Monday, August 8, 2011

The Life and Times of Herman Jackson, Issue 3

Herman and his father sat and absorbed the scenery of the blue planet for more than an hour. They watched it’s slow rotation and marveled at the cloud patterns dotting the landscapes. No matter how much time passed, Herman’s father, George, was still amazed at this world. Invisible strings attatched to his heart pulled him back to the place he was raised.

“Herman,” George said to his wide-eyed son, “traveling through Earth’s atmosphere is a…unique experience. The combinations of things that allow humans to live on this planet make entry and exit a bit uncomfortable.”
Herman swallowed hard. He had heard about failed entries into this atmosphere in school. The boy knew his father would protect him, but that did only a little to assuage his fears. With a deep breath Herman grabbed his father’s hand and said, “I’m ready, dad.”

George, beaming proudly at how brave his son was, pressed a few buttons on his arm computer and their jetpacks ignited and began propelling them towards the home of the human race. He gripped his little boy’s hand tightly knowing that in just a few years, the opportunity to hold his son’s hand would be gone.

Herman was all George Jackson had and the reverse was true. Herman’s mother died from cancer three summers ago and left the father and son alone. Before that, George had always put his adventuring career first and his family second. When his wife, Shelly, was diagnosed, things changed in a hurry. Suddenly, George began to realize the responsibilities he had been neglecting to further science and exploration. His priorities immediately shifted and husband and father were infinitely more important to him than Space Explorer. Shelly was terminal when she was diagnosed, but she made it long enough to see the shift in the man she loved and new that her baby boy would be well taken care of. Safe in the knowledge that her husband would have everything under control, she let go and the illness took over.

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