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Monday, April 14, 2014

And all that we leave behind... (Alternate ending)

The time is many years earlier...

A story of our forefathers and the spirits that dwelt then.

The world was changing. We had moved into the race to reach the stars. We settled for the moon.

The astronauts were prepping to launch. Their shuttle took off. They crossed the atmosphere. And they were hurtling towards the moon. And yet, it seemed so far away.
Their country had spent enormous amounts of money to get this shuttle to reach the moon. Sending chimps, dogs and birds just wasn't enough. Man had to get there first before his neighbor reached. He had to be the first. He had to leave his home and family behind and risk it all. These were the chosen ones. This was their mission. This was their goal. This was their life. They had trained for a long time to get here. Now, they had to just reach there and prove to the world that we were a super power. We were the best. We were the first. We had all the power. And we wanted all the glory. We were a developed country. We had all the tech. We had all the resources.

Somewhere deep in space, things were quiet as the two astronauts were waiting with bated breath. And out of nowhere, the darkness enveloped them. Things just went silent. And dark. Very dark. It took them some seconds to realize they had lost all power and they were now drifting. Life support wouldn't be able to take care of them for so long. They tried their best. There was no communication going in and nothing went out. Just space and them floating in it.
On the ground, they realized, something was wrong and they had lost all feeds. There was no word. No signal. The astronauts had vanished.
Inside, they realized, it was a matter of time, they would be gasping for breath. It was getting hot and stuffy. They needed to conserve their oxygen. And they were feeling drowsy and so sleepy. Sleep was beckoning. They couldn't give in. They had to stay awake.

He finds himself in a cold dark room now. No one is there. And it doesn't even seem he is on the shuttle. He gets up. Walks out. He can't recognize the hospital. He can't recognize anyone. And everyone passes by as if he was a stranger. He waits patiently at the nurses station but it seems so crowded. Then he chances upon the date. It is 30 years in the future. Is this an idea of some one at the base playing a joke on him. Well, he had to get home to his lovely wife. He didn't care what the writing on the wall said.
He steps out. The cars look different. The people are dressed differently. He can't recognize any of the shops and the street names appear so different. The roads are so crowded. People talk to themselves in devices that they hold near their ears. It is all so confusing. His head is beginning to hurt. He needs to lie down. It is too much to take in. He has to get home.

He manages to climb on a bus and he gets down at his porch. The house is still there. It looks old. But there seems to be life. The light is on in the window. He moves to the door and opens it. The neighbors look so old. He wonders about his beautiful, young wife he had left behind. She must be looking like an old crow now. He shudders. He shouldn't have such dreadful thoughts. He looks so young. He hasn't aged a day. He appears just as he was when he left. Yet time seems to have moved on.

He enters in and lo, behold is his wife. She appears so young. Just the way he had left her. She welcomes him. They hug each other. They weep. He can't explain how is she still the same. It seems like a dream. But her touch seems so real. They sit for supper. They have a family meal.
He has to sleep now. He feels so weary. So tired. He crashes on his bed. His wife lays next to him.

In the middle of the night he hears sounds of sobbing. Sounds of weeping. Sounds of a woman crying. His wife is nowhere to be seen. He goes down. He finds her closing the door. She is moving away from the house and she has tears in her eyes. He follows her. They walk for some time.
And she stops, bends downs and weeps again. She is sitting on a rock.

He moves ahead to see why. Something isn't right. Something doesn't make sense. It can't be. It appears all wrong. He has to move away. A voice behind him whispers. It is his friend. He is beckoning him. He moves towards his voice.
There are two tombstones. One for both of them. His name is on it. The date is 30 years back. His wife has the same date on her stone too. Does it mean. He is dead. Then what about his wife. Is she dead too. What was this. Who was this woman then ? His eyes open in shock and disbelief. It was his daughter. He reaches out to her. She is crying. He wants to console her. A void pulls him back. And hears a voice... It is his fellow astronaut...and now his voice seems clear...

"We are all living in a ghost story"

And we await and pray for all...

...and all that we leave behind...