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Fantastic Universe

NOVEMBER 1958


There is a quiet sensitivity to the work of Robert F. Young, which is reflected in vignettes such as this-describing the emotions of the man, waiting for the moment when he may, finally, leave for the stars. Mr. Young, who lives in upstate New York, has been a frequent contributor to F. U.


Acre in the Sky

by... Robert F. Young

He used to look at her in a different way—in the days before the ship came. But now he turned his head away.

The ship stood in the tril field, waiting.

She seemed taller than ever, Derth thought It was as though she had grown during the night He came out of the house and sat down on the steps, filling his eyes with her machined loveliness, her burnished beauty.

The morning wind, laden with the fragrance of canth blossoms, tiptoed down from the hills and touched his nostrils, but he was unaware of it. A kiddar hawk dropped out of the cobalt sky and soared over the changeless fields, but he did not see it

His eyes caressed each contour of the tall, proud ship. A Starmaid, he thought dreamily. A Starmaid De Luxe. He still found it hard to believe that she was all his, from the tip of her haughty nose to the metallic soles of her wide, but graceful, landing feet.

Presently he became aware of Lorrie standing in the doorway behind tem. He did not turn. He did not need to. He could see her large, sad eyes in her thin face without turning. He could see her gawky girl's body overburdened with child, the shapeless maternity dress that enshrouded the bloated remnants of her loveliness.

He heard her listless voice: "Shall I fix you something to eat, Derth?"

He did not take his eyes from the ship. "No. Not yet."

"But you didn't eat no breakfast and it's almost time for dinner. Ain't you hungry?"

"No, not hungry at all," he s...

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