Jimmy White’s Journey to the Centre of the Sun

A powdery substance five minutes ago in a dreary, stark room with a clean mirror, a long, thin suitcase of some kind and a rapping knock on the door. The powder obtained from an African shaman, what the fuck is this stuff.

Floating along a high tech secretive corridor, his glass visored helmet breathing noises sounds like clapping and cheering and the few steps leading downwards are actually a lift going upwards into a capsule or a crucible or something sitting vertically on a platform which could be a stage.

A bottle of water is his only provision for the marathon of the mind over the next two days, or is that two months? Seems more like it. Noises all around. Eyes. Stars. Not trained to understand them. The tinkle of ice cubes, possibly the last ice cubes he will ever crunch. Wig staying in place due to NASA grade wig glue he obtained from Mark King.

The mission begins in a whirlwind of atmosphere shooting the capsule into the green evening sky accurately, the crowd back down on the launch pad shouting his name, then settling down.

Soon; A blue ball. A blue ball in his vision. Looks hard like the sky, soft like the oceans of Earth. Is the sky now. White chalk clouds. Then all behind him travelling five point giga parsecs into the deepening baize of the vacuum towards the red triangle of upward pointing – the light shining in an ark. Up, or maybe that should be down, no up… there is no up or down, to the black that always comes back; is everywhere. Pull back on the lever and push through in straight line, the lever is fixed, almost bolted to the rails after years and years of lonely practice in damp basements and training in million dollar simulators. Shooting further into the black all the way away from the blue via a beam of red light sphere bouncing around a bit inside his helmet, the angles are sublime almost as if he had he picked the up the white ship with his hand and placed it in the perfect position.

The light rays, the red light rays, one after another of waves of deadly radiation, then more black cold space that always comes back no matter what until the end of frame/time. A big stumbling block in building this breakthrough mission would be going in off the black into a hole. The odd blue comet which used to be Earth.

In his vision a yellow ball. Getting bigger as he saunters his head confidently round the computer output of the solar system. Avoiding red to the right, Mars. A pink, Venus. Somewhere far, far away is the brown Pluto. One day he would like to sit on a deck chair on the surface of Pluto and do one entire orbit of the Sun. It would take years, but would be worth it.

Swaying on his feet, this isn’t perfect now, the eyes that are stars in the crowded galaxy around him seemed concerned at something. Don’t be paranoid, half of them are on your side according to the mathematicians staring at screens in mission control. Staring into the yellow ball as the ship approaches. If he gets too close the heat will destroy him and he will be well and truly snookered for want of a better word. Time seems to slow down as the ship approaches the yellow. He stares at it focussing harder and harder, the cue can do nothing now, if he were to deviate his mission it would concede the frame to the Russians. The yellow becoming brighter. The almost fluorescent light getting much, much hotter like an early summer day in May times a million. His wig glue starts to run down his face. In a minute there is only light, yellow and bright the heat finally breaks through the ships hull that can stand three million degrees but not one degree more, he is at the centre of it !

“AAAHHHHHHGGGGGGGH!” He wails at the top of his voice, the lever has even snapped off in his hand!

Then he blinks. Lowers his arms. A snooker table. The crowd muttering a trifle worriedly. Then a voice like a butler or a policeman says
“Jimmy White, seventy nine, and the frame.”

Jimmy adjusts his wig, back in reality, and calmly takes his seat and has a sip of water as if nothing has happened. Well at least he has won the opening frame, and that is all that matters, you don’t settle until you have one on the board, he knows that as well as anyone.



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