Prompt: Write a story based on a common conspiracy theory
Word Count: 1000 words
Hello - this is my first attempt at joining in on Flash Friday - where I need to write a short piece of fiction. Today I am following the lead from http://www.flashfictionfriday.com/ and so have to write about a popular conspiracy theory as if I believe it. Idon't of course, but that is the point isn't it - it's fiction!
Painting the Moon Red.
For fourteen long hours Chris toiled in the sweat boiling heat of an airless studio in Florida, his back screaming in agony from the endless monotony of its day. Every bone in his body clicked as he stood back, stretching long and hard, before surveying his work. The boulder was perfect.
Like all the other people working on NASA’s new training film, Chris was absolutely determined to make his section of moon as realistic as possible.
Okay, so he had to use his imagination a little on account of the fact that nobody has actually been to the moon yet, but thanks to his obsession with Buster Crabbe’s work as Flash Gordon in the films from his youth, Chris had more than a good idea about the effect he was after.
This was why he was painting them red.
Red seemed like an obvious colour for his rocks. After all he wanted them to stand out a little so that his Mum could point out his work to her friends around the coffee table, provided NASA ever released the film to the general public, and assuming Chris’s Dad ever bought a TV.
Or a coffee table.
All that seemed so far away and unlikely though, why on Earth would NASA release a training film to the general public? It’s not like they needed any more PR is it? With six more boulders to make, and quarter shares in a crater, it was going to be tight to be ready for the June deadline. It was almost May already, and the first boulder had taken three weeks
With a flourish, Chris painted his trademark ‘C’ on the side of the rock and left it to dry.
Four months ago the concept had been explained to the guys about what the film would be used for, and why it was so vitally important that the Russians didn’t find out about it. The film would be used to train the astronauts for the July mission, quite how was all too complicated to remember. All Chris knew was that it had to be realistic if Mr. Armstrong was going to be able to survive the real thing, and it had to be secret because if the Russians got to the moon first they would eat his babies.
Chris never really knew why the Russians ate babies, but he was certain that they would do that if they got to the moon first. Even though Chris hadn’t managed to get a girlfriend yet, and so wasn’t even close to reproduction, he was determined not to have any future offspring devoured by a Commie.
When his section was complete, and when the technicians weren’t looking, Chris moved the lights about to make his boulders stand out more. Admittedly it messed up the shadow lines a little, but what would that matter? At least it meant his signature ‘C’ could be seen clearer. Chris was proud of his work and really wanted to be able to see it, if he ever got the chance.
When the time came to make the film, Chris and the crew were upset to discover they weren’t needed on the closed set, but the man in the suit stood there and explained that the Ruskies were looking over their shoulders, and so it was safer for them to not be there. Mr. Armstrong could be instantly slaughtered by a space suited Commie if they somehow got hold of these tapes. NASA needed this film to stay out of the Red Army’s hands if they were to get their men safely back from the lunar surface, and that was good enough for Chris, as it had been a few days earlier when the other man in a different but identical suit, had made him repaint his boulders white.
Chris beamed with pride as he walked home that night; his rocks were saving democracy and the lives of his still unborn Son.
The astoundingly large pay check, he had received for his silence, paid for a brand new 12 inch TV set to be installed proudly next to his Mum’s new coffee table. His work had helped three of America’s finest living men fly to the moon and now his work was going to let him watch it in style.
And so he watched.
The crowd of people filling his parent’s lounge barely drew breath. The air was absolutely still.
The Module landed.
Everyone breathed out.
A party started and the hours ticked by until the first human ever was able to walk on a different planet.
As Neil uttered those timeless words, and leapt from the module, the lounge erupted with excitement. America had done it. Russia would be devouring no babies this day.
Hands were shaken, backs were patted. Melissa Stevens, the daughter of Dr. Stevens from next door, even let Chris kiss her cheek. Things were indeed getting interesting. The future was now.
And then Chris stopped.
He couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t talk, he couldn’t stand. Instead he sank to his knees.
The noise of the crowd slipped desperately far from his ears. The world was silent.
The shadows on the moon were wrong, and the light that cast them was making a large boulder stand out.
A boulder with a ‘C’ on it.
Slowly Chris stood and walked out of the room, out of the house and looked up into the sky.
The world rested itself squarely onto his shoulders and waited. Every free thinking, decent, Christian Westerner’s life was in the balance and depended on America’s presence on that little ball of light. The weight of responsibility crushed down upon his back.
In that instant Christopher Ray Thompson made a decision.
And it haunted him for the rest of his life.