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Scrimshaw
written by "Freas, Kelly, 1922-2005"
...he liquid oxygen used to keep his breathing-air in balance. He poured the frigid, pale-blue stuff into the cotton. He saturated it. All the inside of the shack was foggy when he finished. Then he pushed the cannister-top down. He breathed a sigh of relief when it was in place. He'd arranged for it to break a frozen-brittle switch as it descended. When it came off, the switch would light the lamp with its bare filament. There was powdered magnesium in contact with it and liquid oxygen all about. He went out of the shack by the air lock. On the way, thinking about Sattell, he suddenly recovered a completely new memory. On their first wedding anniversary, so long ago, he and his wife had gone out to dinner to celebrate. He remembered how she looked: the almost-smug joy they shared that they would be together for always, with one complete year for proof. Pop reflected hungrily that it was something else to be made permanent and inspected from time to time. But he wanted more than a drawing of this! He wanted to make the memory permanent and to extend it— If it had not been for his vacuum suit and the cannister he carried, Pop would have rubbed his hands. Tall, jagged crater-walls rose from the lunar plain. Monstrous, extended inky shadows stretched enormous distances, utterly black. The sun, like a glowing octopod, floated low at the edge of things and seemed to hate all creation. Pop reached the rocket. He climbed the welded ladder-rungs to the air lock. He closed the door. Air whined. His suit sagged against his body. He took off his helmet. When the red-headed man opened the inner door, the hand-weapon shook and trembled. Pop said calmly: "Now I've got to go handle the hoist, if Sattell's coming up from the mine. If I don't do it, he don't come up." The red-headed man snarled. But his eyes were on the cannister whose contents should weigh a hundred pounds on Earth. "Any tricks,"...

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