Berry
21:49 Aug 20, 2020

Very interesting take on this prompt.


Bookmark Here
00:58 Aug 21, 2020

Thank you!


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Abigail Slimzy
17:26 Aug 06, 2020

Nice one. The last paragraph.. Is quite funny. The introduction.


Bookmark Here
00:58 Aug 21, 2020

Thank you!


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