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"a man in the moon"
       · writers of the future volume xxiv 
        (august 2008)

A Man in the Moon

Image via Wordle.net

"a man in the moon"
by dr. philip edward kaldon
Writers of the Future Volume XXIV
"Zip up," the doctor told the older man.

"You don't look too happy there," the astronaut said, 
obliging by zipping his jumpsuit back up. His bright 
blue eyes twinkled with some secret amusement.

The two men-longtime friends-made quite a study in 
contrasts. Dr. Richard Hellebore stood five foot seven 
and while not considered clinically overweight, still 
exhibited something of a middle-aged thickening of the 
waist. Most of his short black hair had thinned away
 long ago. Only forty-seven, Dr. Hellebore had once 
been married and a family man, but his work and research 
as a NASA flight surgeon cost him both marriage and 
children. Sixty-two-year-old Captain Gene Fisher-Hall 
was ex-Navy, reached six-two when he stood up straight, 
and sported a thick gray-blond mustache which matched 
the wavy hair on top. Still comfortably photogenic for 
an astronaut, Gene came from San Francisco, but his 
accent had migrated to a decidedly Southern flavor-hard 
to place-somewhere from Texas to Tennessee to West 
Virginia. Perfect for a pilot.

"Gene-I've always told you straight."

"And I appreciated it, Dick. But you don't look like 
you've got happy news-so just say it."

"You're dying."

The older man laughed and adjusted his collar. "We're 
all dyin', Dickie Bird. Jest a matter of time."

Gene Fisher-Hall was NASA's top astronaut and about to start on
the construction of the first real Moon base.  But during his last
physical, flight surgeon Richard Hellebore discovered Gene's secret
-- the man was dying a slow death from a non-operable cancer.  Gene
should've been grounded, but he made one last deal with the doctor
to let him stay and work on his Moon base, until he becomes the
first Man in the Moon.

Sold January 2008 (Finalist in Q3 2007 contest)
Published August 2008

Writers of the Future Volume XXIV

Available for pre-order $7.99 via Galaxy Press and Amazon.com.

Audiobook coming soon from Audible.

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