A Crazy Idea
“How will you do it?”
“It doesn’t matter how,” Mr. Perkins said.
Barbara took a minute to word a response. The man looked over the railing at the view from their outdoor table. The main room hummed with the sounds of forks hitting dishes and laughter from a lunchtime crowd, but a cold front had driven the customers indoors, away from this panoramic view from the patio. She noted the ice filling his glass and shivered, as much from apprehension as from the chilled air.
She pulled her coat tighter and leaned forward. “Well, see… if I was writing a script, I’d need to know the budget, what kind of special effects you have, who’s directing, who’s acting…”
Mr. Perkins turned to her with amusement lurking in his startling blue eyes. “Yes, that’s what you do, I know. But this is a little different: you come up with the ideas and tell us, no matter how crazy or simple, whatever the cost or if it seems impossible.” He shook his head. “You give us everything and let us decide if we can use it or not.”
She ran a filmmaker’s eye over him. Retired perhaps, but strong and ageless in appearance. He exuded confidence and authority, as if he knew everything. Something about him suggested that he was military, though he had introduced himself without any title or rank. Rather than rigid in his posture, he had a loose control and efficiency of movement she admired. Perfect for the big screen. Barbara filed her mental profile of him; she might need to write such a character one day.
She nodded. “Okay.”
Barbara sat at her desk and thumbed through a newspaper. Her deadline gave her another month, which put her way ahead of schedule. She had the luxury of turning her back on the typewriter for a while.
She spotted the item buried halfway down the page and froze. It had been one of her wilder ideas. Could they pull it off? How in the world would they convince everyone? She fingered the headline with wonder:
NASA Plans Moon Landing