Thorpe’s Last Run

26 04 2017

Having recently read I’m Your Man, a biography of Leonard Cohen, it seems that it would be appropriate to extend the blog to other types of my writing. With that in mind, here is the first installment in a short story / novella that I began writing a number of moons ago. I will continue to publish part of the story once a week, and with any luck, will be done by solstice.

Thorpe’s Last Run

Thorpe had always enjoyed cationing, staycation, laycation, Californication, vacation, he had tried them all. Currently on his way to what would be his personal vacationing long distance record, Thorpe had neglected to consider how much time there would be while traveling to think about her. The slender brunette next to him, an attractive woman who payed attention to detail, with a tan that complemented her burnt beige toga type dress and woven sandals, was nothing like his wife. Ex-wife? Dead-wife?

Thorpe had become a widower nine months ago. After two weeks of mourning, he had returned to work for three weeks before he agreed with his friends and co-workers that the mud was no longer in his blood. So, after spending a few months wrapping up his affairs, saying goodbye to his friends, and selling his staycation and vacation homes, Thorpe booked a trip to Titan.

He had been there once before, and since it was the hub of inter-stellar travel for the Milky Way, he had decided that from there he would plan his last voyage. He wasn’t really a veteran space traveler, or perhaps he would have remembered the stasis medications provided on long trips did not seem to work as well on him as it did on the other passengers. Once again, he glanced around the cabin, at the others frozen in slumber as their ship hurdled through space at light speed and faster than light speed. He suspected it was the change between the two states that always seemed to awaken him, yet there was no astro-biologist around for him to discuss his theory. Not that his vocabulary would be up to the task, not nearly as well as his wife, a neuro-astronomer. She would have relished the conversation.

He could picture the glow in her eyes as he imagined her passionate interest in the symbiotic relationship between space and cellular structures. Her dissertation had in fact helped to name the study of neuro-astronomy, as her research regarding the similarities between molecular structures and constellations began to provide insight into neuro-transmitters and began to prove psychology as an actual hard science.

She certainly would have appreciated the imagery that the screen was providing as there was essentially a 360 degree view of the area through which they were traveling. Rainbows of colors, shades of grey, blue hues to make Picasso piss with envy. He wondered if his neighbor was seeing similar sights in her dreams.

Neighbors: Cole, Thorpe’s childhood friend had become a Marine after graduation from O.A.S.I.S. The Orbiting Academy of Stellar Incursion Strategies, and had only returned to Earth twice in the last twenty five years. As a matter of fact, it was the Vermillion Vincent image that Cole had sent which had helped him to decide to visit with Cole after all these years.

As the cabin began to awaken, Thorpe felt a small twinge of regret for the three or four months he had aged during the days he had been awake. He briefly wondered again why such an Ωwoman would be making such a trip by herself, and decided she must be traveling to marry, since an agent would be traveling on a military transport. Thorpe snickered, realizing in spite of his wife’s years of patiently pointing out sexism and how insipidly it had become part of the culture, somewhat amused that he had thought of his fellow traveler only as an agent, or bride. He then laughed at the thought of GI Bride. Had he really skipped over business woman, scientist (as his wife had been), or even a solo adventurer?

As their ship begin to dock on the moon of Braugliian, Thorpe began to feel excitement for the first time since his wife had passed. He remembered some of his first adventures with Cole, and imagined that his old friend would now have stories which would make those of their first adventures of camping, fighting and becoming men seem relatively tame.