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Stronger Forces

George is a television producer by day and writer by night. He is the husband to a wonderful wife and father to a beautiful daughter, who inspired your daily dose of science fiction today. This is his first publication. Reach out with any thoughts or comments on Twitter @georgerhea.
Her first scream of pain and fear was the best sound I had ever heard. Every scream since has filled me with despair. It's amazing what a daughter can do to even the strongest and toughest of men.
10... 9... 8....
It's hard to explain the change you go through; it's instant but grows over time. It's new, but you find you had the capacity for it all along. It's like being on a continuous roller coaster and having no control or idea what lies ahead on the tracks.
When the doctor told us about her condition, it was the oddest sensation I have ever felt. I was terrified and utterly helpless, nothing could have prepared me. The weight of her world was on my shoulders, my little girl was so fragile and I had to protect her. If I had felt this way just a few years ago, it would have paralyzed me, but fatherhood kept me moving. A newfound strength came from the look my sweet girl gave me. It gave me hope and made my priorities clear. I could never let my insecurities and doubts let her down.
7... 6... 5....
Life from that moment was never easy. She made it worth it. Despite her struggles and growing complications, she always set the tempo for the family, keeping us all from letting the future steal the joy of the present. She is the most curious person I know, constantly asking questions. Somehow I find the patience to endure every last one of them. She started with the dinosaurs, then was fascinated with the weather, and now the stars bewitch her... perfect timing.
4... 3... 2....
Before she came into my life, you would never have found me here, sitting on the launchpad. The only thing I have found more terrifying than sitting in this death trap is my destination... but when the doctors told us the low gravity environment was her best shot at living a full and healthy life... my dread floated away as if it had already left the earth behind. Looking to the seat next to me, I see nothing but wonder and possibility in her eyes. Gravity cannot keep me tethered to my fears; I've found a force that can defy it.
1... 0... We have liftoff!
The End
This story was first published on Sunday, September 5th, 2021
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