Excerpt from The Empty City by Berit Ellingsen
The Rain On Titan
He wanted to harden his skin and the surfaces of his eyes, throat and lungs, rip free from Earth’s gravity, and hurl himself into space.
Escape velocity. He liked that term. Escape, fly into space and be gone. Then witness the sun set on Mars, volcanoes erupt on Venus, ice crack on Europa, and the dawn rise on Pluto, where the star at the center of the solar system would be an almost forgotten memory.
According to science, Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, had a solid surface with mountains and hills and plains, just like Earth. Its atmosphere contained nitrogen, methane and helium. The moon was so cold the methane stayed liquid. The seas and lakes and rivers on Titan ran with methane instead of water.
The methane evaporated and condensed into clouds. Because of the low gravity, the rain collected in large drops that fell to the ground as slowly and softly as snow on Earth. He would have given everything to see the rain on Titan.
He decided to dream about traveling the solar system. The night was filled with dreams, but when he woke up he could only remember trying to lift a corpse on a door over a chain link fence.
Published with permission.