A Matter of Perspective

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A Fenspace story by Dartz

I opened my door one day and walked to the shops. It felt like a long journey at the time.

I stood on the surface of Earth and looked up to see the stars in the sky. All the little sparkles of life whizzing through the sky going places only they knew.

I looked around, at my home town which seemed so big to walk around. Then launched into space. It felt like a long journey at the time.

I stood in Earth’s orbit, looking down on the vast world beneath me, watching continents and oceans flash by, and I felt like a god. I felt on top of the world. My hometown was a splash of light, covered by a cloud. Everyone I grew up with, could be covered by my thumb.

Then I looked up at the moon, and the sparks of life twinkling across it’s surface. It seemed so far away. I launched towards the Moon. It felt like a long journey at the time.

I stood on the surface of the moon, the smell of burnt gunpowder tingling inside my nostrils as a few whisps of grey dust kicked up by my engines rose past me. Earth hung in the sky... a world that had once been so vast beneath me. I could cover it with my thumb.

I looked up at Mars, a red dot hanging among the stars. It didn't seem possible that such a thing could be a planet. I launched towards Mars. It felt like a long journey at the time.

I stood on the Martian surface. That dot grown into a new world as big as Earth, a cold and rusty wasteland beneath my feet and the smell of old steel around me. Earth was a blue light in the sky. That vast world, its moon, and everything on them, reduced to a light.

I looked up, and could see the stars beyond, seemingly crystal clear in the Martian night sky. There were so many more of them than I ever saw on Earth. I launched up....

I’m a lightyear out, a quarter of the way to the nearest star, and I think to stop and look back. I see a little yellow spark, set amongst a billion other sparks all around me, seeming no different from any of it’s companions, save for a little flag on my vision that marks this one a $home. It’s been a long journey just to get here.

I raise my thumb and cover everyone I’ve ever known, every place I’ve ever been. The people I care about. The people I hate. Those in power, those without. All of humanity it seems.... could be under my thumb. Everyone, hidden in the glare around that little yellow spark.

It is to my own shame that I can’t be more Carl Sagan about it. I’m no poet, but isolated... a single person in the vast cosmos with nothing by silent static on my radio and no ship or spacesuit around me....Looking at it all with my own two eyes....

I feel....alone.

I am here. Here in the twilight between stars, I could be the only person in the universe. Just one minuscule being, one lonely spec of humanity, far away from home. I’m swimming in the middle of the ocean, rather than having the comfort of a boat. A mariner feels how small his ship is, not how big the sea it floats on, after all.

A few tears freeze on my eyes and flake off into the void. I put my helmet back on, and carry on with my journey with a humbled smile.

And I can see a billion stars in front of me, each one of them a long journey away.