A Dark Planetarium by Scott William Carter

By Scott William Carter

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He pursed his lips, then shook his head. "I could lose my job, sir. Look, the stuff is broken. " "That's all right," Jack said. " Jack swallowed. He hated how the events of his life had conspired to bring him to this point, when he had to share the intimate details of his own pain with this stupid kid who had probably never suffered, who had never known loss or pain, who could not possibly understand why it was so important that Jack take his son inside. " he asked the clerk. "Robert," the kid said, sighing.

The boy squirmed in his seat, his pants rustling against the vinyl. " "I know. " "What do you see, Daddy? " Jack peered up into the darkness. If he strained, he could almost make out the stars. He believed he could see them. It had been a long time since his college astronomy, but he thought he could make out some of the constellations. There was Cassiopeia. On the left was Andromeda. Down below, Sagittarius. He remembered some stories about the constellations. He could talk about these stories.

Jack swallowed. He hated how the events of his life had conspired to bring him to this point, when he had to share the intimate details of his own pain with this stupid kid who had probably never suffered, who had never known loss or pain, who could not possibly understand why it was so important that Jack take his son inside. " he asked the clerk. "Robert," the kid said, sighing. " Jack shook his head. "Robert, my son has an inoperable brain tumor. " He wondered at first if the clerk would think it was a bluff, but either the thought had never crossed the kid's mind or there was no denying the conviction in Jack's voice.

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