Saturday, September 14, 2013

Prompt: Temporal discontinuity

Sarah walked into the kitchen and paused. Wasn’t I just…? She looked around, trying to think back to what she had just been doing. I was upstairs, wasn’t I? I was thinking about getting coffee after I showered.

She looked down. She was dressed. Her hair was dry, but she hadn’t been planning to wash it. She sighed, and began to make her coffee. The ritual was soothing. Water in the pot, grounds in the filter, cinnamon in the grounds. Mug ready. Too much water. Did I put it in twice?

Driving, enjoying the sunshine with the windows down. The summer heat is cooling off. None of the songs on the radio are familiar. Even the DJs have changed. She fishes out her phone and plugs it in, tapping her fingers on the steering wheel to her favorite dance mix. Wait, where am I? I was supposed to go the other way…

She adjusts her earpiece, listening to the pre-flight chatter. Looking up, she’s already strapped in to the cockpit. She looks down at her flight suit. When did I…?

The cat purrs. Sarah rolls on her side and pulls the covers up over her chin. She pushes her head back on the pillow against the big orange tom sprawled across it. He licks her forehead once, twice. “Hi big boy. Um, you’re not supposed to be here. You disappeared ten years ago, when I still lived in Utah.” She doesn’t open her eyes as she reaches up and digs her fingers into his thick fur. He purrs louder.

The launch pushes her hard, back in her seat. She glances over to Sutton, flicking switches and continuing the back and forth with Houston. It’s always Houston. Even when it’s Alexandria, Virginia. “Rocket three breakaway on three, two, one…”

Sarah studies the controls under her own gloved hands. Where’s my coffee?

“What’s that?” Sutton asks over the intercom.

Sarah shakes her head. “Nothing. I think I left my coffee somewhere.”

He barks, a short laugh. “Yeah, I hate that. Roger, Houston. All systems go. We are in orbit. Seventy-two minutes until trans-orbit burn.”

“...confirm trans-orbit burn complete,” Sutton says and pops the latch on his harness. He rises out of his seat in the zero gravity. “Come on, captain. Let’s go grab some lunch.”

Sarah lies in bed, feeling the weight next her. Is it the old tom again? A warm hand reaches over and pulls her sideways, tucking her against a hard body. Not the tom. The hand rests on her belly, and she looks down. It’s round and firm. She feels a kick. She closes her eyes tight and wonders for the millionth time, “What is the dream?”

Dogs in house
Houdini, Eggs

Time writing:
~35 minutes

September word count:

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