Write a story that encompasses both of these genres:
✗ Gonzo Journalism
✗ Space Opera
Oct. 11th (MARSPOST)
Going to outer space was going to be a dangerous high–a no frills type of gig for most people, and under other circumstances it would have been for me to.
It was a lot like putting on a pair of high heels that just didn’t fit right and finding that there would never be a pair again that would be the perfect match. The laws of physics would prove that the gravitational pull to Earth, and the fact that your feet don’t fit in your shoes would force you to plummet to your doom–and that’s what this assignment was going to be.
You see, I myself love heights and I have learned to crave and even survive under the pressures that most people would crumble under. I am an adventure junkie. Space was an outlet for me.
On some days it seems like I’ve lived on Mars in the space station MARSPOST for as long as I can remember, maybe even half of my life. There are tears and blood in the dark caverns of the other passengers homesteads: mine included. Why only last night I cut myself opening a letter from Earth. A tiny paper cut seemed to be my only real reverence to my Earthly being that once was.
But nobody on MARSPOST complained. We all thought that this was an escape from something much worse:
I am not just liked on the Martian space station, I am well-liked, hell I’d even say admired.I have important people toss themselves at my feet on a whim to get a glimpse of my intellectual creativity. But that part of me is as reclusive as my hidden storied past. In this life; I’m a much different man than I was in my Earth days. I breathe a finer quality of air in a mask that suits my figure much more snugly. That is that, and that is all I wish it to be.
I have always hated astrologers, and I like to make jest with them from time to time. They try to play their roles on our ship, but I can see past the facade that some people find so endearing. I once heard one of the astrologers brag to no one in particular:
“I’m the captain’s astrologist. I consult with him constantly,” he told the awe-inspired crowd that was gathering in the large cafeteria. “We are never far away, it’s as if we can sense when someone needs our services. I have many famous clients.” He produced an overtly gaudy purple business card with silver foil around the text and gave it to a man with small spectacles sitting haphazardly on the brim of his nose. “I can do things for you,” he said. “I am a major player in the game of the stars.”
I walked up to the man holding the card with an endearing grin. I yanked it from his sweaty grip and took a lighter from my pocket. I lit the card on fire and watched it burn a fiery orange-red as the crowd gathered around me hissing only just audibly. I tossed the card to the ground and stomped the fire out, watching in amusement the faces of the onlookers. The card lay there in a tiny pile of black smoke and ashes. The astrologer had seen my actions and had taken to a rebuttal as he spun me around to face him:
“You filthy little creep,” I spat at him. “I’m the Captain of this ship, and you sir are no astrologer of mine!”
I had drawn a fairly large crowd by this point and you know what they say back on Earth: The show must go on.
I took off my pants and started to strip out of my long-sleeved flannel shirt. Someone in the background was begging for me to stop, but I continued with my love affair for the obscure entertainment I was starting to miss. Where was the drama and the flair?
A well-proportioned girl saw what I was doing, and her mouth hung wide open:
Oh brother, you’re supposed to be in your room.” She exclaimed, as she grabbed my hand forcing me to put my other arm back in my flannel. I stood proudly in my gold polka-dot boxers facing the crowd. The medicine hasn’t exactly worn off…” She pleaded with the onlookers who began to walk away toward their original intent of eating sub-par food and gossiping about who did whom in the back of the supply closet of the ship.
I took the girl back to my cabin and watched her as she watched me. She hesitantly put a consoling arm around my waist.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m not sure.” I replied. It had been the most honest reply I had given in weeks.
We sat at the edge of my somewhat uncomfortable bed that had just started to form fit my body in recent sleepless nights, and I felt as if we talked like old friends.
I had learned that she was ready to quit MARSPOST, and so was I if I was being honest with myself. The pace was starting to wear on me. I wasn’t exactly bored, but life on the ship was not as enthralling as I had once thought it would be.
I looked her over. She was a very pretty girl, although somewhat plain looking with elegant legs and a wicked intelligence that was all her own. If I had to guess her age I would say she was in her mid-30’s. I continued to listen to her sweet, melancholy voice longer than I would have most and then I offered her a job as my assistant.
I wasn’t sure what had made the words spill from my mouth, but when they had it seemed to be right. I suppose I was beginning to like her, and if she could handle my flair for the dramatic perhaps we could be the perfect team on this final frontier to nowhere.