Wednesday, April 27, 2011

10/365 - Playlist Story -- inspired by Can't Help Falling In Love by Elvis

"Zemlya krasivoń≠," said the woman, Akulina, looking out the window as they tumbled. An hour had elapsed since the explosion.

"What did you say?" asked one of the men, an American named Jonathan as he tried to press closer to the window without pushing himself away.

"I said, it's beautiful," said Akulina in a Russian accent, her thick halo of graying hair framing her still-young face. "Isn't it?"

"More so now, than ever," said the Japanese man, Eiji, furrowing his brow. The woman smiled at him benevolently, and Jonathan put his arm around him. "My wife--" Eiji suppressed a sob.

"Just look out the window and watch," said Akulina, "it will be easier." They all watched quietly as the Earth spun slowly clockwise beneath them, determinedly closing the gap.

"You know what I will miss?" said Jonathan. The other two looked at him for his answer. "Chocolate-mint ice cream." He chuckled and the others smiled weakly. "I can't believe I had my last bowl more than six months ago. And I'll never have it again." He sighed.

"I will miss piloting jets," said Akulina. "Riding a rocket wasn't so bad though--"

"But it's all automated on rocket--" said Jonathan.

"Exactly. I like the feeling of takeoff in a jet. There's nothing like it, especially when it's hot summer day and there's pockets of warm air to push you."

"I will miss the smell of grass," said Eiji. "My father's farm field."

"The cows too?" laughed Jonathan.

"The cows too," Eiji nodded.

"We had plenty of that smell in Wisconsin. I'm not sure I'll miss it," he smiled and jovially jostled Eiji.

"It's just the smell of home. I don't know, somehow it was unique. My father would come in from the field smelling like that, and then he would read to us from the newspaper."

"I miss my grandmother's handmade bread," said Akulina. "It smelled better than the bakery bread. Plus we didn't have to line up for it."

The lights inside the module went out, and the air stopped recycling; the emergency battery was drained. The reflected light of Earth lit their faces as they peered out.

"Not long now," said Eiji.

"It's hard to think there's so many people down there, just going about their lives," said Jonathan. "I bet most of them don't know we're up here."

"We'll probably make the news tonight," said Akulina. They all chuckled.

A ghosting trail of vapor flashed by the window.

"It's starting," said Eiji.

"I wish we could have sent a message," said Jonathan.

"What would you say?" said Akulina. "They must know we're falling."

"It's not that," he hesitated, "I guess I just wanted to say goodbye to everyone."

"They know. They will know," said Eiji. "How could they not?" Jonathan smiled at him warmly.

"You're right," he said. "They know."

The flashing increased in intensity until the could no longer see the surface of the Earth coming to meet them. The heat grew unbearable, and they stopped speaking. A hundred thousand feet or so over the Canary Islands the module disintegrated into a glitter of flaming metal.


Slightly odd photo montage of Elvis (in the same outfit for every photo!) set to the song

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