The first man to return from beyond the Great Frontier may be welcomed ... but will it be as a curiosity, rather than as a hero...?
said, "Henry dear--" He didn't answer. She began to cry, and he was glad she left the house then. He had never said anything really bad to his mother. He was afraid this would have been the time. Joe merely cleared his throat and mumbled something about getting together again soon and "drop out and see the new development" and he, too, was gone. Lucille never did manage to speak to him.
He finished his beef and waited. Soon Edith came in with the special dessert she'd been preparing half the day--a magnificent English trifle. She served him, and spooned out a portion for herself and Ralphie. She hesitated near his chair, and when he made no comment she called the boy. Then the three of them were sitting, facing the empty side of the table. They ate the trifle. Ralphie finished first and got up and said, "Hey, I promised--"
"You promised the boys you'd play baseball or football or handball or something; anything to get away from your father."
Ralphie's head dropped and he muttered, "Aw, no
Hank flew on the disastrous mission to Mars--that was his first accomplishment, but he was the first one back from his second adventure, and nobody knew exactly how to treat him. Maybe someday they'd look him in the eye.
A nice little mystery about a lonely man that has hints sprinkled along the way. It kept my interest.
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2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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