“Ruptured Oxygen Tank”


Flames burning.
Wonderful hot air balloons soaring into a dark sky.
The shadowy outline of a church.
His sister.
On her wedding day.
Wildly colored flowers.
Ornamental robes of a priest rippling in the wind.
Some featureless void.
A bleached meadow of low hills.
Blankets and sheets crumpled.
His bed.
An intense desire to rest.
A picture on the wall.
The Earth.
A chirping.
Flashes of red.
Low oxygen.
The cold basalt of the Moon.

Author: joshuajscully

That’s my picture up there. I’m not totally sure why I look so angry. I may be thinking about how much I hated the Crypt Keeper as a child. I grew up faithfully watching reruns of The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt. Unfortunately, I missed the boat in terms of writing for either of those programs. I do consider both to have been wildly influential when I think back to my earliest thoughts about becoming an author and I’m grateful my parents let me watch those shows as a kid (although there were probably some nights early in my childhood my mother wished she hadn’t let me watch those shows). If you’re familiar with either program, then you know what genres are my focus. I thoroughly enjoy science fiction, suspense, the twist ending, and some horror or supernatural elements as well. Honestly, when I was a kid the Crypt Keeper scared the hell out of me. As an adult, I’ve really learned to embrace the puns. Historical fiction is a favorite of mine as well, and the root of that is shared with my profession. I am an educator by trade, and I teach American History. I consider some of the best writing I’ve ever done to be within the realm of historical fiction and I really enjoy saturating my mind in the research end of those projects. I would make the argument that storytelling is in my blood. Even my sister mulled, very briefly (about 45 minutes), launching a career as a screenwriter! My last name is one of those Irish (and, apparently, formally Manx) ones with a wonderfully researched history -“the story-teller’s descendant”. On of the first day of school each year, I do share that “my name is Mr. Scully, and that rhymes with Kelly”, just so I do not hear the myriad of mispronunciations on the first day. Several years ago, I started a blog similar to this one to highlight my middle years as a teacher. If that aspect of my life is of any interest to you at all, you can still find that blog online. During my summers, I really have time to pursue my writing projects and this blog will highlight some of that work. My first attempts to sit down and write extensively occurred when I was 15, but only a few years ago did I make setting time aside to write a priority. I’ve also benefited wildly over the years from many willing readers among my family and friends. The direction and feedback from those individuals has been invaluable. Outside the world of the written word, I am an educator, basketball coach, lecturer, and (very, very occasionally) a landscaper. I have only ever known Western Pennsylvania as my home. Although I love a good novel, I am absolutely unable to resist the power of the short story. The latter is really what I hope to be remembered for one day.

13 thoughts on ““Ruptured Oxygen Tank””

  1. Damn, by the end it really hit me. It’s sad and dark, if what I think is happening is happening. I know I probably won’t ever go to space but it always scared me to imagine being lost up there, running out of air.

    You captured this moment beautifully because It allowed me to think of all this vivid images and really contemplate life before it was stolen away.
    Amazing piece 🙂

    Also I wrote something a bit similar called “Sunrise For the Astronaut.” But only the audio version is uploaded here haha

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s not exactly hard but it requires time. The longer the story and the more you mess up, the longer it’ll take to edit and put it together.

        I upload every Sunday and premiere new stories every other Sunday so having a schedule becomes necessary but you should give it a shot. I’d definitely listen!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree. I actually enjoy listening to books on tape, etc. I think there’s something almost theraputic to listening sometimes. I’ll definitely check that out though – thanks for sharing! May very well be something I look into in the future.

        Liked by 1 person

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