Author : JT Gill
Dad shuffled around the kitchen in his bathrobe slamming cabinet doors so hard they bounced back open. His muttering was punctuated with little crescendos each time something banged closed.
The roar of the shuttle could be heard from outside, though greatly muffled. Still, this only added to his garish business of making pancakes. I stood in the doorway, watching.
“You’ve known you can’t stay here forever,” I said.
“Why not?” He shouted over his shoulder, mixing a bowl of batter vigorously. Little flecks spewed everywhere. “You can’t make me move.”
I through my hands up in exasperation. “Dad, we’re done here. It’s time to go. Besides, Mom would have wanted you to move.”
He stopped whisking and turned to face me. Dots of batter had spumed into his eyebrows.
“How would you know what she would have wanted?” He hissed. The bowl and whisk were still in his hands.
“I knew Mom a lot more than you think I did.”
“You left us, James,” he shouted again. “Left us here alone while you made a name for yourself out in ‘the real world.’” He jabbed at me with the whisk, dripping globs onto the kitchen floor.
“No. You wanted what you wanted to do. You didn’t care about us. That’s it. And you did it, congratulations, you did. The earth is round, and it can’t support us anymore. I know. My genius scientist son proved that to us all at least.” He spread his arms wide and waved them around. “Too bad he wasn’t even here when his own mother died.”
“You know that wasn’t my fault,” I yelled. “You know I was stuck up there. Dad, I was overseeing the facility that you will be living on.”
“The moon mansion,” he scoffed. “You’re crazy if you think I’m going up there.”
He began to stir what was left in the bowl, turning his back on me. There was a nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach. I snuck two fingers into my pocket, pinching the pen-like object pressed against my thigh.
“You’re wrong, by the way,” he said, pausing. “She would have wanted me to stay.”
“No,” I said, walking up behind him. “She wouldn’t have.”
I pulled the syringe all the way out and jammed it into the base of his neck. The bowl of batter fell from his hands with a dull, metallic donk and rattled quiet as he struggled, but the sedative was fast-acting. After two jerks, he slumped against me like a limp noodle.
Gently, I eased him to the floor.
I whispered in his ear, rubbing his shoulder. “It’s all right, Dad. We’re going to live up there together.”
I stood, tossed the syringe in the sink and walked back outside.
Outside, the gusts from the shuttle whipped my hair straight back as I stepped onto the front porch. Two men in uniform stood at the base of the stairs. I slid a pair of sunglasses on.
“He’s in the kitchen,” I shouted over the roar of the engines. “Bring him out and we’ll be on our way.”
They jogged past me into the house.
“And be gentle,” I called after them.
I pushed my way through the squalls from the shuttle out onto the lawn. The grass whipped back and forth.
I looked up. Though it was a sunny day, the faint circle of an outline could be seen against the pale blue sky up above.
It almost looked like a pancake, I thought, ready to eat.