The best ride in space is NOT on the Millennium Falcon.
This would have been a good story for The Race To The Hugo Award, but I didn’t write it until now so, unless I can go back in time, it’s too late. ha!
The Best Ride In Space
by Marian Allen
“That rocker was my great-great grandmother’s,” Captain Thierry told the rare passenger or crewmember admitted to her private quarters. “The only thing I have of hers. Yes, I knew her; she was one of that last generation who did the longevity stuff.”
Although the medical and technological ability to prolong productive and healthy lives still existed, few people took advantage of it anymore. Healthy lives, strong bodies, yes. But long, healthy lives, it turned out, made people either too conservative of their lives and health to take any risks or, on the other end of the spectrum, suicidally reckless.
“She was one of the first colonists to leave the solar system,” the captain would say with pride. “One day, she’s rocking little me in that chair, the next I know, she’s a passenger on this very ship on her way to The Ark for ‘The Ride To Take Humanity To The Stars.’ She’ll outlive me by at least a century. Crazy, huh? So she brought along a few things from home, but it turned out she overestimated the room she had in storage and she had to leave the chair behind. So I kept it.”
A glider, not an actual rocker, it was bolted to the floor, and the cushions were Velcro’d in place. The captain liked to sleep in zero gravity.
Being captain meant the occasional night when concerns or a general sense of responsibility made it hard to sleep. Medication wasn’t an option.
On those nights, Captain Thierry dialed down her thermostat and cocooned herself in a flannel blanket. She curled up in the chair, snaked one arm out to fasten down the web that would hold her in place, then pulled the arm and her head into the web. One good and well-practiced thrust against her restraint started the chair on an equal-and-opposite reaction glide. The lack of gravity countered the slight metal-on-oiled metal and molecule-against molecule friction, so the rocking continued for some time.
More than enough time for someone with a spaceship full of responsibility to rock herself to sleep in her great-great grandmother’s wooden rocking chair.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Imagine something of yours in the distant future.