Countdowns

Ten. Nine.

Lydia remembered carnival rides that shot her into the air like a slingshot. She white-knuckled the restraints and screamed at the top of her little eight-year-old lungs, but she kept her eyes open, and her smile broadened.

Eight. Seven.

She remembered the leader numbers on old film strips–actual cellulose, before they were digital–circling round and round, making that blip noise at the completion of each revolution. Films about better yesterdays, and better tomorrows.

Six. Five.

She remembered whispers from behind her couch on her twenty-fifth birthday, when her roommate had thrown her a surprise party. If her ears hadn’t pricked up from the hushed voices she may well have jumped straight out of her skin.

Four. Three.

She thought of New Year’s Eve turning into New Year’s Day. Uncountable smiling faces braving the razor winds that swept through Times Square. Back when faces smiled. Back when there was a Times Square.

Two. One.

She thought of all those who had made this trip before her–from the Mercury Seven to the First Martians. But more so, she thought of all those who now had the opportunity to follow. Not into space, but to what waited on the other side.

High risks and small sacrifices are the ashes from which Salvation rises.

We have liftoff. Salvation is away.

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