Authors: Alton Gansky
Tags: #ebook, #book
ALSO BY ALTON GANSKY
The Madison Glenn Series
1 / The Incumbent
2 / Before Another Dies
3 / Director's Cut
J. D. Stanton Mysteries
1 / A Ship Possessed
2 / Vanished
3 / Out of Time
Copyright Â© 2007 by Alton Gansky
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ePub Edition January 2009 ISBN: 978-0-310-54383-1
Requests for information should be addressed to:
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Zero-G / Alton Gansky.
1. Astronauts â Fiction. I. Title.
813'.54 â dc22
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the
Holy Bible: New
. Copyright Â© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means â electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other â except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.
07 08 09 10 11 12
23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
TO JIM AND BONNIE HARRIS
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk
the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you
have been, and there you will always long to return.
Leonardo da Vinci, 1452 â 1519
Without thinking, as we paused at one of the three-
exhibits, I asked Dad the question I
always asked: “What's it like, out in space?” Mother
shot me a frightened glance. It was too late. Dad stood
there for a full half minute trying to find an answer,
then he shrugged. “It's the best thing in a lifetime of
The Rocket Man
by Ray Bradbury
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
Psalm 139:7 â 8
addy. A story. Please. Then I'll go right to sleep.” “I suppose you want a space story. Maybe something with space pirates.”
His five-year-old son lay on the bed in his room, sheets and a cobalt blue comforter with cartoon images of Saturn, Earth, and distant stars pulled under his chin, all held in place by small hands. Benjamin Tucker could see only his son's head and the dancing eyes that always warmed him.
“No, Daddy. This time I want a castle story.”
“What? A castle story? No spaceships? No ray guns?”
“No. A castle. And a knight. Swords are okay.”
“Is it okay if the swords shoot death rays?”
“No, Daddy. Don't be silly. Swords don't shoot death rays.”
Tuck sat on the edge of the bed and tousled little Gary's hair. “Okay. If you insist.”
Tuck's greatest fear was forgetting moments like these. A father and his little boy . . .
But . . . something didn't fit. Gary wasn't five anymore; he was eleven. Had a birthday just last month.
The warmth he felt a moment before chilled. The room began to recede. . . .
“Waaaaait a minute, wait just one minute. What happened here?”
Tuck sat at the dining room table, a thick manual open in front of him. Outside, a Carolina wren chanted its two-syllable prayer in the front yard's mulberry tree. A humid breeze pressed through the screened windows.
“Mom helped me do it. She said it was okay.”
Tuck gazed at his eleven-year-old daughter, her brown hair now bleach-bottle blonde. “Are you wearing makeup?”
Penny lowered her head. “A little. Mom helped me with that too.”
He planned to let his little girl, whom he wanted to remain little forever, squirm in his silence. Five seconds later, he caved. “You look gorgeous, young lady.”
“Thank you, Daddy.” She ran to him and climbed on his lap. Everything was right with the world.
He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her tight to his chest. He could feel her thin arms and narrow shoulders. “But no wearing makeup outside. Not yet, anyway.”
“But, Daddy . . .”
“No, you don't. You're not going to âbut Daddy' me into changing my mind. You go out like that and boys will be following you home like lost puppies. I'm not ready for that. Neither are you.”
“I'm not a little girl, Daddy.” Despite her protest, she kept her arms around him.
“Of course you are. And when you grow up and get really old, say thirty-six or so, and you're all wrinkled like a prune, and everyone in the world calls you âma'am' and âold lady Penny,' you'll still be my little girl.”
“Now and forever, my little girl.”
Penny dissolved into nothing.