Apollo 19 – Things That Go Bump In The Night

Due to a blocked port side thruster jet, the Apollo 19 capsule would occasionally make an erratic wobbly move whenever Commander Pilletjie Plaatjies activated the `push-to-go-right` button. On this particular day/night, Navigator Stilletjie Jantjies had just finished packing his pap snoek sandwiches into the top pocket of his jump-suit when the craft lurched unnervingly to one side.

“What the hell! What`s going on?” Stilletjie was a little shaken by the maneuver and in his alarmed state, he had pushed a little too hard on the sandwiches and they were now leaking snoek and butter down the front of his all white one-piece jumpsuit.

“No worries, was juss a blocked thingy what did misfire”, said Commander Plaatjies. “Hang on! Here we go again!”

This time, as Pilletjie pushed the button to go right, it completely misfired and caused Apollo 19 to shoot off at an acute angle and spin away towards a gaggle of NASA`s top defence satellites. They narrowly missed hitting FUCKEL (Forward Undulating Captivation Kludge for Eliminating Lithuanians), a now less utilized offensive satellite that at one time in history, was aimed at one of Russia`s neighbours in an attempt to coerce it to stop passing hand-written notes between itself and Russia.

The tiny capsule containing the afronauts now wobbled alarmingly close to Hubble, just missing it and finally banged hard into the side of T.S.T.C.N.T.T.E.W (The Satellite That Communicates News To The Entire World).

Stilletjie groaned whimsically and clutched onto the kettle for support as it teetered dangerously close to the navigation computer`s keyboard in the far corner of the ship. “Why does you always have to drive this thing like you`s drived the taxi back in District Six?” Stilletjie was annoyed and when he got annoyed his grammar and spelling suffered proportionally.

“It isn`t me! Why must it be me?! It`s the blerry thruster rocket thingy what is blocked …..jusslark!” Countered Commander Plaatjies.

The two afronauts were both feeling a little edgy and after banging into T.S.T.C.N.T.T.E.W their nerves were a little more frayed than normal.

Outside in the coldness of space, the communication satellite now had a large dent in the side and its array of aerials and solar panels resembled an umbrella after a brief excursion through an english gale. There were only inside-out bits left hanging off a lump.

Down on Mother Earth, all hell was breaking loose. The poor satellite had short-circuited and now China`s prime news channel was inadvertently remotely hooked up to a small television news station in a field in southern New Zealand, surrounded by cows.

The Egyptian news team`s reports were coming out through a fax machine in the White House and when Iraq`s Secret Service sent encoded letters of secrecy between its internal bureaus, they ended up as spoken words of seemingly gibberish content emanating from the speakers in the studio at Fox Television headquarters in New York.

The intrepid afronauts, oblivious to the earthly goings on 35 786km below them, readjusted their one-piece suits and settled down to a leisurely game of Scrabble. Proper nouns, names, cities and exotic fruits were allowed. Commander Plaatjies stuck his hand into the bag and scrounged around for seven letters.  


 This Short Story entitled “Apollo 19 – Things That Go Bump In The Night” 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. There might also be a penalty incurred of 12 000 Indonesian Sachmas, depending on whether the transgressor is left-handed or right-handed.


~ by Simon Tatt on August 3, 2010.

2 Responses to “Apollo 19 – Things That Go Bump In The Night”

  1. The End? Ag no man. This karrint be. More please?

  2. Ok! More coming soon! Thanks for reading 🙂

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