Story A Day #15: Dark Horizon

David had always been a weak child but over time he figured out how to fight through it. He swam multiple times daily to build up his lungs, heart, and musculature. He ate healthy foods. He was eventually able to overcome the hurdles that had plagued his life early on and enlisted in the Space Corps. He worked his way up to flight commander and was the first to sign up for a trip to the edge of the known universe; in fact, he was the only one to sign up because the other commanders were not keen on trying that which had never been attempted and from which there was no exit strategy. The edge of the known universe was so far away that Corps could not use current technologies to get their service personnel back should something go awry. David was not worried about any of that and, ignoring the comments and jeers from his colleagues, completed the sign-up and training. He had no family; his parents were long dead, there had been no siblings. Aunts, uncles, and cousins were too distant to be considered. He had never married or sired children. He needed a change and this was the chance of a lifetime.

The day of the launch was beautiful; the atmosphere seemed to have wanted to cheer him on and in its joy had cleared up enough that the sun shone through the continental barrier. David basked in it for the few-second ride up to the command module; the barrier had been opened for the launch, allowing him to actually feel the sun on his face for the first time in his life. He climbed into the module before his skin cooked off.

Take-off was easy and he was able to guide the module out through the opening in the barrier with no problems. Upon exiting the upper atmosphere and clearing the debris field, David punched the interstellar guidance system; the module shot through space at speeds almost too fast to calculate. He felt slightly ill since none of the training simulators could adequately imitate what it was to move so quickly in and through deep space. After about four hours of sustained speed, he was able to begin the throttle-down sequence. He sent his transmission back, knowing it would take years to reach home. Ahead was his destination; it looked like an edge, a dark horizon. He put on the music, the only thing he’d asked to bring on the trip, besides his favorite snacks. As Jeanette MacDonald began to sing, he hummed along.

Beyond the blue horizon
Waits a beautiful day
Goodbye to things that bore me
Joy is waiting for me

I see a new horizon

My life has only begun
Beyond the blue horizon
Lies a rising sun

Today’s Story A Day asked for something inspired by the 40’s hit, “Blue Horizon.”

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