by Norman Fagan

Tony Blake hovered over the electronic panel staring intensely through his magnifying glass, at all the components. He was searching for burnt out circuits. Something had fried; he could smell the burning rubber. Steven Bones hollered out to him from across the room to hurry up. They were in the last stage of connecting all the essential components for their rocket ship. Seats, cushions, fuel and the final installation of the navigational system, it was all ready to be put into place. Their spaceship stood more than thirty feet high and had a wing span of twenty feet. They weren’t rocket scientists, but they did have the drive to go into space.

“Tony, what’s taking you so long?” asked Steven.

“I’m fixing a fried circuit, give me a minute. There it’s finished,” replied Tony.

These two wannabe astronauts have been together since college. Steven studied astrology and Tony studied electronics and together, they decide to build the ultimate spacecraft. Steven had an uncle who owned a junk yard that sure helped the two men find what they needed to build their ship. Washers, dryers, and car parts all went into the machine; they even threw in a television as a port hole. Steven drove the fuel truck over to the ship and begun to fill their greatest achievement, with the source of life. Tony climbed inside the ship and begun start up procedures. Everything checked out, no red buttons flashed, no sirens wailing, they were ready to launch. Steven drove the fuel truck away from the launch site and walked back to the ship. He was trembling with excitement as he got himself comfortable inside the craft, so did his friend Tony.

“I can’t believe were about to do this?” Steven took three deep breaths to relax.

“We’re about to make history buddy,” Tony smiled as he finished startup procedures. After a few minutes the men began their count down to fire the engines.

“Ten, 9, 8, 7,” Tony continued to check all the circuits as Steven counted down to ignition.

“Six, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, ignition!” He flicked several switches and the engines rumbled. Flames shot out from underneath the ship, and black smoke billowed up around the spacecraft. Their ship shook violently as it began to lift off the ground. The two men were plastered to their seats as their spacecraft Rocketed across the sky and up into the atmosphere. They both felt a great sense of accomplishment as they headed toward the heavens.

Then several buttons begun to flash, and sirens rung out, their ship sputtered and the engines seized. The ship plummeted back to earth, they screamed as the ship dropped like a rock from the sky.  Panic stricken, Tony still managed to check every button and component, but couldn’t find the problem. Steven sunk his nails into the arms of his lounge chair, as their vessel continued to fall to the earth. Tony’s eyes raced all over the control panel begging for an answer, then he cast his eyes toward the fuel gauge and to his surprise it read, empty.

“Dammit Steven, I thought you put fuel in her,” Tony shifted his attention to his copilot.

“I did Tony! Oh crap?” he slapped his right hand onto his forehead.

“What?” asked Tony?

“I put in regular gas, not premium.”

Norman has five brothers two of which he lives with and a black cat named TC. He loves collecting plants, antiques, sports cards and stamps. His publications include other than LSS are; The Cynic online and Cautionary Contact Norman.