by Joseph Sidari
The three-year-old girl tumbled down the stairs, her blonde-haired doll flying from her pudgy grip in one direction while she flip-flopped in another. Her father may have appeared helpless at the bottom of the stairs, but he was not. A trained Jedi Master, he focused his mind on her flailing body, slowing it down, controlling her descent. She paused in midair, and then glided safely to rest on the bottom step. The only cry that escaped her throat that day was for her misplaced Barbie.
He rubs his chin stubble and shakes his head. He highlights the text, punches 'delete,' and attacks the keyboard again.
Many lunar homesteaders choose the Augmented Earth Gravity feature for their lunar cabin, to make things feel more like home. Luckily, they planned to be living on the cheap and had opted out. "Of course not," the realtor had said, when he realized the upsell, and an increase in his commission, was not going to happen. "Why live on the moon if you can't enjoy the bounce and jounce of the one-sixth gravity." That budget conscious decision turned out to be a true blessing a week later. The doctors said a fall from the top of the stairs in full gravity could have been...
He backspaces to remove the text, drops his laptop onto her bed, and stands to leave. His fingers drag along the Disney Princess bedding covering her child-sized mattress. His legs give out and he collapses onto the bed. He grabs the Scotch from her nightstand and brings it to his lips. Savoring the burn, he reopens his laptop and types:
The King of the Eagles was out hunting that day. He heard the girl cry, and streaked for the open window. Sun glinting from his golden beak, his wings spread wide, he swooped through the open window and gingerly grasped the little girl with his talons just...
He drains the amber liquid from the glass and hits 'delete' again. Blinking his vision clear, he types again:
Thankfully it was a slow day on the fairy godfather circuit. He was watching over half a dozen children at the time when 'the accident' was destined to happen. The little girl toddled to the edge of the open staircase, but right before she overbalanced and fell, he flicked his wand, and magically refastened the gate at the top of...
He slams the cover on his laptop and rears back to hurl it against the wall.