Fiction Fragment Friday
This is one of the most fun stories I have ever written. As such I’m giving an advanced warning for language and some mature by way of immature themes. Enjoy.
The first time it happened was on my first mission to the moon. My steps were being livestreamed to the world as I made my mark in history. I would be the first American to walk on the moon in over 60 years. It was the highlight of my life up to that point and I imagined the 50 million users streaming it through the camera on my helmet. The moment I stepped down from the lander I saw it. It took me a moment to realize what I was seeing so the camera focused on the image for thirty seconds while I stared in disbelief. The world that day saw a very detailed drawing of a penis etched into a rock on the moon right next to my feet. Carved in English under the drawing was the phrase, “Tell your mom I said hi.”
As you well know this started quite the uproar on Earth. Claims that the landing was faked in a sound stage came first. While some to this day still believe that to be the case, I can assure you I really was on the moon. Next came the conspiracy theorist that seemed to think we had moon bases that they had not been told about. Other theories pointed to aliens, accused us of pranking the world, and suggesting that another country had beaten us there. Inquires started into all previous missions to the moon, but the landing site was too far from previous missions for that to be plausible. Unfortunately, none of the other theories were plausible either.
I was sure after my disastrous first outing with public fame that I would never travel to space again. Of course, this was not the case and I found myself scheduled to be the first person to step food on Mars. This time because of the distance a live stream was not possible. It would have to be delayed slightly because of the distance. Just to be safe NASA decided it would record the landing and give themselves time to edit incase anything went wrong. This turned out to be a very wise decision.
The moment I set food on Mars I saw it. A large rock with a carving on it. Yet another very detailed penis with the words, “Getting to Mars was hard, and so was I when I boned your mom.” I couldn’t believe it. I just stood there staring at the image. By the time I radioed back to Houston they were already hard at work editing my footage. Of course, they missed a frame and before long the image was out there on the internet. The most important scientific mission of my life, but by the time I got back to Earth I was already a meme. More accurately I was multiple memes. Major Penis to ground control. Houston, we have a penis. Then of course the ones so vulgar I won’t repeat them. I had certainly made history alright, but not in the way I had hoped.
Multiple teams of experts spent weeks examining the penis images. Forensic document examiners were brought in to determine if the handwriting was the same individual or not. Art experts to examine the drawings to determine if they were the same individual. In the end all signed pointed to both messages being crafted by the same individual. Any theory that a foreign power had created them on Earth and delivered them to the destination was quickly eliminated with mineralogical examination of the rocks. They really were from the moon and Mars. The messages had to have been left on site.
I thought I would spend the rest of my life not ever knowing how this had been done to me. My career in the spotlight was over. Oh, I could certainly get interviews, but I was a laughingstock. Every interviewer thought they were the first to plant a penis image somewhere on set. I couldn’t even get a coffee without someone doing artwork of a penis on the cup or in the foam. So many letters and cards came in the mail with drawings. I think the low point was when an adult toy company made a product named after me. I don’t think I need to tell you what it was.
Two weeks ago, I walked into my kitchen and found someone sitting there with his feet up on my table. “Who the hell are you?” I asked. I probably should have been worried that he might have a weapon, but I was too angry to really think straight. Years of pressure had really eaten away at my patience. I knew this had to be yet another prank of some sort.
“You know a good artist always signs his work, but what is a guy to do when mystery is part of the art?” He dropped his feet to the ground and leaned forward. I could not make out his accent. It sounded familiar but just slightly off. He looked to be in his late teens and wore a t-shirt for a band I had never heard of.
“Answer my question. Who are you and how did you get in my house?”
“That’s two questions mate. Also, those are stupid questions. Well at least the second one is. I mean really if I can get to the moon, Mars, and all those interview sets do you really think a cheap front door lock is going to keep me out?” His smirk showed just how proud he was of himself.
“You’re the son of a bitch that ruined my life?” I was on him before he had time to react. He found himself pulled from the chair and slammed against the wall. Years worth of anger was boiling inside of me and ready to explode. I wanted to kill the punk. “I’m going to give you one minute to explain yourself and I better like the answer.”
He looked genuinely shocked and extremely worried. He did not seem to expect this response. “Whoa chill out dude. It was a bit of performance art. A joke so epic it was told through time. I’m from 400 years in your future. We were watching the videos of your first steps on Mars and my buddy was like hey how funny would it be if I hacked the feed to add a penis on video. I was like no man that’s kinda lame, but how cool would it be to hack time so there really was a penis on Mars? So, like I broke into my dad’s lab stole his time machine and came back. I screwed up the first jump and came too far back so I did the moon one as practice.”
“Are you seriously trying to tell me that ruining my life was all some classroom prank?”
“Yeah epic I know, but it kinda wasn’t. See when I went back everything was different. Apparently, I undermined the space program and created all these conspiracy theories. It all comes to a head in like 50 years when the government breaks down. Long story short my world doesn’t exist anymore.”
I was barely able to speak through clenched teeth. “So, fix it.”
“Uhm I can’t. Batteries are dead. It’s going to take a month with current technology to recharge. When it’s ready though I’ll totally fix this, I promise. It will be like it never happened.”
I let go of the kid and let him fall to the ground. “So why are you here then?”
“I need somewhere to charge. I kinda also need somewhere to live and food and stuff.”
That was the beginning of the most interesting month of my life. I think that says a lot considering I have been to the moon and Mars. The kid was infuriating and complained about absolutely everything. He kept comparing the world to the stone age. Finally, when it was time for him to go, I could not have been more ready for him to leave. I knew he was holding back something though and I pressed him before he left to tell me everything. He explained to me that he didn’t actually know what would happen. My world might just cease to exist, but it was possible that we would go on in a pocket universe. His timeline would be restored so he could go home and there would be a world were I lived the life I was supposed to. I would never know that world though. I would either be wiped out or just go on living in this parallel universe that he had created through his actions. It has been two weeks since he left and at this point, I don’t know if he failed or if we are going to just keep going on. I like to hope that there is a me out there living the life that I always dreamed of. A world without penis.