As Sam gets tucked into bed, the boy looks up at his father. His eyes are wide with unspoken worry, a look Dad knows all too well.

“What’s goin' on, Sam? You worried about something?”

Sammy nods from under the very top of the cover.

“Wanna talk about it?” Dad continues.

Feeling comfortable enough to slide the blanket down to his chin, Sammy looks up at Dad and says “Daddy, I think there’s a singularity under my bed.”

Taken aback, Dad can’t help but crack a smile at his son’s frankness. “Oh boy. Kiddo, you don’t have to worry about that. Singularities haven’t been seen around here in 24 years.”

The boy sits up quickly, scanning his room with furtive glances. “But but, you said when you first met Mommy that you saw one at the movie theater.”

“Well yeah, I did,” Dad concedes. “But you weren’t even born then, and the singularity was so small it rapidly disintegrated before anyone even noticed. The Chariot Field Detectors probably had a small flicker in the systems, that happens very occasionally.”

“But what if one teleports into the house and eats Charlie? He’s just a puppy…”

“Son, I promise you a singularity will NOT eat Charlie. You know CFDs are placed every 25 miles or so. There isn’t a single spot in this city that’s vulnerable to those nasty little suckers. Besides, they’re not smart enough to figure out how to penetrate our systems; they usually forget Earth even exists after they phase through it entirely. So the chances of one actually hanging around our relative position in space is practically zero.”

Sammy furrows his brow as he looks at his lap. “You sure?”

“Positive,” Dad smiles, tussling his son's hair.

Sammy smiles a little. “Well, can you check anyway?”

Dad chuckles. "Anything for my boy."

As he bends down to look under the bed, a few things catch Dad’s eye. A cluster of dust bunnies scitter into the corner at the smallest touch of Dad’s movement. A half-torn granola bar wrapper pokes out from under the bed frame. A Game Boy glints just out of sight under a pile of clothes, not so discreetly hidden. Finally, Dad squints at the back corner where nothing sits.

Absolutely nothing at all.

Dad pauses for a brief moment, putting a hand on the carpeted floor to steady himself.

Without a word, Dad looks back up and hugs his son.

“I love you so much, Sammy.”

Written by William See
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