Bill and the Boom Box Rocket
Once upon a time there lived a boy named Bill, who always dreamed of flying to the moon.
One summer evening when Bill was trying to go to sleep, he was bothered by his big brother Ron. Ron was playing his new boom box too loud. The only way Bill could go to sleep was to put on some headphones and play a tape. His favorite tape had the sound of the ocean waves splashing up on shore.
As he lay there in bed with his eyes closed pretending he was lying on the beach under a full moon, he began to daydream about flying to the moon in a rocket ship.
The rocket ship was not very big–just big enough for two astronauts. He and his brother Ron were co-astronauts.
Bill called out to Ron, “Navigator ready?” Ron called back in the headset, “Yes, navigator ready.”
“Mission control ready?” Bill asked into the headset. “Mission control ready. We will begin countdown in T minus ten seconds, nine seconds, eight seconds” . . . Bill’s heart began to race . . . “two seconds, one . . . BLASTOFF!”
Bill and Ron were thrown back into their seats. They could feel the skin on their faces being stretched back towards their ears. Their arms felt like they weighed 100 pounds apiece. Their rocket ship zoomed up into the sky so fast everything out the window was just a blur. It seemed like just a couple of minutes had gone by when everything got really smooth and quiet. They were now in outer space!
Bill was sitting in the front seat and Ron was in the back. Bill asked Ron, “What does it look like out the back?” “It looks like earth is just a blue and white ball. You can see the clouds and oceans, but you cannot see any cities or trees.”
Ron asked Bill, “Can you see the moon coming up?” “Yes, I see it,” Bill said. “I think we will be there in about 30 minutes if my calculations are correct. We’re going 25,000 miles per hour and it is about 50,000 miles to the moon.” “Cool,” said Ron. “I think I will play my GameBoy and listen to some music on my boom box.” “You brought your boom box?” Bill was obviously annoyed. “You know I don’t go anywhere without my boom box,” said Ron. He turned on the music and the boys listened. The time quickly passed.
“Mission control to Bill,” came over the headsets. “Bill here.” “You will need to prepare for landing in two minutes,” said the voice. “Roger, we’ll be ready,” said Bill. “Here we go. Hold on, it looks like it might be a rough landing.” The rocket ship came in very rough. So rough that both Bill and Ron’s airbags deployed. Finally, they came to rest. “Bill, are you O.K.?” asked Ron. “Yes, I’m O.K., but that airbag hit me in the face like a rock-hard pillow. I think my nose would be bleeding if I didn’t have on this helmet. Let’s take a look around and see if the rocket ship is O.K.” “Good idea,” said Ron.
They put on their moon walk suits. The moon walk suits were big and heavy. They had built in air conditioners to cool them when the sun was on them and a heater to warm them up when they were in the shade. Since they were in outer space, it would go way below freezing in the shade and get so hot you could get burned in the sun. When they stepped outside, they felt like they were floating on air. They only weighed about six pounds each. So when they walked, it was as if they bounced. They bounced up about ten feet with each step. They quickly gathered up some moon rocks as souvenirs. Then they began to inspect the rocket to make sure it was flyable for the return trip. Things did not look good. The portion of the ship that housed the rocket starter was heavily damaged. The batteries that turned the starter were completely destroyed. They began to fear that they might be trapped on the moon. “What are we going to do?” asked Ron. He looked scared. “I don’t know,” Bill answered. “Let’s call Mission Control and see if they have any suggestions.”
They went back inside and tossed the moon rocks aside. They called Mission Control. “We will get back to you” was the answer. They needed time to think. “We only have enough food and water for one more day,” Ron reminded Bill. “Yeah, we will really need to conserve it.” They nervously sat in their seats and waited for Mission Control. No reply. After awhile, Bill jumped up and said, “I’ve got it! Give me your boom box.” Ron said, “What? Are you crazy?” “No just give it to me,” said Bill. Ron surrendered his boom box. Bill took it and turned it on real loud and smiled. Ron looked sad. He just knew that Bill was losing his mind.
Then Bill turned off the music and flipped the boom box upside down. He opened the battery compartment and took out the eight large batteries. “I think we can tape these together and make one big battery that will start the rocket,” said Bill. “Hand me that duct take from the tool kit.” “Sounds like a good idea to me,” said Ron. Bill lined up the batteries in two rows of four and taped them together in a bundle. He took a piece of tape and connected a wire to the batteries on each end. He hooked one up to the starter. He took the other wire and ran it back up to his seat in the front. Bill told Ron to get in his seat. “If I touch the wire to the metal on the dashboard, the starter should work and we can blast-off.” Ron hoped that he was right. “Are you ready?” Bill asked Ron without waiting for an answer. “Here goes!” As he touched the wire to the dashboard, they could hear the roar of the rocket. Before they knew it, they were zooming back through space towards earth. “Yippee!” how they both yelled.
Just then, Bill’s mom pulled the headphones off of his head and told him to go on to sleep. It was easy for Bill to get back to sleep, because he hoped he could pick up his rocket ship dream right where he left off.
by Artie S.