Ever since Blythe was a toddler,
he wanted to be an astronaut. At night he'd go outside with his
telescope and gaze at the stars. He knew all of the constellations.
His favorite was Orion. "One day I'm going to go in a spaceship and
fly among the stars." Blythe dreamed about comets, nebulas, black
holes and galaxies far away.
Blythe's father worked space
ships. Sometimes he took Blythe to work with him and let him go
inside. One day while Blythe was with his father, he climbed inside
one of the space ships. His father smiled and said, "I've got a great
idea, Blythe. I know you want to go for a ride in a space ship. Strap
yourself in and we'll see what we can do."
The boy could hardly believe it.
"We're going into outer space?"
His father snickered. "Of
course. Sit back and close your eyes and don't open them until I tell
you to." He went outside and spoke with some of the other men. they
brought the space ship over to a building and then he climbed inside
with his son. "You can open your eyes now."
"Don't we need spaceship suits?"
Blythe wanted to be able to breathe in space.
"Not for this trip. This is a
special space ship. We can go just like we are. Are you ready?"
"I sure am, Dad." Blythe locked
his seat belt and grabbed onto the arm rest. The spaceship began to
shake back and forth. Outside the windows everything looked black.
Blythe got a little nervous. The engines roared and the spaceship took
off. Blythe felt his face and body push back into the seat. "I feel
"It's gravity. We'll be all
right once we're up. Be patient." Dad chuckled to himself.
Higher and higher they went.
Blythe wasn't comfortable at all. His face felt as flat as a pancake
and his arms felt like they were made of lead. "I wish we'd worn a
spaceship suit." Ten minutes later the pressure stopped. Blythe could
feel his face again. "Are we up in space now?" He glanced out the
window. It's still dark."
"You can't see out spaceship
windows, Blythe. We have the coated with a special paint. I'll turn on
the computer and you can see where we are." Lights flickered and the
computer came on.
Blythe could see planets
whizzing by. "Look, Dad. There's Saturn and Mars. I see Orion too.
Wow! This is so cool."
They zipped through space,
passing huge galaxies that were red and green and purple. They saw
nebulas that took up the whole sky and when Blythe looked at the
screen he saw Earth. "Dad, there's Earth. Mom and Molly are down
there. Do you think they can see us flying in space?"
"No, Blythe. There are too many
clouds." For two hours the spaceship bounced up and down, swerving to
miss asteroids and collisions with small stars. "Are you ready to go
home yet? Mom said she was making your favorite supper tonight,
macaroni and cheese with hot dogs."
"Yum. I am a little hungry. All
right. Let's go home."
"Tighten that strap. We have to
go through re-entry and it can get pretty bumpy and hot as we enter
Earth's atmosphere again."
Blythe felt the spaceship shake.
Beads of sweat gathered on his forehead. The computer showed the
planet approaching. "That was fast, Dad. There's Earth already."
"It doesn't take long these
days. This spaceship is really fast. We're ready to land. Hold on."
When Blythe looked at the computer screen, he saw them touch down on
the runway and coast to the building again. The spaceship stopped and
the door opened. "We're back. Did you have fun, Blythe?"
The boy threw his arms around
his father. "That was the best fun I've ever had. I got to go to outer
"Why don't you go and wash up
and get a drink while I tell my men to clean up the spaceship." While
Blythe ran off, his father spoke to some of the men. "Thanks for
taking Blythe and me on the ride in the simulator. He believed he was
in outer space. It was a trip of a lifetime." He winked and then went
to find Blythe.
That night Blythe looked at
Orion. "I was there. I was really there." He let out a loud sigh and
looked at the heavens.