To the moon! Jacob pointed to the glowing light bulb above our heads. A wide grin filled his face and hope shined in his eyes. The hope caused my throat to tighten. Keandra was right. Jacob didn’t fully understand just how bad this place was. And I envied him for it. Envied that he could detach himself from the reality of our confinement and get lost in his imagination. The light above was from the moon and in his head and we were flying towards it.
Jacob giggled and heat radiated off his skin. You’re so silly, Big Brother. Prepare for the landing.
I landed him on the couch. “That’s one small step for man,” I said as he climbed off the short couch like he was descending a ladder. When his foot hit the floor, I stopped him. “There’s no gravity on the moon. Do you know how to walk?”
He shook his head.
“Watch me.” I bent my knees and took long, slow steps. Delight shone in Jacob’s eyes as he mimicked me. “You also have to be careful. Jump too high and you’ll float away.” I chuckled as Jacob grinned mischievously. He coiled his legs and jumped. I grabbed him and lifted him up. “Oh no! You’re floating away. Someone help before you float to Uranus. Keandra, help!”
Keandra’s eyes widened, panic flitting across her face as I swung Jacob towards her. I passed him gently to her and she set him safely on the floor. He slowly bounced away, declaring he was off to find alien life.
Keandra glared at me once he was out of sight. “I thought you were going to throw him at me.”
“Have a little faith in me,” I said sourly. I pulled apart the blanket fort Jacob and I made for the cowboy adventure before he turned into an astronaut. “In the gang, family was important. If someone was falling, you caught them.”
“What’s that got to do with this place?”
I looked at Keandra. “The only thing we have in common is Master. We’re alive because of him.”
“So, does that make him our father?”
“No, that makes us family and I’ll always catch family.”