A/N: My story came from Claudia Bloods “Top 10 Badly Named Story Ideas” I commented on Number 6, Space Fish. Here’s my story –
“Peter, come down. It’s time to eat!” I hear my mom yell from the bottom of the stairs.
“K,” I say while trying to finish one last game before dads router turns off moms iPad. I’m hungry cause I didn’t eat lunch at school. Something smells stinky when I open my bedroom door. Mom cooked dad’s favorite food, fried liver in gravy. But that also means she made my favorite too, spaghetti and meatballs cause I don’t like liver. I want to slide down the banister but mom thinks I might get hurt. Dad lets me do it if he can supervise. He said he did the same when he was 7 years old like me, at granddads house.
“How was school today? My dad asks.
“What did you do?” he enquires while eating a piece of liver and raw onion. His breath hits my nose and causes me to sit back from the table. I tell him about the Lego tower I built, but leave out the part when Thomas knocked it down for laughs, then took my lunch.
“What did you learn?” came his next question after drinking some water. He waits for me to answer. I’m already tired of talking about school. I reach for the juice mom poured for me in my Buzz LightYear cup and take a slow sip, then another. The sound of me swallowing trumps my rapidly beating heart. Mom eyes the two of us as she eats. She sometimes answers stuff dad wants to know for me. I give the invisible nod and she takes over.
“He learned how to add numbers 1 through 10 with Legos and subtract, I mean take away. Right, Peter?” “Mmm,” I say, with cheeks full of meatball. I nod yes to make sure I agree with mom.
After eating, I ask mom if I can play another hour on her iPad.
“No Peter. I want you to do something else for fun.”
“Like what?” I ask. “What else is there to do?”
“Why don’t you use your imagination. Kids don’t do that anymore,” she said smiling at me.
Back in my room, I decide to play space Captain. My mom the General, has volunteered me for a moon mission.
“I’ll need a space suit,” I say. I put on my white Danger Mouse PJs, black rain boots, black gloves, and a football helmet. Pants belt to hold my tools like Batman.
“I’ll be the Captain on this ship. Who will be my fearless pilot?” I ask. I grab the fishbowl next to my bed with Godfrey the goldfish. “Ready to go on a mission with me Godfrey?” He doesn’t answer, this being his first mission in all. “I got you, Godfrey. Our spaceship is downstairs in the den.”
I take the bowl down to the den, sloshing fish water on the floor as I walk. I decide to go back to get the plastic bowl cover to keep the water in and Godfrey from jumping out.
“The cover is your space helmet Godfrey,” I tell him. “The Captain’s chair and our spaceship await our first mission. I take a look at the giant leathery chair that massages backs, legs, and arms. Mom calls it her home massage parlor. Dad calls it his Physical Therapy chair. I call it the Jupiter 2 like the one on Netflix. I turn the den lights down, close the curtains and plug in my night light with the blue bulb. We take off tonight.
“Godfrey, that’s our spaceship!” I shout out as he looks cautiously at the chair and then at me.
I use my belt to strap Godfrey’s bowl down to the plush armrest. My right-hand hovers over the green massage button that’s now my blast off button. I countdown.
“6,5,4,” I press the yellow button on the armrest which elevates my legs and lowers my head. “Get ready for take off,” I tell Godfrey, my left hand steadying his bowl for extra support. 3,2,1…lift off! I hit the green massage button which vibrates the chair.
“Leaving earth’s atmosphere,” I tell Godfrey. My teeth chatter in time to the vibrations of the chair, as we head to the moon.
Orbiting around the moon in space is dark and lonely. That’s why I brought Godfrey, to keep me company. I turned off the engine and set the seat upright again. “Godfrey..umm number 1, check the conditions on the surface. Is there life on the moon? Godfrey relays the report to me in his native language, Gills. It’s a watered-down version of English.
“Only hostile life on the moon number 1?” I raise the question to Godfrey. Tall freckled beings called Thoms live there. They cause trouble everywhere they go and take things that don’t belong to them. We could bring a weapon next time to make them stop, but I better inform the General before we take action. “Do you agree with me Godfrey, I mean number 1?”
Godfrey agreed by blowing bubbles up to the surface of his bowl. “Let’s fire the thrusters and return to earth. This problem is too big to handle by ourselves. We will inform the General. She will know what to do.
“Peter?” What are you doing with the fishbowl in the den?
“Oh, I was just playing space Captain on a mission. Godfrey flew me to the moon and back. He’s the best pilot in the world.” I say.
“But there were hostiles. We didn’t stay long.”
“You couldn’t figure out how to make friends?” She said.
“Tried but he didn’t want to.”
“He?” She questioned, as one manicured eyebrow raised up slowly. Her eyes intentionally bore deep, probing my body language.
My talk with the General took awhile. I had to debrief the moon mission and stuff that happened at school with Thomas. It was a lot of talking but I don’t feel alone or think I need a weapon now. The General, I mean mom, told me she is going to school with me to debrief Miss Audre, my teacher about that day. She then told me that I could play with her iPad for a while if I wanted to. I thought about it but wanted to keep playing space Captain with Godfrey.
I like using my imagination so I’m taking Godfrey on another mission to the moon. When we take the next trip, the General promised I won’t have to defend myself against Thoms. I can just imagine the fun.
Copyright © 2018 Darnell Cureton. All Rights Reserved.
I love the way you capture the imagination of a little boy. The dialogue about Godfrey was outstanding. Good stuff there. What really charmed me was that his mom was there for him going to school and telling a principal he was being bullied. This story works at numerous levels. I could go on… but I’ll let you go for now.
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Thanks Dave. It’s been a long time since I was that age. Glad I got it right.
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Very evocative—it carried me along every step of the way. I, too, was delighted by Godfrey’s native language, etc. Your puckish humor is charming.
Do you think so? Children have the greatest imaginations and I hoped I could capture some of it. It has been awhile since I was 7. (my puckish humor) Thanks Annie.
You certainly did capture the child’s imagination—strapping Godfrey and his environs in for the ride…so well done!
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Thank you Annie
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I love this! I became totally absorbed in his imaginative world. The line about Godfrey’s native language made me laugh out loud!
Yes, me too! I have no idea where I got that from, but I’m glad I used it.
Great story. I loved that the fish had a watered down version of english. 🙂
Yea! You gotta have fun with this stuff or it’s no fun.
Oh I love this! I feel like playing moon mission myself now! Ah the days of wildly imaginative adventures. Don’t you think we became writers because that little spark of childhood make believe is still in us? I hope so!!! 😃
Yes I do! The pen and paper become our Lego’s to adventure. Thanks Meg
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