"I need to tell you something."
There had been rumors about his affairs. "What is it?"
"There's a crack in the universe."
My father had taught literature for forty years until the board forced his retirement. At the time I'd thought it was a bad idea. Now I wasn't so sure.
"Maybe it's a crack in time."
"No." He held his palm against the sky, smoothing it agains emptiness. "If you're real careful, you can feel it."
"Humor an old man."
I reached out halfheartedly.
"Put your hand flat." He placed his hand against mine and pushed before moving my hand slowly to the right.
"I don't see what this..."
At that moment, my index finger snagged across something jagged.
"What was that?"
"You felt it!" His face was all lit up, the way it used to get whenever he talked about the books he read."
A little bump. No bigger than a hairpin. "What is it?"
He dropped his hand. "No idea."
"How'd it get there?"
"Don't know that either."
"How did you find it?"
He smiled. "Amazing how much time a retiree has to examine the universe."
I nibbed at the crack with my fingernail. "What do you think's behind there?"
"It's not my job to find out. It's not yours either."
I pressed my eye against the crack. "It looks the same there as it does here." Same sky. Same flowers. Same field. "You think that's heaven, Dad?"
"You ask a lot of questions."
"I'm a scientist. I'm trained to ask questions. If we could just pull this apart a little bit, then I could, maybe...cut it somehow?"
"Absolutely not." He pulled from his pocket a roll of invisible tape. "No one's cutting that." He tore off a length of tape, pulling it against the jagged plastic teeth of the dispenser. "I just wanted you to see it before I sealed it shut forever."
I watched in silence: Tape wouldn't keep me away for long.
This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was crack.