Home Here I Come

Home Here I Come

A Story by Carl Taylor
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In the future they send prisoners to the sun, this is about four of them.

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The idea called time has passed from it’s present position to someplace slightly far away. In this new place of time is our Earth, almost how we know it, except for a few details. The one concerning our story is the fact that we have run out of room on our precious green and therefore have decided to move out the most unwanted folk, prisoners. Where have they been sent? The Prisoners have been sent in a preprogrammed spaceship aimed at the sun.


       “Log, eh who gives a crap.” Daniel said pushing himself away from the glimmering computer screen folding his muscular arms up to cover his worn forty-year-old-face that had one to many winkles. With a deep sigh he looked up as the computer turned off, his Log time was up, the stale blackness of the screen reflected his worn face that he constantly forgot was his own.

            “Please step away from the Log to let other pilgrims have their turn.” The perky female computer voice said to Daniel. That is what they called this voyage to the sun, a pilgrimage to home sweet home. At the sound of the all to real sounding computer Daniel smiled at the irony of the trip being called a pilgrimage and them being called pilgrims, people who would have never been considered pilgrims on earth, but this is space. Still with the smile on his face Daniel got up from the computer pushing off of the chair making it swirl around.

            Opening the door to the mess hall Daniel saw the usual sight of little more than three other men sitting together on a table easily meant for a hundred. At this table sat his fellow pilgrims, Eddie, the slim, tall, oddly hairless Illustrated man whose candide skin barely showed through his flowing portrait. Next to Eddie sat John, the oldest man of them all whose dark black skin seemed to sag with each blink of his eyelids. Next to John sat Gaspard, the one foreign pilgrim left, whose long beak like nose seemed to jut out of his small face that sat upon his slender muscular body.

            “What happened to Jeremy?” Daniel asked sitting down next to Gaspard facing John and Eddie.

            “He gave up.” John said, his voice weighed down.

            “Really? I thought he would last.” Daniel said looking down.

            “It is kinda nice though if you think about it.” Eddie said looking up shyly, afraid of the reaction from what he said.

            “How so?” Gaspard asked.

            “Well ever since they started to hand out free suicide kits the weak ones who would complain all day and drive us all crazy took up the kits quicker than a bee to honey and have left us some peace and quite.” Eddie said as he picked up his hand thrown coffee cup that he made while on board.

            “I get what you are saying.” Daniel said. “But all the same I like Jeremy.”

            “I didn’t like him.” John said sitting up some. “But he did like books and since none of you like books it was nice to talk to someone who appreciated them.”

            “Don’t get me wrong, I like books.” Gaspard began. “Just I can’t read them on those dame computer screens all day is all.”

            “True, true.” John said nodding his head excessively, as if a spring broke in his neck.

            Solemnly, though not too solemnly, only just enough Daniel asked. “Does anyone know how much longer we have?”

            “The computer claims it can not compute it.” Eddie said rocking his head side to side.

            “That means we are close.” Daniel said.

            “Yeah that is what I heard back on Earth.” John said with a sigh. Caught in a time long since past John said: “All I want is the sky.”

            “Look stop it!” Eddie yelled pounding his fists on the table, to no one’s surprise, as he got up and started to walk to the door as he yelled. “I don’t want to hear one more f*****g thing about Earth!” Looking back at ‘Earth’ Eddie saw no one looking and dropped his shoulders as he walked out of the room.

            “Why did you do that John?” Gaspard asked. “You know he does not like that.”

            “I am sorry.” John said putting his arms up and shaking his head. “Lord have mercy I just can’t stop it, I love that marble in the sky.”

            “Why?” Daniel said. “I mean look they just left us to float to our end.”

            “Home.” Gaspard quoted.

            “The worst part is that it was voted this was.” Daniel said lowering his head.

            “In my opinion we deserve it.” John said rubbing his head.

            “What did you even do pops?” Gaspard asked John as he rubbed his palms on his knees.

            “I… I.”

            “Come on.” Gaspard said. “You hear Daniel, we are close, why not tell us, it is not like we can tell anyone, I mean no one listens to those Logs anyway.”

            “Yeah… Alright.” John said taking in a deep breath before he plunged into his past. “It was stupid, I was young, and I was addicted. One day my dealer wouldn’t give me any, I mean I had money, just he wanted more, and well I just killed him, I did not even think about. So I was put in line for this, I was put in line for this 60 years ago.”

            Daniel let out a slight laugh.

            “What?” John asked, slightly angry.

            “Just, it is so minor compared to Eddie and Gaspard.”

            “So do you think it warrants less attention?”

            “No, it is just that, it was so long ago, it seems ridiculous now.”

            “Yeah, well it doesn’t matter what it seems now….”

            “Oh come now pops.” Gaspard said nudging his jaw. “Let me make you some of that soup you like so damn much.” He said standing up and walking to the kitchen without waiting for John’s reply.

            “How long do you think it will be?” John asked Daniel without looking up.

            “Who knows, I mean it could be right now or it could be while we are taking a s**t, no one knows.”

            “That’s the worst part.”

            “Yeah…” Daniel said looking around. Lowering his head Daniel breathed in before standing up and saying. “I am going for a swim.” At his John merely moved his head in a motion that Daniel took as okay.

Without looking back Daniel left the mess hall and found himself in a tunnel that warped around in a spiral, leaving the exiting door on the other side upside down. It was made this way to give a greater sense of difference in each block of the ship, to Daniel it was just annoying. With out looking around himself Daniel walked on the path as it twisted up the wall and ceiling before placing him at the door, which opened silently to the pool. Looking around at the plain stainless steal walls Daniel took off his cloths as he told the computer:

            “Computer lock the doors.”

            “I cannot do that Daniel.” It replied, all to real, with inflection in its voice.

            “But I do not have a swim trunk, I will be naked.”

            “Alright Daniel.” The Computer said, ending with a beep that coordinated with the sound of four doors simultaneously locking.  As if this was the starting bell Daniel dived into the water swinging his arms in heavy strokes across the pool, back and forth back and forth. Something in the rhythm applied to Daniel, knowing what was happening next satisfied him to no end.

 

            “Stupid old man and his f*****g planet.” Eddie mumbled to himself as he walked down a hall that seemed to go down, when in reality it was going up. Itching his arm Eddie looked around the hallway nervously as he reached the door that opened silently to his room. Each pilgrim got his own room; the women had a separate pilgrimage ship. Eddie’s room was scattered with drawings and needles from the narcotics provided to the pilgrims, ‘for a more enjoyable journey’, the picturesque men and women would say in the commercials that seemed trapped in Eddie’s mind. “Yeah great f*****g journey.” He mumbled to himself as he pressed a button on his wall dropping another needle down a shot by his bed. Grabbing the shot with his shaky hand Eddie started to whisper to himself. “Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine….” But before he could go further he felt his body become heavy and let himself fall on his bed.

 

            Fondling his coffee cup John looked forward as Gaspard sang a song in what John guessed was French in the nearby kitchen. Still fondling his cup John felt his eyes begin to dash around as if he was reliving that night, that night when he killed a man. Breathing faster John sat up trying to calm himself as he grabbed the table. Breathing in deeply he asked, trying to maintain his voice.

            “Gaspard, what song is that?”

            “Oh, it is a little French war song.” Gaspard said as he opened the kitchen door with a bowl of soup in hand.

            “What is it called?” John asked as he took the soup bowl from Gaspard’s outreached hands with a nod of thanks.

            “It is called ‘Home, here I come.’”

 

            The pool water remained motionless, with the exception of a bubble or two from the submerged Daniel. Opening his eyes Daniel looked around at the blurry water as the sound of nothing vibrated through his core while tiny bubbles rolled over his face that had one to many winkles. Opening his mouth he let another bubble out, watching it float to the surface gently. ‘Is this how Angels fly to heaven?’ He thought.

 

            A whistle echoed through the hallway that went down, no up. The whistle came from Eddie who seemed to have forgotten about his recent anger, he did not even itch his arm, as he walked into the mess hall. Upon entering the mess hall Eddie stopped, frozen, looking at John who’s head laid down on the table next to a bowl of soup with Gaspard sitting across from him writing in a journal.

            “What the hell happened to him?” Eddie asked not moving. Without looking up Gaspard said:

            “Oh, he is just taking a trip home.”

            “Stop with all the symbolic s**t, what the f**k did you do?” Placing his pen down lightly Gaspard turned around saying.

            “Look, he was a depressed old man who just wanted it to be over with, so I just helped him out.”

            “With what?!”

            “Oh, you know, the suicide kit, I just put some in his favorite soup.”

            “Man, Daniel is going to be pissed when he finds out.” Eddie said sitting down by Gaspard. “Are you just going to leave him there?”

            “I don’t know.” Gaspard said looking at John. “The others have always just kinda disappeared, I wonder what happened to them.”

            “Yeah.” Eddie said. “Come to think of it I never have known what has happened to the others, I mean when we started this place was full of people.” He said gesturing to the deserted mess hall.

            “Do you ever think that maybe we aren’t actually in space?” Gaspard said looking at Eddie, eyes wide.

            “What do you mean?”

            “I mean, think about it, there are no windows, the computer tells us sometimes how far we have left, I mean we have no clue of our position except from an easily controlled computer.”

            “Yeah.” Eddie said looking around nodding his head. “Maybe we haven’t even left Earth I mean it does make sense.” Dashing his head to face Gaspard Eddie said. “What do you think we should do?”

            Looking around the mess hall Gaspard said with a smile. “We can blow up the stove and such in the kitchen.”

            “Yeah, but how?”

            “Don’t you remember I blew up that school, I mean it is easy, just snip snip, connect connect and voila you have yourself a bomb.”

            “Awesome man!” Not realizing that that he had not said that phrase ever since the start of the pilgrimage Eddie jumped up excited as a child as Gaspard jumped up with him and ran to the kitchen. Hurrying after him Eddie forgot about John, who laid dreaming a highway.

 

            Daniel still sat submerged in water watching angels float to the surface when he heard the water vibrate a sound he had not heard for a long time, a bang. Closing his mouth, and ending the angels’ flight, Daniel looked around before swimming to the surface to the sound of a warning siren.

            Running through the spiral hallway, with his cloths on his wet body Daniel burst into the mess hall to see John laying sprawled on the floor on the other side of the mess hall as fire burst out of the kitchen. Looking around in confusion Daniel saw Gaspard and Eddie in the corner jittery with excitement. Looking both ways, as if some fire truck might come Daniel dashed across the mess hall the Eddie and Gaspard.

            “What the f**k happened?” Daniel yelled at them. Laughing on the point of tears Eddie said:

            “We are exposing this for what it is, a fake.”

            “What are you talking about?”

            “This spaceship.” Gaspard started. “It is all a hoax, we never left Earth, they just want us to kill ourselves so they won’t feel guilt.” He said laughing near the end.

            “What proof do you have?” Daniel yelled at them looking back at the fire.

            “Ever wonder where the dead bodies went?” Eddie said with a smile.

            “No, cause John was the one who took care of them!” Daniel said shaking Eddie’s shoulders before he yelled: “You idiots, it will eat our oxygen!”

            “But we aren’t in space.” Eddie said with a smile, ignoring what Daniel said about John as another bang resonated through the pilgrimage.

            “What is that?” Gaspard asked looking around. “That sounded like it was at a different part of the ship.”

            “Oh s**t.” Daniel said looking up at the ceiling.

            “What is-“

 

            The sentence was never finished, because contrary to Eddie and Gaspard’s belief the pilgrims were in fact on their pilgrimage, and at that moment they had made it home.

© 2008 Carl Taylor


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Added on July 9, 2008

Author

Carl Taylor
Carl Taylor

Houston, TX



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First off I do not get to read a lot of other people's work, just a forewarning. It is cause I am studying aboard in France next year, so I am brushing up on my french and trying to get an english cre.. more..

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A Story by Carl Taylor