Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Astronaut

I've been listening to a lot of Blue Jam lately. Messrs Morris and Katz have inspired me to have a go at a monologue.


He had been dead for three days when I decided to let Houston know.

I made up some rubbish about a heart attack. It didn’t feel right to say that I’d done it. Not now. One doesn’t simply announce that you’ve decided to pre-emptively kill the rest of the crew. We’ve all seen what happens in space. They never tell anyone they think there’s something wrong. It’s just a pensive look out of the port-hole, a cough hidden behind the hand, a lingering on the bridge. Not this time. For the good of the mission. I’m not going to be infected by a virus from the sun, or impregnated by an alien.

It’s not true, what they say.
In space, they can hear you scream.


I played the corpse of Johnson at cards today.

He has an excellent poker face, or rather, what’s left of a face. He won seven games straight, which I thought was just poor sportsmanship – I mean, what could the bugger need the money for? An argument followed. I accused him of cheating, and he didn’t defend himself, so I took my money back. Now he’s sulking.

We haven’t spoken since lunch, and he’s refusing to look me in the eye.


I heard a rattling in the ship’s command nodule.

It was a sound like hail on a tin roof, or the feet of thousand pigeons in tap shoes, or about a hundred pigeons in clogs dancing in moderate rain. I knew better than to investigate.

It’s the ones who investigate who get killed.

No, I was just going to sit on the bridge until the noise passed.


The noise is gone, now, and so is Johnson.

He was starting to smell, so I put him in his full space-walk suit. I could see my own face reflected in the curve of his helmet. It was grotesquely distorted. The back of a spoon, the helmet of a dead astronaut – it’s all the same. I don’t like mirrors, and so Johnson had to go.

I dragged him to the airlock, and the airlock dragged him out.

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