Apollo 19 – The Visit

It was a couple of years after their launch from Cape Canaveral that the occupants received an unexpected yet rather enjoyable change to their routine.

It was Commander Pilletjie Plaatjies who first heard the knocking on the hatch door of Apollo 19. He couldn`t believe, at first just who was knocking and how did they know where they were? Navigator Stilletjie Jantjies peeked through the small capsule`s port side inspection window. “Oh Pilletjie, you`d better take a look, there`s a lady in a golden suit floating here by the front door.”

“A what se what?” exclaimed Pilletjie incredulously as he folded the last slice of bread over to form yet another smoked snoek sendwitz. ” A gold clad lady here in space, right outside?”

Between them they opened the entrance hatch, after putting on their spacesuits over their NASA issue pyjamas and came face to face with the lovely Finnish astronaut Henna Si. Henna had been launched on a goodwill mission from Tjalkstaddteronsk launch site deep in the Finnish forests in the cold north.

Commander Plaatjies helped Henna into a more or less comfortable seat near the toaster and smoer snoek pate making machine and offered her a traditional Afronaut gift of perlemoen fritters and a glass of clear fresh Table Mountain spring water.

“Tak vir mouten. Jiddis kekelen grisoutlet huistenbukenstut?” Henna`s `thanks for the food` and `how did you end up here` went right over the heads of both Pilletjie and Stilletjie and they looked a little bemused for a second or two but quickly recovered.

“Ooh my goodness. Finland certainly dresses its astronauts very modern ne! Look at your suit. Gold with long black boots and a black patch on your upper arm. And that helmet! I does want one like that!”

Henna removed her helmet and her long locks of golden brown hair floated weightless in the confines of the tiny Apollo 19 capsule. For a moment neither Commander Plaatjies nor Navigator Jantjies could see each other or any of the instruments due to the sheer volume of astronaut Henna`s hair.

Pulling a Finnish/English phrase book from a small well hidden pocket in her upper tunic she carefully read an obviuosly prepared piece…..” I amk sanking you bowss for haffinking me ontbort yorr spaze ship in ziss memeryable okashunt. Our too kuntrees are ass wun in ziss famuss missions ja. I prezents youz bowss wif zis likkle gift wat iss mayt frum rain-deer antler. Here…” Henna handed the commander a little carved figure of a minature DJ`s scratch turntable, complete with minature needle. “Ziss siknifyz ze revolution off muzik vitch bringz toogezzer bowss hour kuntrees ja!”

Navigator Stilletjie Jantjies was more than a little moved and a small tear of gratitude and proudness welled up and spilled down his cheek. “Ag thank you so much your highness….er your goodness …..no, your….. ag just thank you for this lekker present ne!”

They both hugged Henna warmly and with a touch of gentlemanliness, they turned their backs as Henna Si shed her golden suit and donned her one-piece pink tight-fitting outfit for the return journey – a traditional Finnish colour for return journeys started by Cardinal Pink of the Royal Finnish Church of Father Christmases back in 1765.

As the hatch closed once again on Apollo19 the two afronauts waved goodbye and kept waving as Henna Si receded into the dark emptiness of eeyowter spays and finally disappeared towards the deep blue glow of Mother Earth. Neither Commander Plaatjies nor Navigator Jantjies had any idea how she arrived in space or returned. They hadn`t seen a spacecraft of any kind and assumed that Finland was streets ahead as far as space transport was concerned and left it at that.

DECLERATION
This Short Story entitled “Apollo 19 – The Visit” is copyrighted to the author, Simon J Tatt. No persons may reproduce any part of the story in any way for the purposes of financial gain or for any other reasons without the express permission of Simon J Tatt. Law 6785/67 of the Intrinsic Writers Code of 2009 protects the above mentioned work and any infringement thereof will result in a fine of $20 000 and/or a jail term of between 5 and 7 years and/or a 3 month term of walking backwards through a patch of stinging nettles of which the location is to be decided by the eldest member of the GustyGig tribe of southern Borneo.

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~ by Simon Tatt on July 19, 2010.

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