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Infinity and Beyond Us

by Elijah Luis about a month ago in Sci Fi
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The tale of a man who walked on the moon and heard it speak

Infinity and Beyond Us
Photo by NASA on Unsplash

"Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say." Edgar slowly swirled his mostly empty glass of sparkling champagne in his right hand. "And space is bigger than me, or you, or anything on this planet. Bigger than sound. You could clap out there and you would think that sound itself just got tired of traveling." Edgar chugged the remains of his champagne and put the empty glass on the bar table, quickly checking his rose gold watch. His jet black hair was ruffled into tight curls, with olive skin colored a little pink from his drink of choice. He fervently studied the empty glass for a moment. "You know, it even travels faster in liquid. Makes no sense. Honestly."

James threw his head back and let out a deep chuckle. "Edgar, we're at a bloody wedding reception. I reckon your drinks are traveling too fast to your mouth." Edgar groaned while James let out another cheeky laugh. His friend since elementary, endearingly known as "James the Giant," was a looming six-foot-seven man with faded tattoos from his neck to his feet. An old scar on his left eye decorated his otherwise refined and rugged face. Despite his frightening presence, his personality was quite the opposite. "Eddy, for the last time, space ain't out to get ya. Not even the sounds. But your sister will be, if you keep mopin' on about the vastness of space rather than celebratin' her big day." Edgar checked his watch once more. "Thanks, James." He patted James's shoulder and walked by the crowds of family and friends, avoiding eye contact with anyone who might monologue him to death about the "importance of family."

"There he is!" Edgar froze and immediately regretted walking towards the direction of his sister. "Veronica has been looking for you all night! Where the hell have you been?!" Edgar turned around to see Lucy's stern face and furrowed brows. Her vividly green eyes and long ice blonde hair sweetened her face, if nothing else. He thought her eyes would be gorgeous, if they weren't fixed onto him with the burning hatred of a thousand suns. "That's perfect. I'm on my way now to see her." Edgar tried to step past Lucy, but Lucy stepped in front of him. "Now? You're on your way to see her now? You disappeared for two hours during her reception. Maybe you should schedule an appointment next time. Maybe you would remember. Maybe not." Lucy blew out a sharp sigh and stormed past Edgar, incoherently mumbling her words of rage. "Missed you too, Lucy."

"Edgar!"

Looking up, Edgar spotted a tall, slender woman with voluminous black waves of hair and silver-blue eyes. Her spectacular white wedding dress merely accentuated her overwhelming beauty, her dress's train floating behind her as she strolled confidently to her dorky brother. Her voice and body language were naturally smooth and sultry, as if walking and talking were always an effortless endeavor. "Looks like you've forgotten about your big sister. Once again..." The woman sighed. "...I would say I'm surprised, but you are my brother." Edgar smirked as he pushed his curls back. "Whatever, V. You're the one who invited me." She crossed her arms. "Yes, I did invite you - I somehow managed to get the invitation out to space. Do you know how hard it is to invite someone to a wedding when they could be literally anywhere in the galaxy?"

"Veronica! Come here! James wants to take photos with us." Veronica looked back at her husband, who was being harassed with a camera by a less-than-sober James. "I'll be right back. And don't you go missing now - we have to take more pictures of us together than you can handle." Edgar smiled as she turned around to scold her husband. His gaze dropped to the floor.

Anywhere in the galaxy. Edgar pondered those words for a moment, walking back to the bar table. "Barkeep, could I have another champagne? Just keep them coming." As the bartender refilled his glass, Edgar's mind brought him to the refill station inside the space shuttle he was stationed in for over five years. He had planned to become an astronaut since college, without informing any of his family and friends that he had plans to do so. There was only a goodbye - a brief goodbye that was filmed on national television.

~

"Mornin'. Or good day. Whatever. Screw time." A younger and cleaner James, free of his scar and tattoos, opened up his cabin door and pushed himself out of the room, floating to the refill station in zero gravity. "Sleep well, princess? We have another long trek across the bloody moon. Orders from NASA just this morning."

"I saw."

"We better get crackin' then. Don't want you sittin' in some crater where I can't find you." James paused for a moment. "Again." Edgar shooed James away, and James pulled out a plastic bag filled with water, which he stabbed in the middle with a straw. "I can't tell you how many times I have told you not to do that. There's an opening at the top." James loudly slurped his water over Edgar's incessant nagging. "Can't hear ya, mate. Thirst is killin' me." Edgar rolled his eyes and opened the door to the shuttle.

A breathtaking view of the Earth greeted him every time, yet it still left him in awe and endless wonder. The sheer size of the planet he would walk on was now a fixture in the vast, starry sky. To think that over seven billion humans live on this wandering blue orb was a thought he could not comprehend. From a picture in a textbook, to his feet on the surface of the moon - everything about this was impossible to fathom. Even the size of the craters on the moon were much larger than the textbooks described. He would take off his space suit to breathe in and feel the cold air, if there were any air to breathe. The surface of the moon was marvelous, the beauty of the Earth was splendid, the stars in the sky -

Wham.

Edgar was pushed with force from behind, sending him forward a couple of meters, and landing gently on his feet. A radio voice from inside Edgar's helmet almost deafened him: "Ya gonna stare at the sky all day mate? Move your ass or I'll move it for ya!" James made a long stride to where Edgar was standing, and together they began searching for rocks and materials to take back to Earth. Many hours of the day went into scouring the surface of the moon for pebbles, though Edgar always secretly hoped he would run into alien life. Just like in the movies. He blurted his thought out to James, who was carving out pebbles from a crater. "I think it'd be far more interesting to look for aliens on this big rock." James sighed. "Tell ya what - I'll take the shuttle back to Earth, and you can live out your days on the big rock. Let me know how dancin' with the aliens goes."

"Whatever you say, James." Edgar turned back and started heading towards the space shuttle. Just as he reached the door, a low hum started rising from beneath his feet. Edgar knelt down to listen. The hum was a low frequency, stopping momentarily, and resuming this time with greater volume. He pressed his helmet against the surface of the moon, as close as he could get. Edgar stood up and turned towards James, who was presently very far away in a crater. "James?" The radio channel was choppy, but James continued to carve out lunar pebbles. Edgar knelt back down for a few minutes to listen once more to the sound. Suddenly, the radio channel went silent, and a piercing shriek bellowed deep below the surface of the moon. The power of the sound alone made his helmet vibrate. "It's a scream..." he realized. "Someone is screaming! James?!" Edgar looked towards James and he was nowhere to be seen. "JAMES?!" His radio was offline and he had no visual of his friend.

The shriek grew louder until it almost hurt his eardrums, muffling his attempts to call out to his friend. His brain felt like it was on fire. Sound cannot travel in space, so how was this possible? Finally, the shrieking stopped. Edgar stood for a moment, and then nervously knocked on the ground he stood upon. There was no response - just the sound of his hands inside of his suit. He sat for a moment, a few meters away from the shuttle. No James. No sound. Just him. He went back into the shuttle, where James was happily snoring inside the cabin. Edgar was appalled. He removed his helmet and banged on the door of James's room. The cabin door slid open, revealing a tired James in a slumped posture, and comfy pajamas.

"Why ya banging on the door like a starving chimp? What is it, mate?"

"Did you not hear me calling your name?! I was looking for you everywhere!"

"I was gonna tell ya, but you were busy kneelin' on the floor. Thought you were prayin' or some bollocks, so I decided on a nap and walked past whatever it was you were doin'. You find another rock?"

"No...I heard a scream. Sounded like someone saying 'Ohm.' But louder. And more terrifying."

"A scream...out here? In space? Eddy, did you sneak some weed onto the shuttle? And if so, could I hit your stash? The emptiness out here is killer."

"I'm being serious, James. There was a loud scream and it was coming from beneath the ground."

James roared in laughter. "My god, Eddy. You've been holding out on me! I knew you snuck some goodies in. Didn't even tell me. Unbelievable. I thought we were friends."

"Listen to me. I'm not on drugs. I heard a scream and it came from under me. I could feel my helmet shake."

James's face dropped. "You serious?"

"Dead serious."

James rubbed his chin and stood silent for a moment. He pushed himself out of the cabin, picked up a radio, and went back to his room and shut the door. Moments later, James came out with a stern expression on his face.

"I think it's time for us to leave, mate."

"What?"

"Our little journey is finally coming to an end. I told 'em about your... uh...scream."

"What did they say?"

"They want a direct report from you. Can't lie. Blokes were laughing on the other end of the radio. They think you've gone mental. So have I, by the way."

"Please shut up. Let's just go."

Edgar and James began organizing the shuttle for their return. "Ready when you are, mate." James sat in the cockpit, pulled back the lever, and the shuttle launched itself away from the grip of the moon. Edgar peered out of the window one last time, cherishing the immaculate view of the Earth from the moon. However, as the moon became smaller, a shadowy figure appeared to erupt from one of the craters. Edgar leaned in towards the window. The figure looked humanoid, but with grey skin, no eyes, and a massive jaw. It seemed to be looking directly back at Edgar. The figure's jaw dropped to below its knees, inhaling for a very long time. "James! James! Look at the moon!"

James ignored his attention-seeking friend and replied, "Yes, yes, I know. It's beautiful. It's gorgeous. I've heard you say it a thousand times now." The figure reached its hand out toward the shuttle, mouth still open and making an O shape, becoming smaller and smaller as the shuttle propelled itself through space. As the figure disappeared from his view, Edgar sat back in the window and wondered if he truly had gone mental. In that moment, a low hum was audible from outside the shuttle, gradually becoming louder and then halting to a stop. The rocket traveled at breakneck speed towards Earth and Edgar sat back in his seat, trying to process what he had heard. A piercing voice inside his head suddenly screamed so loudly, it gave him an instant migraine and rocked Edgar out of his seat:

"HOME. HOME.

TAKE ME HOOOOOOOOOOOME!"

Sci Fi

About the author

Elijah Luis

Elijah. 25. Registered Nurse - Master's of Science in Nursing Informatics. I think the way I feel the way I think. I like writing science fiction and poetry. Unapologetically strange. See for yourself :)

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