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In Space, No One Can Hear You Pray.
In Space, No One Can Hear You Pray.

"... I mean it God... if you get me out of this one, I'll be a good boy from now on" I whispered
between my panting. The guage on my wrist told me I had ten-more minutes of oxygen left
and I was still good way off getting back to the capsule.

The eye-aching blue planet that was full of air rolled on below me and even though Mission
Control still calmly chattered in my ear-piece, I knew I was alone and I knew that I might not
ever set foot again on that place I called home.

'I bet Darla is crying right now' I thought to myself and gulped back the sudden need to sob.
"This is Mission... stay focused Issue One" the tinny-voice strained in my ear and I kept my
response in my head. 'Go screw yourself'

"When is 'from now on'?" God said from somewhere behind me and being in this ridiculous 
stuff called space, I couldn't turn around.
"...What I'm saying son, is when are you going to be that 'good boy'?" he asked again and I'd
swear he was being sarcastic right then.

Of course, I wouldn't swear... it's wrong to use your oath in such a fashion, so I just nibbled my
bottom lip and stared towards-where the face-plate met the side of the helmet.

"Is that you God...?" I asked in my best earnest tone "...Is it really you?"
"Issue One... we're picking up unusual activity in your area, please be aware of possible passing
debris" the person I'd began to call 'Nasal Man' -said.
The cold, uncaring universe waited in the lonely queue with me for the next moment.
Nine minutes of air.

"It seems you've stumbled into a bit of a dilemma, you've made a promise and then trampled
upon it at the first-chance you had..." God said with rolling fat-plum tones "...It's a dark-dark day
for little Chuck, no?"

The capsule looked awfully close now -I thought and wondered if this craziness was due to the
stress of possible death by suffocation. I set my gaze on the shiny-steel surface of Issue One
and hoped my training would stop this madness.

"Well-well, your prayers were formed from nothing more than panic..." God asked with faux concern
"...and the rigorous schedule you took part in to leave the home that I provided is the one talisman
you cling to.
In some circles that would be seen as noble, would it not, Chuck?" God chided.

'If I can just move a few feet closer, I can possibly reach the broken solar-wing...' I thought.
'Oh God I'm close.'
"Yes I know" came the low-voiced confirmation.
Eight minutes.

I enrolled in 2003 with NASA and due to my previous experience with the USAF, the company looked
to me for a fast-track 'run-through' of the programme and with a five-year outlook to get me into space.
It was something to do with the budget, you see?

My gloved hand brushes the meshed-solar panel and it lumbers by once more.

"I truly apologise for interrupting your self-congratulating musing, Chuck, but can we get back to the
'promise' discussion I was attempting to massage earlier?" God said and right then, I was sure I felt
someone grab my suit from behind.
I would swe... I was sure. "It is important Chuck" the Omnipotent One reminded softly.

"This is Mission, can you confirm that the debris field is not a hazard, Issue One?" Nasal-Man asked
and clearing my throat and easing my laboured breathing, I answered.
"Mission... I have the capsule in my sight and the debris is not a problem. Over" I reported and watched
the solar wing come around from behind the tin-can that would take me home.

"It's all getting quite scary..." God hissed and pulled at the backpack of the spacesuit "...A lamb may call
out for the Shepherd when he's in a pickle, but if that lamb feels it's bonds loosen, then it's adios Big-Man...
see yer' -when 'ah need yer" the words bounced about inside my helmet as I reached for the life-line.
Nearly there.
Six minutes.

Got it. Grabbed and hanging on. Now if I can get to hatch-door, I can...
"Are we calling it a day on our talk of blind-faith versus casual religion...?" the Host Of Hosts asked
lightly. "... Are we foregoing any revelations in our existence?" he whispered into my $43,000 composite

"I'M SORRY, OKAY...? I'M SORRY I FAILED YOU!" I roared and the high head-splitting feedback from my
ear-piece made me twist my face as I turned the hatch-door release.

As a huge chunk of metal shot past my head, I felt the vibration through the heavy fabric of my glove and
knew that the door was opening.
There was plenty of oxygen on board and I knew the re-entry programme would kick-in within a few minutes
of my intrusion. I was saved.

"Issue One... Issue One, are you okay? Over" Mission snapped in my left ear and grunting with exertion,
I pulled the hatch closed behind me and responded. "Mission, I'm aboard Issue One and I am prepping
the ship for coming home" 
I'm sure the relief in my voice was obvious to all down there.

The lights of the console flickered and then stayed on as I fired up the the ship for re-entry and unsealing
my helmet, I felt that I'd somehow released whatever terrifying force that had been trapped in the helmet
with me.

Mission came on-line two minutes later and the guy I had secretly known as 'Nasal-Man' spoke once more.
"We were getting quite worried there -Issue One. The monitors on the capsule were showing the passing
debris passing very close to you"
One minute to Thrusters.

I reached over to where the food-packs were stored and fumbled for whatever freeze-dried delight may be
stashed at the top of the silver-gauzed bag.
"Yes Sir, that was quite a manoeuvre you pulled off there..." Nasal-Man said with a short laugh as I pulled
at the oblong-object.

It was a book. A book by Graham Greene called 'Brighton Rock'

"...If you hadn't somehow hauled yourself back like that, the object that we now believe is part of the cooling
-system off the old Sky-Lab -would have taken your head off!" he said and I read the words on the page of
the open book.

'...You cannot conceive, nor can I, of the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God...'

"You be careful when you're out here Son..." God said softly "...and keep your promises from now-on"

I closed the book and with a lowered head, I whispered 'Yes Sir'
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God Works In Strange Ways,,,,,, Or he hadn't taken His Mood Modifiers!!!!  minusculeclap
Once A Rogue, Always A Rogue!
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BRAVO!   minusculeclap

You missed your calling BIAD.
You should have been a writer, but somewhere in the back of my mind I think you must have a book or ten out there somewhere. If I'm wrong, it's never too late to start.
Your imagination is just magnificent.    minusculebeercheers

What about a compilation of your short stories? I'd certainly buy it!!!

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