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TITLE: Spaceman Bob Retires
By Clyde Blakely

Used this in a FW Challenge and thought it might develope into a children's book, perhaps. I've written a couple other stories that follow this line. Would like some feed back: a children's book? Other genre? Forget it and keep the day job? Thanks much.
Spaceman Bob Retires

Reporter: Star Parker here from Galaxy Radio talking to Spaceman Bob on his last day as the worldís most adventurous spaceman. Spaceman Bob, you have explored more of the known universe than anyone alive. How do you feel now that your career is nearing an end?

Spaceman Bob: Alive!

Reporter: Alive? You mean lucky to be alive?

Spaceman Bob: Not only fortunate to be alive, Miss Parker, but Iíve seen so much of Godís wondrous universe that I wonder why He has blessed me so. What I have experienced has become part of me. I feel even more than ALIVE!

Reporter: Itís hard for us, who have never been where youíve been nor done the things you have, to appreciate that depth of understanding. Was there ever a time when you felt you might not make it back to earth?

Spaceman Bob: Yes, several times: equipment malfunction, getting lost for a while, running low on supplies.

Reporter: Did you ever CRASH?

Spaceman Bob: Once - in a blue moon.

Reporter: You mean, into a blue moon? And what is a blue moon?

Spaceman Bob: No, inside a blue moon. I had seen so many different stars, planets, moons but never a blue one. It looked like Swiss cheese but a blue haze coming from it. I had to explore it.

Reporter: Blue Swiss cheese? Iíd want to take a closer look too. Tell us about it.

Spaceman Bob: I was still in our Milky Way galaxy, maybe that what gave me the ďcheeseĒ impression when seeing all the holes in it. They didnít look like meteor impacts, much deeper, like tunnels.

Reporter: You landed on it?

Spaceman Bob: Not exactly. When I got closer I could tell some of the holes where big enough to fly into, so I did.

Reporter: You flew into dark, uncharted holes in a blue moon?

Spaceman Bob: Uncharted, yes, right down this explorerís alley. But they were not dark. There was a dim light coming from every hole. I was so excited finding this blue moon I neglected to radio mother earth my intent and I was on the far side of that moon from earth. Big mistake.

Reporter: What happened?

Spaceman Bob: As I moved closer and the tunnels came into clear view, I started activating my spacecraftís sensors: videos, sound recorders, magnetic, etc. I even had a newly installed smell sensor.

Reporter: A smell sensor?

Spaceman Bob: Yes, it was developed by a grade school kid from India. This was the first time we had used it. And it worked!

Reporter: It smelled something?

Spaceman Bob (glancing around): Well, this is highly classified information but since this is my last day what can they do? Fire Me? It smelled cheese.

Reporter: Are you serious?

Spaceman Bob: I recalibrated it and thatís what it registered.

Reporter: This is really news!

Spaceman Bob: Well, not really, it did detect methane gas: a byproduct of cheese metabolism (with a wink).

Reporter: Okay, you got me; but that stinks (returning the wink). Go on.

Spaceman Bob: The tunnelís walls were covered with blue gems reflecting its starís light, giving the appearance of light being generated in the tunnel. The deeper I went the more beautiful the gems became and thenÖ

Reporter: Then what?

Spaceman Bob: The tunnel ended.

Reporter: So you turned around and came back out.

Spaceman Bob: No, the tunnel ended; I was so absorbed looking at the sides of the tunnel, all the gems, the reflected blue light, I didnít see the end of the tunnel coming and BAM - I crashed. I tried to radio earth but I was too deep and still on the far side of the moon. My engines died and I couldnít get them started.

Reporter: So you put on your spacesuit and went to the surface and radioed?

Spaceman Bob: I was going to do that but the helmetís visor broke when I crashed. There was no replacement. I must have damaged the electrical system also; everything was starting to go dim. It was going to get cold and dark real fast.

Reporter: Oh my.

Spaceman Bob: Then I heard the leak.

Reporter: Leak?

Spaceman Bob: The spacecraftís hull cracked on impact and my oxygen was escaping. I only had a few hours to make it outÖ

Reporter (interrupting): Well, thatís all the time we have today. Turn in next week to hear how Spaceman Bob escaped his crash. Once, in a blue moon.
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