Saturday, April 2, 2016

Teddy Bear In Space Part one

Yeah, as the title implies this one is about a Teddy Bear.

I wrote it some five to eight years ago to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Teddy Bear. I just dusted it off and revised it some and it will be in two parts. This segment is 2,300 words. It gave me a chance to practice some of what I have learned about keeping the reader deep in the story. Still working on that. I hope my books show I am learning that. 

Maybe I could say. I had one and yes I have no memory of what happened to it. According to my memory I had it then I didn't. But  a lot of us know this special friend.

Teddy Bear In Space

By L. E. Doggett

This story was originally written for the 100th anniversary of the Teddy Bear.

It felt good to be hugged, even though she squeezed me a little hard. I didn't mind; for the warmth of the body pressed against mine was fulfilling and it has been a while since I had been squeezed like that. I had been made for all kinds of hugs, and my body had been designed to be squeezed even harder.
While I enjoyed the touch of her body, part of me was sad. She was growing up, and would not need me very much longer. She had hugged me so many times my body fur had smooth spots, even as tough as I was. I had comforted her, and I had kept her from being scared of the dark, as she slept. I don't need sleep, so I could always be there if she woke up from a bad dream. I could still feel the wet spots were she had cried streams of tears on me. I didn't mind the tears, the hard squeezes, or even worse abuse, because it was my job to comfort her. It would all end soon though And that I did mind.

Eleven year old Brittany sat on her bed and hugged her teddy bear. The room the bed was in had light yellow paint on the walls, with a standard single bed and a small yellow dresser. There were posters of various cartoon characters on the wall, including a mouse wearing red overalls. There were two posters that still shone with the brightness of being new. One of a popular pop singer on stage, the other showed a teen male movie star riding a horse among a group of riderless horses.
She sniffed, smelled the fake fur and sweat soaked of the teddy bear. At times the odor was so strong this close, that she thought she could taste it.
Brittany glanced around: the dresser had two music boxes on it as well as a flat mirror standing above it. There was a set of book shelves in one corner with favorite childhood books, including Dr Seuss and books about her favorite animated movies. There was a world map book and newer youth oriented adventure novels. In a new spot was two sports books, both looking well read. One dealt with how to play better soccer, and the other was how to improve her softball game.
She spoke, "I'm sorry for not hugging you more, but I have been busy with school and sports and my friends..."
Just then her dad walked in to her bedroom, he looked at the girl marveling at the ruddy glint of her shoulder length hair as well as her large eyes, so very much like her mother's. He thought that even though tall she was still a little chubby, but that would change with her new sport activities. The bear she was holding was mostly black with a large white stripe down its back and front - he remembered how he had kidded her, when she first had gotten the bear, by saying that she should call him "Skunk”. She had refused. He watched her hug the teddy whose fur had a tendency to blend in with her dark skin and thought that even though she was growing fast she obviously was still his little girl in so many ways. He thought, for the thousandth time, that her dark skin was as attractive on her as it was on her mother, whom she had obviously gotten it from. As he looked at her, he was again reminded that she would not only be outgrowing her mother, but him also.
He spoke, "We’ve gotten approval to take you on our business trip.”
She looked up suddenly, in surprise, put down her teddy bear and jumped up. She smiled and clapped her hands twice.
"Goody, I didn't want to stay here while you, and mother were gone for months.”
"We don't want to be separated from you for that long, either,” he said with a smile, "But you will have to pack carefully: you will have only so much weight you can take and only so much room. Your cabin on board the space ship will be smaller then your bedroom. You won't be able to take your dresser and even though the trip may take a year, you can take only some books, half of your clothes and a couple of your posters.”
"But I need to take Teddy.”
"I thought you would say that. Since we can take only so much weight, something else will have to stay.”
She glanced at her dresser, ran her hand over the smooth faded paint, and said, "Maybe I can leave one of my music boxes.”
"You may not be able to take both anyway.”
"I wish I could take my dresser, I like it.”
"There would not be enough room in your cabin for the dresser, a bed and you. You won't need it anyway since as I said you can only take half of your clothes.”
"I understand, Daddy, I was just wishing.”
"I wish, I could take some more stuff too, but at least I can take my favorite thing.”
She looked up, smiled and asked, "Me?”
"Yes, you're my favorite thing in the whole world.”
"You've said that my whole life.”
"It's been true your whole life. Now though I need to go
make more arraignments. You have two weeks to decide what to take, and what stays behind to wait for you.”
After a quick hug he left the room. She went back to hugging her teddy bear.
She said, "I will take you even if I had to leave all my other possessions behind. I haven't spent time with you for days, but leaving you behind for over a year would be too long.”

"It feels good to be hugged again. I am glad she is taking me along. It wouldn't be enjoyable to just to sit on her bed, leaning against her pillows for that long. I have been doing that for the past few days. I was not designed to be a decoration, or a knick knack, and more importantly when she will need me wherever she's going.”

The two weeks past quickly-too quickly for at the end of
them, Brittany still hadn't completely decided on what stuff to take and what to leave. She had decided on some of her clothes and other possessions, but not all of them. She had to make the decision now, and she did, as she packed.
Two days later hers, and her parents’ suitcases where loaded onto a shuttle. On the way to the ship, she could smell the burnt fuel in the air. It wasn’t good, but it would be only for a few seconds, she thought.
A minute later, Brittany, holding Teddy, and her parents boarded, and found their seats. The seats were made of something almost like leather, very soft yet firm so when they would be pressed backwards into the seats by the huge acceleration later.
The passengers could carry small hand luggage which was secured, but they also could carry hand items, such as small purses, cameras-and teddy bears. The family had to wait a few minutes while every one else was seated and strapped in. In the cabin she could smell various colognes and perfumes, she thought about putting her nose in Teddy to help block the other odors. He would probably like that.
Once settled they are would have their choice of a snack: baked seaweed, Kale chips, sweet potato chips, crackers and cheese, a chocolate-granola bar. She thought her mom would choose for her but sometimes she allowed Brittany to decide.
Once all the passengers were secure, Brittany felt the vibrations which meant the pilot had started the engines. She looked out her window at the two beta-turbine engines, under the wing, on her side start to glow red. Her dad had explained that the beta-turbine engines were for take off and the first part of the flight, which would be much like the flight of a passenger jet. Two minutes after take off, after reaching the right height, the shuttle pilot would engage the big gravity-breaking engines. These three engines with their huge exhaust ports, sat in the rear of the craft.
As he dad helped her with her seat belt he asked, “Are you nervous Brittany?”
Brittany said, “A little. I know what the first part of the flight will be like since I’ve flown before, but this is the first time I’ve been off the earth.”
“I know how you feel,” her mother said, “I’m a little nervous too.”
“It will be like a regular flight, its just that we will go higher.”
“I know,” her mother and Brittany said at the same time.
Brittany still felt some nervousness, which was one reason she had insisted that she carry her teddy bear (a second, just as important reason was to make sure he didn’t get lost!). She knew she was going to be seated by a window which was ok with her. She wanted to look out as they broke into orbit, but she wanted her bear to hold onto in case she got scared. She had seen recordings of shuttles going into orbit but this would be real.
The take off and the flight into orbit went well. The first part was what she had experienced on regular flights; she didn’t even need to held Teddy for that part. However the sudden acceleration, as the big engines fired, was rougher then her dad had suggested. It felt like she was being pressed very hard for a few seconds. She hoped Teddy’s insides would stay there. Once done she was fine and enjoyed the rest of the trip.
Brittany tried to look out the window but it had darkened which made it hard to make out exactly when they crossed into space. At least though they had her favorite soda: she liked the fact that it had been “born” the same year she had been and that it had carbonated bits in it instead of the whole thing being carbonated.
Once in orbit, it took the shuttle almost half an hour to reach the ship they would be traveling on. The Starduster was a large tube shaped vessel, with blisters of various sizes along its sides. Some of the blisters were transparent and were either observation loungers, or restaurants. There was one bar, with a dance floor, she had had heard about. She doubted she would allowed in to see the dance floor though.
The shuttle was too small for artificial gravity, so most of the passengers stayed buckled though out the flight. Some
moved about to see better, or to use the bathroom (which did have a small amount of artificial gravity to make things easier for those not used to null-gravity facilities). Once they were within sight of the liner, it took them another ten minutes to move in close enough to dock.
As the shuttle reached a certain distance from the larger ship it stopped and two tubes glided out from the passenger
ship to it-to Brittany they looked like two giant snakes slithering toward the orbital. One connected to a special airlock in the belly of the shuttle. The, second smaller, one connected to the top of the craft just behind the pilot compartment. After one of the stewards made sure the connection was sure, he opened the airlock. The passengers started to float up to the opening one at a time. When it came to Brittany's turn, she made sure she carefully grasped Teddy to make sure she didn't drop him. This part of the trip made her even more nervous, There was nothing between her and space besides the thing, flexible tube. It looked too thin for this.

She had been holding me tightly though most of the launch and now she hugged me even tighter. I liked that. I comforted her and made sure she was brave during the flight, and now this hug felt good. During the trip I faced the same window she had looked out, but the view didn't interest me much. I was doing the job I was made for, and that is what counted.

Once in the tube, Brittany found steps she could climb up on until the tube leveled off and she could walk normally-as normal as one could without gravity. Held holds had been built into the sides of the tube for passengers to hold onto as they pulled themselves along. Her parents had coached her on how to “walk” in the tube, and had her practice during the two weeks she had been deciding on what to take.
The tube smelled of cleaner and plastic metal as well as people. She found it easier then expected since the tube had been designed for passengers who had very little experience in zero G. Some of the more experienced passengers zipped through it while others stumbled along. One let go too soon and ended up floating to the top, which was only about two feet above their head. An employee of the ship zipped over and helped the gentleman back down. After she boarded the larger ship she found the gravity gradually increased as she went though a special airlock. She easily found her parents, her dad gave her carry on bag (he had carried it since he had more experience going though the boarding tube). After telling her how good a job she had done they found their cabins. As expected hers was right next to theirs, and it had a door that lead to theirs.


No comments:

Post a Comment

I'm working on turning lead into Gold