Sorrell: SpaceMature

I opened my eyes a few minutes after take off - a terrifying experience, one I wasn't sure I ever wanted to relive. A young woman whose name I didn't know (in fact I'd only really been briefly introduced to the captain before we'd set off) was cleaning up ... no, actually, I didn't want to think about it. I felt sorry for the guy whose badge indicated he was director of entertainment as well as the young woman with the mop. Wasn't it a little odd that in this age you could build a highly advanced rocket and not eradicate travel sickness? Or was it a sign that people cared more about space than health?

I looked around, wondering what stories the other people on this rocket had to tell. I would have loved to walk up to each one, introduce myself and get to know them but I was awfully shy. I had always been solitary, withdrawn, and it didn't look like things were going to change now that I was no longer Earth-bound.

So, instead of wandering around making friends, I gazed out of the window. Space. How I had gathered up the nerve to face leaving my home planet, I shall never know. The thought of it was a little scary. All that space, all that distance... like considering infinity really deeply.

'How do we know where we're going?' I thought to myself. 'There are no roads to travel along out here. How would you relocate Earth if you got lost?' Getting lost was a thought that terrified me. So I closed my eyes and remembered that I was in a rocket because limits made me feel safer.

I opened my eyes, unstrapped myself and walked around, gazing at the technology in awe. In my absent daydream, I nearly collided with the guy who hadn't been feeling very well.

I backed away, murmuring without making eye contact, "I hope you feel better now," before turning and leaving the control room to see the facilities the rocket engineers had claimed the vessel contained.

The tranquillity of the swimming pool reminded me of my solitary walks through a meadow in the town where I lived. I sat in the comfortable, moist warmth awhile, reflecting upon the past while drowning in the beautiful colour of the rippling water. After a while, I went to the room in which I'd be sleeping during this voyage and picked up my swimming pool and a towel provided for me like the ones in a hotel. Minutes later, I was lying on my back, sculling, quietly singing a gentle if slightly depressing song that had come out in a previous millenium.

I almost forgot I was in space.

The End

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