Seeing Red

Where are they? Where the heck are they? I know they have to be here somewhere! I am bound and determined to find them. I’m like a Bounty Tracker. I’ve waited all my life for this day, and I’m NOT going to leave here without them.

I began to think back to all the events that had led up to this very moment, and wondered what I had missed to end up so entirely disappointed that I couldn’t find them here. I’m such a Butterfinger sometimes, that I could’ve easily let something slip my grasp.

I landed here yesterday morning (at least I think it was morning back where I came from). The landing capsule had come to settle on this dusty red surface of the planet we call Mars. People had been talking for decades about putting a person on Mars, so I suppose I should really find that a reward in itself that out of the billions of people on earth that I alone was chosen for this mission. Yet, this didn’t bring me any satisfaction with the knowledge that I haven’t found what I’ve come up here for. I made it through the Milky Way to the other end of the Galaxy it seemed like.

I’d been training for this day most of my life. Since Kindergarten, if I recall correctly. That was when I decided to become an Astronaut. Both of my buddies said they would become astronauts too (we were like the 3Musketeers) yet somehow, I’m the only one to make it. All of my life since then BarNone, had been spent pursuing this goal of being the first boy on Mars. It had taken a little longer than I had planned, so truthfully I’d be considered a man now, but still a boy at heart.

Yet, now I’ve failed. I was so angry with myself I could see red!  So much for the Revels and Celebrations. GoodnessKnows I won’t be getting any Kudos. Sure, I completed the mission for space command by simply landing on this planet, but my own personal mission was a bust!  I hated to think about the 100Grand I’d spent on school, or the Crunch of my fender on 5th Avenue when I rear ended another vehicle while watching a space launch.

I climbed back into the space capsule and buckled up for the short return flight to the shuttle, with a longer ride home to follow after that. I did look forward to seeing my wife and my BabyRuth, but I would have a long long time to think about this on my way back to earth. I could hear the voice of that bratty little girl and her Snickers from my Kindergarten class taunting me already… “Girls go to Mars to get more Candy Bars, boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider!”

I sure didn’t find the candy bars. Guess I’ll have to sign up for that mission to Jupiter when I get back home.

© Karl Gartman 2015

This was a short story for Rachael Ritchey’s Blog Battle.

Be sure to go check out her blog

and buy her book! The Beauty Thief

If you don’t know the rules, here they are. Be sure to join us next week with your own short story:


  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
  7. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
  8. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a linkback to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  9. Have fun!

10 thoughts on “Seeing Red

  1. Pingback: #BlogBattle Week 32 “Mars” Entries & Voting | Rachael Ritchey

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