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The last taste on his tongue ...

Much of his life had been a hoot, a caring

Man, but careful not to be too caring

Perchance the unexpected, that shadowy,

Indistinct, ill-defined, mischievous goblin

Of ill will might deal him a suffering blow

Interrupting a thus far wonderful life.


Life, a lesson in so many things, a good

Number of which he sought to avoid at all

Cost. Life had been good thus far and he

Saw no reason at all to upset the boat by

Loosening the bung or steering a course

For choppy waters.

Careful caring had served him well, a playboy

At heart, never straying too far from the joys

Of life such as a very regular ‘Beelzebub’s bash’,

A loose term for whacking good nights out in

The company of friends and maidens of the

Highest possible calibre willing to go to any

Lengths to please him.

Did I mention his astonishing wealth? Well, if

I didn’t, I will now. Obscene in the extreme,

One might even say offensive when weighed

Against the puny income of lesser mortals.

Lesser in income, lesser in love, the measure

Of a man who by now will be well within the

Grasp of the reader; spoilt as a child, spoilt

As a man, his wealth coming far too soon and

Far too easily, but that is the way with brilliant

Ideas, ‘Eureka moments’, not to be sniffed at,

Nor to be spurned.

Eureka moment’? Are you kidding? Several

Blocks more than that I think. what we’re

Talking bout here is the creator and designer

Of spatial medicine, operating theatres in space

To be precise, with Britain’s brilliant National

Health Service now at the forefront of the

Space race. Satellite surgeons, orbital doctors,

Incredibly delicate operations. patients under

The knife miles above the earth, where without

The intrusion of gravity many medical ‘Firsts’

Have already been achieved and thousands of

Lives saved, and the old spondulicks just keep

Pouring in.

Post operation, the return journey to earth was

A slow spiralling descent in a special recovery

Vehicle designed to keep the patient in space

And away from gravity for as long as possible.

There was no rapidly heated re-entry phase, flesh

Heals faster in space than it ever could on earth,

And so a way had been found to prolong the

Return journey; when the stars might shine into

The recovery vehicle for days if not weeks.

Mercy and a madcap life seem to go hand in

Hand, the more fun he had the more the

Money he made, the more the ideas flowed.

Unselfish ideas, happy ideas, ideas set to

Change the world, his tree planting project

Was quite a thing, as too, his army of seed

Sewing drones: seeds dropped where seeds

Were needed.

Strange isn’t it, how life’s unforeseen plans

Seem to fall into place unannounced and

Often with such unfortunate timing. Here he

Was with a glass of fine cognac in one hand,

And the hand of a beautiful woman in the

Other; when sleep suddenly befell him and

There came a brief but particularly vivid

RMDT dream, roughly translated as a Rich

Men Die Too sort of flash from the future,

Wherein any ill-judged feeling of immortality,

Slip from the mind to be replaced by a strong

Sense of imminent foreboding.

Money and fun, soulmates, born to be together,

Indispensable companions, bed mates, best friends

Forever, no end of cliches, but all true nonetheless.

All gone in a flash, money and fun to be replaced

By ‘I will overcome this no matter what the price.'

But then of course it hadn’t happened yet, nor

Might it ever, it was only a dream after all.

Would that it were true, stop press in the

Following days newspaper spoke otherwise:

Wealthy entrepreneur in emergency overnight

Dash of hope’. More to follow.

In a dream or perhaps semi-conscious, he was

Aware of the vast power of the engines taking

Him into space and once in orbit the silence

Was such that he felt sure he could hear the

Stars singing. Presently seven stars appeared

Above him six around the periphery and one

Large star in the centre. Stars that gave life to

The melodies of heaven, bewitching music of

The captivating kind.


And captivated he was, elevated to a higher

Place, up and into the seven singing stars

Above his bed, melting as he rose into the

Light of the seven stars to become part of

Their light and their light part of him. Had

He died? Was he dead? Salient questions in

Need of urgent answers, but none came, at

Least not immediately.

In time, light took on the properties of a

Real place. A destination wherein all was

Known, and all would be revealed. A place

Like no other, a book of revelations in fact,

Each page a beam of light, and each page

The bearer of things to come. Things that

Spoke of new gods in the world, Ai gods,

Gods who demanded total praise or their

Favours would be instantly withdrawn.

He saw time as water, light as air, and

Grasped at once that we drown in time.

The lights grew brighter and in doing so

Drew nearer; instruments appeared from

Nowhere, gliding through the air, some

Coming closer, others drawing slowly

Away. Instruments he recognised at once,

For he had designed them, and in doing

So knew exactly what they were for and

What they were doing to him.

He couldn’t feel anything, there was no

Pain to speak of just the odd push from

One position to another. How ill was he,

How far advanced his condition, he had

No idea, but he knew it might well be

Touch and go. The lights dimmed a little,

And then a little more until finally they

Extinguished altogether. Outside the craft

The stars dimmed too and their lively tune

Became a rapidly diminishing echo.


© Joseph G Dawson


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