UBC Day 2: Vacation to the Stars

I’m still not great at staying on the targeted prompt, but I wanted to try this one out with a different twist.

One of the reasons why I wanted to do this is because I keep seeing shows and movies coming out that talk a lot about the trauma that black people experience, and not about the fanciful or a hopeful look toward the future. Where are movies about us getting to ride dragons? Fight with swords and sorcery? So I wanted to try something a little different. I did not stop writing or pre-plan, I just had a vague idea of what I’d like to try in this prompt. I still want to delete these posts before anyone sees them, but I’m trying my own kind of radical vulnerability.

So far, I have been using this site for my list of prompts. I only edited for spelling. So, without further ado, here we go.

Picture yourself on a foreign vacation with a person of your choosing. What do you do?

“I can’t believe you brought me here. We could have gone to England. Australia. South America. But you? You bring your ol’ Granddaddy right out of the whole atmosphere.”

I smiled as I looked at the tall man with his booming voice. My grandfather, Joshua Paxton. Everyone called him J. P. Ever since he was a young man working hard on the ships for NASA. He’d met my grandmother there, both excited about working there way up from working on ships to being able to fly them.

I grinned and took his hand in my own, squeezing it warmly in mine. The sun beat down on both of us, highlighting the gray in his black hair and his dark brown skin. His hands were callused with age and the hard work that so many had known him for.

“Of course I’m taking you out of the stratosphere, Granddaddy.” I said as we strolled down the streets of one of this planet’s largest cities.

After waving down a food stand that rolled toward us, we settled on frozen purple fruit on a stick. It was surrounded with a layer of blue ice cream and topped what resembled a cherry on Earth.

I’d taken after my grandfather with my need to see all that there was to see on Earth and beyond. I worked hard as he and Big Mama had done, leaving a legacy for their family. They had seven children, eighteen grandchildren, and even some great grands all scattered in different parts of the world. With Earth’s politics becoming utterly intolerable, it wasn’t a place that I liked to be around as much. Granddaddy had stayed, though, tending to what he called ‘personal things’, but I always thought that he simply had trouble leaving it behind. He and Big Mama worked to raise their children and create something wonderful, and when they both retired, they wanted to keep their feet planted firmly on Earth’s soil.

But with Earth slowly shifting in to a state of turmoil which could not be salvaged, it was time for me to take things in to my own hands.

This was his last morning on Chiali Prime with me and I felt both sadness and worry about his imminent return to Earth.

Taking a bite of the ice cream on what I was utterly delighted to realize was an edible stick of rich chocolate, I led him to the green sands of the beach. We stood in silence, simply listening to the many people walking along the boardwalk, hover boards making a soft whirring sound through the air, and feeling the warm breeze brush against our faces.

Taking a breath, I broached the subject that I’d been avoiding. “Before you say anything, before you even interrupt and not let me finish, let me just say how much I’ve enjoyed having you. When Big mama said that you could clear out a bar, I thought she was exaggerating. I can’t believe you just used your voice to not only stop the fight, but to also make people apologize to each other.”

“You know, my Lillian always could make me smile. You think my voice was bad, you should have heard her. Had a voice between a school teacher and a drill sergeant.”

I laughed softly and nodded. “Well, I’ve enjoyed having you here. And I wish you’d consider staying. And listen to why, please?” I asked, reaching a hand back to push my braids away from my face.
“I’m listening.”

“I don’t want to live in this townhouse all alone. It’s a duplex. You could be right next door. Have your own space to do some tinkering like you used to. And I could bring you the clippings of plants that I find and catalogue. I don’t think there’s much of anything left for us back on Earth. Not for those who look like we do. Not with everything that is happening right now.”

He regarded me with a mixture of exasperation and pride. “You really want some old man living next door, bothering you, probably yelling at whatever woman you bring home as a date?”

I smirked and nodded. “I mean, who’s to say that you might not bring home a woman of your own?” I teased with a grin. “I just…it’d be really nice to have you here, Granddaddy. I worry about you. About our family. And you’re the last one of us left.”

I took another bite of fruit before adding, “And besides, I know a group who could use someone willing to consult with them about space ships, the proper building of them, and who knows what it takes to be an astronaut. Maybe someone to work with the younger ones to help them get acclimated. You’re patient. And you’re needed. Now that Big Mama is gone? I think we could use you here. Please consider it, Granddaddy.”

He nodded and said with a wistful smile, “Someone’s got to be here to keep you out of trouble, gal. May as well be me.”

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