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All That Goes Up   By:

All That Goes Up by Kirby Brooks

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Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Space Science Fiction May 1953. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

all that goes up

BY KIRBY BROOKS

ILLUSTRATED BY SMITH

At fifty, a man should be too old to go around flying off the handle, or wandering around on the ceiling. But what could a man do when he had a son who insisted on being a genius?

For a man my age, the middle 50's, life has a number of compensations. There're children we have two; there's a good wife, and I'm certainly blessed in that respect with Mary; and there's the joy of coming home, slipping on my slippers, having a good dinner, then relaxing with coffee and a pipe. There's no compensation for being plastered to the ceiling. But, more of that later.

The after dinner coffee with a dash of rum in it, tasted very good, and so did the pipe. The meal was satisfying too. Thank goodness for that meal, because it was the last decent one I've had for quite some time. Oh, I've eaten all right, but you'd have to stretch your imagination to call any of it a meal. Can you picture eating food that keeps trying to move away from your face? That is, if you can keep the plate from moving away too?

As I say, Mary and I had just finished dinner, when Jim, our 22 year old gangly son, who's home on summer vacation from MIT, called me.

"Can you come here a minute, Dad?"

"Sure," I said, heading down the hall to his combination laboratory, dark room, aviary, and just plain bedroom. Fortunately it was a big room so there was space for a bed in addition to all the stuff a boy can collect who becomes enamored of science while in High School, and who consummates the wedding with studying electronics in college.

[Illustration]

I pushed his door open a little wider and looked in before entering; a trick the family had acquired when Jim was in the Zoological Biological, or frog collecting age. "What do you want, son?"

"Just want to show you something," he said, pointing to the floor. He was bent over looking intently at what seemed to be a sheet of that fluorescent plastic that's used for signs. It was lying on the floor, was about two feet square, and was glowing a dim pink. Whether from light within itself, or from the desk lamp, I couldn't tell.

"What is it?"

"I don't really know, Dad, but watch what happens." So saying, he picked up a glove from the desk, tossed it onto the plastic plate. I should say he tossed it at the plate, because it didn't land, but rose fast, straight up! I watched it hit the ceiling with a splat! Where it stuck. It was then I noticed several other things all plastered to the panelling too; the mate to the glove, a package of cigarettes, a cigarette lighter and a golf ball or two.

Well, I had learned years ago in the Prestidigitation Age, or, "You too can amaze your friends with feats of Magic" that quite often Jim would go to great lengths to mystify anybody handy. I wasn't too impressed.

"Next thing will be to make a rope stand up, or saw a woman in half, I suppose?"

"No, Dad, this is no trick. Fact is, I think I've stumbled onto something that could be important ... anti gravity. Or, something that looks like it."

"Well," I said, "It could be, but just what is this thing?"

"Up at school I started fooling around with various metals, and one idea I had was to suspend them in tiny particles, colloidally almost, in plastic. Then I'd run various voltages and varying frequencies through the plastic."

"Yes, but why?"

"Well, the thing I had in mind originally was a wall or ceiling panel that would serve as a source of either cold light using a given voltage and frequency, or as a source of radiant heat, using some other voltage and frequency... Continue reading book >>




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