by alloy. (actually only 415 words after I fixed minor typos)
Every waking period I watch the cantankerous old fool climb down from his tower.
A spire sticking out into the vacuum of space, vulnerable to anything the harsh universe can throw at it. It’s a stupid place to live. Repair crews work night and day to keep it habitable, still he refuses to live in the safe underground of Emerald City. The safe warrens he built.
He’s stubborn, ignoring the lifts we installed last year, he still traverses the ladders and stairs. There are safety nets and camera’s and his old bones are still thick enough to survive a fair fall (Hell they’re thicker than mine), but I don’t breath properly until his feet hit the ground.
I get anxious when he goes into Lunar Port. I can’t follow him there, where the doors and ceilings are too low and the furniture too short and I’m simply too tall for the earthers. Another attraction for the rich tourists to gawk at, only this time up close.
He is protected in there.
Honest men, Earthers I’ve taken to my home, men who will guard him with their lives, who will contact me if something happens or if he leaves early, men I’d give air to.
I have my own duties of course, they take me all over the city, over and under sometimes I even leave the city and plant my own eternal footprints in the lunar dust.
Delegates must be met, industrialists, scientists, all manner of folk seeking something of us. As Mayor I must guard against the wolves already inside the gates.
He looks tired when I see him again
"Spying on me boy?"
"I've just come to meet you."
"Hah!" he snorts
"I had the run of Lunar city when I was ten years old."
I slow my natural gate to match his short strides, I like to confront him in his assertions
"Records show you were eighteen when you arrived in lunar port."
A rich chuckle that only an earth born man can make rises from him
"You won't let an old man get away with a few fairytales heh"
"You cruel young bastard"
"The true stories are spectacular enough you old fraud."
"Lets go home."
"The Tower's not safe, pressure was dropping when you left."
"I know, I can still feel these things you know." He pauses looks at me with one eye half closed
"Your wife still a good cook?"
I nod. "Lets go home Grandpa."
"Home to Emerald City.”