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Will It Fly?

--Will it fly? What do you think, Yammet?
--Well, Sis, the lifthold is full of wist, so at least it will rise.
--You mean wish, right?
--No. Wist. Not wish. Wish was enough for the 1/27 scale prototype, but for the real thing you need wist--the stuff of knew, as in the old "wist ye not?" and so on.
--Oh.
--You thought you were filling it with wish? Here, let me siphon out a wisp... yes, it's wist. Good quality, too. Very energetic. Whose is it?
--Aunt Illogica's.
--Aunt Illy's? No wonder you thought it was wish! I didn't know Aunt Illy wist anything at all!"
I feel us gently come unglued.
--We're off, Yam!
--Good grief!
--No grief! Stop! We're falling!
--Oh, shi--
--None of that, either. Shut up, Yam. Wish, Brother. Wish!
--Oh.
And we are soaring. We rise through the rosy-fingered dawn, glide the arc of each ethereal sphere until we gain the momentum to chime through it to the next, and the next, and on. And now then, we are Beyond.
It is so beautiful here, lightless black and lifeful bright both. Other suns spin out their songs like lightdust afloat in curving currents. Galaxies roar like volcanoes across the void, which of course is not void at all, but a-jostle with entities popping in and out of what we perceive as real.
--Yazmii! Hard to past! Riftspawn!
I bank so sharply our selves are pressed into our fears, but I level us out softly and we feel only a gentle abyssal tug and release as the listless ripple of rift slides along to our future. I prime our taucelles to detect it at our next encounter.
--Yaz? Shouldn't we turn back now? This is far enough for a first run. You've built a flyable vessel, and that's good work! We even saw riftspawn! Nice flying there, by the way, Sis. I can't wait to tell Dad.
I don't answer. He really doesn't know. Older than I am, smarter than I am, and in his third round at the flightverse, and he has failed to grasp. Denial. That's what it is. I can identify. I'd like a wrap of denial, a whole enviro-coat of it, complete with boots, gloves, filter mask, and goggles. A thick downy comforter of it. It would be so much easier, just to sleep ourselves into whatever comes after.
--Yam, you can tell Dad now.
--What?
--Dad's wist is with us. It forms the hull and superstructure.
--What?
--Mom's wist, and her wish, too, make up our life support.
--What?
--Uncle Irony's is the nav system.
Yammet doesn't have a what left.
We go on. I know that ahead there is a shore, and we must make it to the shore. Others will, too.
After a long yearning, Yam starts whispering.
--We're not going back, are we?
--There is no back, Brother.
--They... Mom, Dad, Aunt Illy, Uncle Iro, they...
--Gave it all. Yes. Kept back nothing, not even enough to perish. This is all of them, here, this vessel.
--Why?
--So we could launch.
--But... but the Naut Project--that was Dad's life work. That's what would save us. That was his plan.
--Yes. Until the Lassaya-Schroedinger data came back.
--Wait! That was just....
We voyage for at least a swan song and a hearth tale before Yam speaks again.
--Bodies... can't pass the L-S field.
--You're right, Yammet.
--But we passed.
--Yes.
--So we aren't... we are...
--Yes.
I don't know the position of the shore, or how fast we're moving. But there is no back. It's all one direction, and it's forward.
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

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