Through the Ancient Fields of Gravity
by Jeff Baker
“Uncle Chris! Uncle Chris!” the three little girls shrilled running up as Chris stepped out of the cab of the truck.
“Yeah! Heyyyy! Who are you?” Chris said with a grin.
“Oh, yeah! I remember now!” Christopher Four Sandhall said, picking all three of them up in his arms as they squealed and laughed. He could see his sister and brother-in-law sitting on the shaded porch of the house that dated back almost a hundred forty years, back to the 1960s. It had survived because Hugoton, Kansas was way out of the way.
“Hey, you guys want these?” Chris called out.
“Nope. You keep ‘em!” Chris’ sister said with a laugh. Her husband nodded his head and tended to the grill.
“Okay,” he said turning around and heading back to the truck to the delighted squeals of the girls. He plopped down in the yard and the four of them wrestled. Three pre-schoolers against a 24 year old. Chris was outclassed. After a few minutes they lay back on the grass and Chris caught his breath. He stared up at the sky. So blue. He loved it here.
“You get married Uncle Chris?” Ruby asked.
“Not yet,” he said. “They don’t assign marriages to inter-star truckers,” he said. Too long an explanation for a five-year-old? He smiled to himself. He could wait. He might petition to find a girl or guy himself. He was lucky enough to be versatile. He couldn’t possibly be as lucky as his sister, falling in love at first sight to the guy she’d been tentatively paired with during the assignment. But that could wait.
Tina jumped on his stomach.
“OOOF! Careful!” Chris said.
“Fly, Uncle Chris! Ruby said.
“Yes! Fly! Fly! Fly!” the girls chorused.
“What do you mean, fly?” Chris said, his face a half-shaved mask of innocence.
“The ancient fields of gravity,” Tina said.
Chris stared. His Electromagnetic Physics Professor had used that term; he’d quoted it when he was here before the youngest of the three girls was born. Tina was the oldest, but he couldn’t imagine her actually remembering.
“You know, you’re scary smart,” Chris said, flicking his finger on Tina’s nose. “Okay. We fly.”
The girls squealed. Chris walked over to the back of the truck and opened the back. He glanced in to the big box where the gravity field held his load, only now it was empty. Adjust the settings and the girls could play around safely in the field.
“Up you go,” he said helping them inside as they yelled with excitement. In another moment the girls were soaring excitedly around the inside, safe in the gravity field.
Chris glanced up at the sky. For now, this part of the Universe was calm. Hopefully it would stay that way and he’d only be hauling produce and supplies to colonies, not munitions. Not bodies.
Chris waved at his sister as the three kids swirled around in the field, happy in a world of their own. Soaring beyond time to see Peter Pan.