An Eventful Staycation To Mars

It was six in the morning and raining heavily. The sun was surely still there but it would not appear. James couldn’t fall back to sleep, not with the knowledge that at any given moment the ceiling could give and rain would start pouring in on him. As he went to the tiny table that was his dining room, it occurred to him that he was a veteran of the Eighth War of Martian Independence.

The war was sizzling sounds, screams, and the amazing aroma of cooked meat. The smell was of course of men, some not quite dead. The hospital was full of what the nurse called “Swiss citizens”; men with holes all the way through. Their wounds already cauterized, they were mainly there for pain management. James had a pea sized hole in his shoulder, he was lucky.

After the war, James had two children and a beautiful wife. Life was good on Mars, and James had found himself as a handyman making ends meet along with his wife, the Latin teacher. They would dance through the Independence Festival in August into Thanksgiving, in early December. The four of them were always dancing. James on Earth was in the curious position of being jealous of himself.

Slowly, the two James became as one and the grizzled veteran made peace with the impish middle manager. As it turned to eight in the morning, James remembered that staycation fad that swept the nation ten years prior. People would just fax all their pertinent information (DNA, Vitals, RNA) off to the stars where after two months they would receive a sort of mental postcard full of memories.

Mainly, people got back overbooked hotels, rained out weekends and sunburn. James on Mars had the good sense not to report back when he was hungry murderous and generally dirty on every level of the word. James had the good sense to wait until there was a happy ending. James on Earth, really did like that guy. On top of everything else, he had the good sense to transmit on Saturday, so James didn’t have to deal with this at work.

James of Mars, nice guy. James of Earth can tell you all about him.