Kaylee's Dad

by Ed Kulis

Kaylee watched the vid. The last with her dad. Two months, ago. She bit her
lip. Strong. Yes. Dad taught her. Still, only Dad’s finger moved. Tapping the Morse code, just like they played when she was young. She, excited that  knowledge communicates with taps, long and short. Dad, whimsically thinking he needed a new skill to combat cog degeneration.
It happened. Burned, rocket fuel. Hobby. Garage. Spark. First ever, 10 years, never a problem before. Enough. Kaylee rushed into the garage. Flames. Covered her face as her hair smoldered. Stench of hair rising. Back to the water. Doused blanket with quick cut hole. Something at least. Flames faltered, now. Hot, protected. Dad a cinder, chest rising, falling. Kaylee grabbed the bellows. Antique, hanging on the tool rack for a decade. Garden hose, down Dad’s throat. Stomping on his chest with her foot. Flames, licking her calf. 911, “What’s your emergency?” Yeah, matter of fact, just a job….  “Got my address?” “Yes, what’s your emergency?” “Dad, burned, can’t breath, house on fire, no time, send all you got,” “Ok, stay on the line,” “You got this?” “We do, 2 minutes” “Thanks” “Dad?” “Dad?” 

Kaylee stopped the farewell video. Dad was gone. He knew he would die, he told her so. Accident, disease, old age. She promised she’d carry on. Tap, tap, long short. “Do it. Project. Make it done.”  Flames, could have been better. What was done was done. Hard to take, sure danger but damn…
Ugly. Too much to pay? “No, darling Kaylee, what ever it takes…”

Their dream. Yes, Dad. Stars. Will do. What ever it takes!