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by Jeff Fuell
Category: Science Fiction
Description: When Brian Bradford meets the Devil and God in the same week, it's just the beginning of a transformation for him and his teenage daughter.
eBook Publisher: SynergEbooks, 2009 SynergEbooks
eBookwise Release Date: November 2009
5 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [309 KB]
Reading time: 201-281 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
Brian opened his eyes as soon as his alarm went off and, surprisingly, felt wide awake, as if had just had the best night's sleep of his life. Wendy had showed him last night, when she was not busy playing on the computer, how to set his alarm so that instead of a loud, unwelcome siren of a rage announcing a new day, it would play the radio instead. Today, instead of the usual blaring beeping, he was greeted with an old song by Madonna. Brian thought that it was really not much better than the alarm, but it was progress in the right direction. Mindy had been a huge Madonna fan but, as hard as he had tried, he just did not get it. In his opinion, the best female musical artist to come out of the 80's was Lita Ford. Not only was she a woman who could play some bone crunching rock, she was also easy on the eyes.
As he got out of bed, he could already hear Wendy up and moving around and soon heard her shower running. He retreated to his own bathroom and got cleaned up and was soon in the kitchen preparing a nice breakfast. Today, there would be no starting the day off with Pop-Tarts or just a piece of toast. Wendy had been feeling better lately and he wanted to make sure that it stayed that way.
As he was preparing some eggs and some coffee for himself, he could hear that the water in Wendy's bathroom was no longer running and her new blow-dryer was now going full force. After her morning primping appeared to be over, he heard her radio come on and he was pleasantly surprised to hear that it sounded like the station that he listened to because an old song by Survivor was now on and he enjoyed hearing them singing about them not being able to hold back.
Brian immediately stopped what he was doing and looked in the direction that her room was in. It may have been his imagination, but he thought that he had heard her scream for him.
"Oh, my God." Immediately, he turned off the oven and ran to her room, pushing open the door in his haste.
"Dadeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Help me!"
"Oh, my God," he repeated he stood there with a blank face looking at something that could only be impossible.
His daughter was pinned to the ceiling, her back against it as she was reaching out to him, a terrified look on her face.
"Daddeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Help me!" she screamed hysterically.
Brian immediately ran up to her and grabbed her hands. "Grab my hands, honey," he said as he tried to pull her down.
She frantically reached for him and Brian pulled her towards him. He noticed that there seemed to be some kind of mild resistance as he pulled at her, as if she were a helium-filled balloon that wanted to escape and float back up into the sky. Even as he was clutching at her, she was coming down at a horizontal angle, as if her feet were refusing to touch the ground.
"Daddy, what's happening?" she cried.
"I don't know, sweetheart!" Frantically, he grabbed a belt loop on her pants and pulled the lower half of her body to the ground. When her feet were finally on the floor, he held onto each of her shoulders so that he was pressing her down so that if she started to ... float up again, he would be able to stop her.
They looked at each other wide-eyed, Wendy holding onto his arms not wanting to let go.
"Daddy, what was that?" she said in a terror-stricken voice.
"I don't know," he said slowly. "Is this ... is this the first time that this has happened?"
"I was floating!"
"I mean before that, what happened?"
"Well, I had just finished getting dressed and then I suddenly started feeling ... light. I don't mean light-headed and weak like I've been feeling, just ... light."
"Okayyyy. Except for the ... floating thing, how do you feel right now?"
"Fine. I feel fine. Daddy, what's happening to me?" she said, almost crying.
"I don't know, sweetheart."
"Am I a mutant?"
"A mutant, like in the comic books. William collects comics and there all of these people who have weird powers like being able to fly and walk through walls and things like that. He said that they are called mutants."
"Honey, there are no such things as mutants, that's just in the comic books."
"Then, what's happening to me?"
"I'm not sure," Brian said as he tentatively lifted his hands from Wendy's shoulders and, when she was apparently staying on the ground, walked back and looked at her up and down. "Okay, whatever it was, it seems to be over."
"How do I know it's not going to happen again?"
"I'm not sure, but I do know that you are not going to school today. You're staying home so we can find out what's going on."
"Daddy, I have to go to school!"
"Not today you don't."
"Daddy, I have to! I have to make up my test. This is the only chance I have!"
"Wendy, this is a lot more important than a test."
"If I don't take the test, I'll get a failing grade and it will ruin my whole grade point average!"
"Daddy, I have to!"
"Wendy, are you listening to yourself? You were just floating around your room and now you want to just forget about it and go to school and take a test?"
"Daddy, I'm not forgetting about it, but I have to go!" she pleaded.
"No. You can make it up later. If there's any trouble about it, the teacher can talk to me. We have to figure out what's happening. In fact, I'm going to go call your school right now and tell them that you won't be in today," he said as he turned around and marched to the kitchen.
"Daddy! Noooooooo..." she wailed as she followed him.
When he was in the kitchen, he picked up the telephone and dialed the number to Wendy's school.
The phone rang a few times and it was soon picked up.
"Hello?" an older female voice said.
"Hello, this is Brian Bradford, Wendy Bradford's father. I'm calling to say that she is ... not feeling well right now and will not be..."
As he was talking, he noticed that Wendy was starting to float up again. She had a shocked look on her face as she looked down at herself and immediately reached for the kitchen counter with both hands but missed it. Brian leaped forward and grabbed her ankle and stopped her ascent.
"Yes, sir. You were saying that Wendy is not feeling well?"
"Uh, yes," he said frantically as he was trying to talk on the phone and pull his daughter back down to earth at the same time.
"Daddy?" Wendy said worriedly.
"It's okay, sweetheart. I've got you."
"Sir? Are you there?"
"Yes, I'm here. Sorry. I'm ... trying to do two things at once. Sorry."
"Our records show that she was absent last week," she said with suspicion. "Can you tell me what's wrong with her?"
"Uh, well ... she's ... floating," Brian said quizzically with a perplexed look on his face as he stared up at his daughter.
"I'm sorry. I mean she's feeling ... light ... headed. Light-headed. Look, she doesn't feel well, okay?" he snapped.
"Sir, there's no need to take a tone with me," the woman sniffed.
Brian sighed. "Look, I'm sorry. It's just--I need to take care of her! She's not feeling well."
"Very well, sir. I'll make a note of another absence," she said in a bored tone that smacked of disapproval and Brian immediately wished he was standing in front of this woman so he could strangle her. In his writers mind, he could easily picture her--an older, skeletal woman dressed in an outfit that was at least twenty years out of fashion, her hair in a bun, standing ramrod straight as though she were at attention and more than likely she was single because no man on earth would be able to take this unappealing presence for more than a few microseconds.
"Thank you," he said as he clicked off the phone. He was so infuriated with the woman's unspoken accusation that he was helping his daughter skip school that when he turned around to put the phone down, he forgot what he had been doing and accidentally let go of Wendy's ankle and she immediately started floating upwards.
"Oh my God!" he exclaimed. He reached out but missed her at the last second as she floated up to the ceiling, her arms flailing away as she tried to stop herself. Wendy was soon braced against the high, arched ceiling of the living room and holding onto a beam. She was now so far out of reach that Brian would more than likely have to go to the garage and get the ladder if he couldn't get her down some other way.
"It's okay, sweetheart. Just ... be calm," Brian said weakly looking up at her.
"How am I going to get down? What if I fall?"
"Okay, honey, here's what I want you to do. I want you to relax and ... think yourself back to the ground. Think that you're heavy."
"You want me to imagine that I'm fat?" she exclaimed as she looked at him astounded.
"No, honey. I don't want you to pretend that you're fat," he said despairingly and, despite the situation, he could not help but be amused at the fact that even though she was braced against the ceiling and could fall at any moment, she was even more horrified about the very thought of being fat. "I just want you to imagine that you are heavy. That more than anything you want to be on the ground. Can you do that for me?"
"I guess," she said hesitantly as she closed her eyes. Brian looked up at her in anticipation, ready to catch her or brace her fall if she fell. She opened her eyes a few moments later and looked down at him. "It's not working."
"Keep trying, sweetheart. You can do it."
She closed her eyes again and, even from where he was standing, Brian could tell that she was doing her best to relax her entire body. A few seconds later, she started to float slowly back to the ground and she opened her eyes in surprise.
"Daddy! I'm doing it! It's working!"
"Good, honey. Don't let up. Just keep doing what you're doing."
She was soon on the ground and Brian quickly grabbed her before she could float off again. She looked down at herself and then back up at Brian.
"How did you know how to do that?" she said looking questioningly at him.
"I ... I don't know," he said thoughtfully. "It just seemed ... natural."
"Let's see if I can do it again!" she said excitedly.
"Daddy, you're holding onto me right now. If I start to drift away to the ceiling again, you can hold onto me."
"Wendy, this isn't a game. We don't know what's happening to you."
"You're right. It isn't a game. If it happens again, I need to be sure I can stop myself in case you're not around."
Brian thought about it for a moment and, as much as he hated to admit it, she was right. He had no clue as to what was happening but, if it wasn't something that could be stopped or reversed, as terrifying as that sounded, she needed to be able to handle it and this seemed the best time to learn how to do so. He suddenly had a horrifying thought of her floating up into the open sky, not being able to stop herself, winding up in orbit, even though such a thing was ridiculous.
"Okay," he said slowly as he took his hands from her and let her go.
She stayed in place and then she closed her eyes and a few seconds later, began to drift upwards. Brian was about to reach out to her again when she suddenly seemed to stop herself. Wendy opened her eyes and looked down at the few feet she had attained and then at her father.
"I'm doing it!" she said happily.
"Apparently," Brian said skeptically as he looked at the empty space between the floor and her shoes.
"Let's see what else I can do."
"Honey..." he complained.
"Daddy," she said, imitating his tone. She began to drift to her left and then to her right with her arms stretched to either side as though she were trying to balance herself on a tightrope. She then began to drift slowly upwards.
"Its okay, Daddy. I'm thinking myself to do it. You were right. All I have to do is think what I want to do and it happens," she said as she stopped herself and then floated back down until her feet were on the floor again. "That was fun!"
"Fun? Maybe for you. For me it was trying to fight off a heart attack."
"Oh, Daddy! You're not going to have a heart attack. You're too young. Heart attacks only happen to old people who eat too much red meat."
"Thank you for that information. Do you feel alright? Do you have headache or anything?" he said as he felt her forehead.
"No, I feel fine. I feel great!" she exclaimed.
"Well, I guess that's nice," he said in a deadpan voice. "You're feeling great but you might float away at any moment."
"Daddy, you're funny."
"I glad you're finding this so amusing because I'm worried sick."
Suddenly, Wendy's eyes lit up.
"Daddy, I just thought of something!"
"I can be the world's first flying model!"
"Oh, honey," he moaned.
"I'm serious, Daddy. There are models everywhere but none of them can fly! I'll be the most famous model in the world!"
"Can we come back down to Earth please and be serious?"
"I am serious. I'm thinking about my future. I thought you would be proud of me."
"I am proud of you. I'll be even more proud of you if you're feet keep touching the ground where they belong."
Wendy looked down at her watch and her eyes opened in surprise.
"Look at the time! I have to get to school!"
"Honey, I thought we discussed that."
"We did. We decided that I have to go to school."
"I don't recall anything of the sort."
"Daddy, I'm not going to float away."
"We don't know that."
"Yes, we do. You taught me how to control it. Nothing's going to happen."
"Daddy, you want me to stay on the A-B Honor Roll, don't you? You don't want my grades to go down the drain, do you? You want me to be able to go to a college of my choice, don't you?"
Brian stared at his daughter with his mouth open, an adult in a teenager's body.
"Besides, if I keep my grades up, I might get a scholarship and it won't empty your bank account when I go off to school like you and Mommy were always worried about. You know how expensive college is. Have you heard those stories about people being up to a hundred thousand dollars in debt by the time they graduate and they have to spend the rest of their lives trying to pay it off? It's true, Daddy. You don't want me to start my life already stressed out, do you?"
Brian was struggling inside trying to cope with this new situation. He knew that the smart thing to do was to keep her at home and try to figure out what was going on, but with every word that she was saying, he was having more and more of a hard time coming up with an argument for. If she kept talking any more, she could very well guilt him into an early grave. He was already feeling sorry for her future husband.
"You know," he said as he regarded her as she was looking up at him with a pleading face, "it would be very nice to have a normal teenage daughter for once. What an original concept that would be."
"So, I'm going to school?"
"Yes, you are going to school," he sighed in defeat.
"Thank you, Daddy," she smiled in triumph.