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Ethan
March 17th, 2013, 05:16 PM
Thomas, hands clasped behind his back and head bowed, stood before the Professor staring fixedly at the floor.
‘I don’t care what your Grandmother told you, Gravity is a naturally occurring phenomenon;’ he paused for breath closing his eyes as he rubbed the bridge of his nose where his spectacles irritated, ‘as I have explained to you several times during this semester; Sir Issac Newton demonstrated his persuasive argument in the theory that all objects exert an attraction to all other objects, and Albert Einstein himself suggests that gravity is a side effect of the curvature of space.’
Thomas’s face reddened as he replied.
‘My Granma says you get gravity when you’re born, some people get more than others, like common sense, and depending how much of it you use during your life, determines a lot of things …like what height you will be …or…or how heavy. She says she knew a woman in Sheffield who was so big she had to have her clothes specially made and yet she was as light as a feather, My Grandma says they called her Dancing Diana on account of how light she was on her feet. She said they weighed her once and she didn’t hardly register anything on the scales.’
An undercurrent of laughter rippled through the class, quickly stifled by the professor’s stern glance as he sat down on his seat and sighing heavily and staring bemused at the young man standing before him. Clasping his hands he sat forward resting his elbows on the arms of the chair.
‘Gravity, can be demonstrated and its effect measurably gauged, Galileo’s experiment springs to mind, yet despite the teachings of all the greatest minds of science, you are bound and determined to listen and believe only what your Grandma thinks, is that right boy.’ Irritation gave his voice added edge.
‘My Grandma says that’s why people are all different heights, they don’t know how to use their gravity, she says as you get older, you get smaller, and it’s the gravity you haven’t used up that causes it…it…sort of pulls you down on yourself, and near the end if you don’t get rid right quick, you could disappear altogether, ‘though she only ever knew one person it happened to!’
‘Oh so your Grandma says we can shed gravity; rather like taking off a wet raincoat I should imagine?’ he gazed around the class for appreciation but receiving only a few muffled titters.
His eyes still firmly fixed on the floor Thomas replied quietly.
‘She says God gave us breath, and we can choose when and how to use that, and that gravity’s just the same, except…you can measure breath, by volume and pressure and quantify and bottle it… but you can’t do that with gravity. She says all the greatest scientists in the world don’t even really know how it works, she says you can measure how tall a tree is, but you don’t know why it’s exactly that height!’
Professor Hawkin threw his hands in the air and shook his head as he stood up and walked to the window, where head banged his forehead slowly against the cool glass. He stared into the distance as he considered his next argument.
‘Do you think your Grandmother would be willing to come to class with you one day, and perhaps, be willing to enlighten the faculty with her alternative scientific theory?’
‘She said when I told you about Gravity you’d probably ask and that she’d be happy to come if anyone would listen to her, but the last time she went to her daughters school to try and explain, they got real freaked out and eventually had to move house because some people came to try and take her away!’ This statement elicited a fresh wave of laughter. Thomas looked sheepishly at his guffawing classmates.
The Professor slowly turned from the window, his peered intensely at Thomas, trying to decide if the boy was serious or just playing the crowd. He strode across to his desk and opened a drawer, producing three metal balls of different sizes, which he thumped onto his desk.
‘I will show you one last time this simple exercise which illustrates the effects and laws of Gravity, or perhaps you would like to demonstrate Grandmas gravitational laws?’
Thomas looked once more at his classmates before stepping forward and touching the three spheres lightly. ‘Grandma said you wouldn’t believe your own eyes and that was what is wrong with the world today…but I will show you just this once.’ He stepped back from the desk and retreated to the corner of the room and as he lowered his head, every eye in the classroom turned to focus on the three balls.
After several seconds passed a collective gasp from the back of the room drew the professors attention to where Thomas hovered, three feet above the floor.
‘Grandma says we’ll probably have to move again …soon!’

lowprofile300
March 17th, 2013, 08:13 PM
@Ethan, I wasn’t feeling the twist at the end of the story, so I made some suggestions for the ending and added some paragraphs to make it easier on the eyes. Just a suggestion

The Trouble with Gravity!


Thomas, hands clasped behind his back and head bowed, stood before the Professor staring fixedly at the floor.
‘I don’t care what your Grandfather told you, Gravity is a naturally occurring phenomenon’ he paused for breath closing his eyes as he rubbed the bridge of his nose where his spectacles irritated,
‘As I have explained to you several times during this semester; Sir Isaac Newton demonstrated his persuasive argument in the theory that all objects exert an attraction to all other objects, and Albert Einstein himself suggests that gravity is a side effect of the curvature of space.’


Thomas’s face reddened as he replied.


‘My Grandpa says you get gravity when you’re born, some people get more than others, like common sense, and depending how much of it you use during your life, determines a lot of things …like what height you will be …or…or how heavy. He says he knew a man in Sheffield who was so big he had to have his clothes specially made and yet he was as light as a feather, My Grandpa says they called him Dancing Dave on account of how light he was on his feet. He said they weighed him once and he hardly registered anything on the scales.’


An undercurrent of laughter rippled through the class, quickly stifled by the professor’s stern glance as he sat down on his seat and sighing heavily and staring bemused at the young man standing before him. Clasping his hands he sat forward resting his elbows on the arms of the chair.


‘Gravity, can be demonstrated and its effect measurably gauged, Galileo’s experiment springs to mind, yet despite the teachings of all the greatest minds of science, you are bound and determined to listen and believe only what your Grandpa thinks, is that right boy.’ Irritation gave his voice added edge.


‘My Grandpa says that’s why people are all different heights, they don’t know how to use their gravity, he says as you get older, you get smaller, and it’s the gravity you haven’t used up that causes it…it…sort of pulls you down on yourself, and near the end if you don’t get rid of it, you could disappear altogether, ‘though he only ever knew one person it happened to!’


‘Oh so your Grandpa says we can shed gravity; rather like taking off a wet raincoat I should imagine?’ he gazed around the class for appreciation but receiving only a few muffled titters.
His eyes still firmly fixed on the floor Thomas replied quietly.


‘He says God gave us breath, and we can choose when and how to use that, and that gravity’s just the same, except…you can measure breath, by volume and pressure and quantify and bottle it… but you can’t do that with gravity. He says all the greatest scientists in the world don’t even really know how it works, he says you can measure how tall a tree is, but you don’t know why it’s exactly that height!’


Professor Hawkins threw his hands in the air and shook his head as he stood up and walked to the window, where he head banged his forehead slowly against the cool glass. He stared into the distance as he considered his next argument.


‘Do you think your Grandfather would be willing to come to class with you one day, and perhaps, be willing to enlighten the faculty with his alternative scientific theory?’


‘He said when I told you about Gravity you’d probably ask and that he’d be happy to come if anyone would listen to him, but the last time he went to my sister’s school to try and explain, they got real freaked out and eventually had to move house because some people came to try and take him away!’ This statement elicited a fresh wave of laughter. Thomas looked sheepishly at his guffawing classmates.


The Professor slowly turned from the window, his peered intensely at Thomas, trying to decide if the boy was serious or just playing the crowd. He strode across to his desk and opened a drawer, producing two metal balls of different sizes, which he thumped onto his desk.


‘I will show you one last time this simple exercise which illustrates the effects and laws of Gravity, or perhaps you would like to demonstrate Grandpas gravitational laws?’


Thomas looked once more at his classmates before stepping forward and touching the two spheres lightly.
‘Grandpa said you wouldn’t believe your own eyes and that was what was wrong with the world today…but I will show you just this once.’
He stepped back from the desk and retreated to the corner of the room and as he lowered his head, he dropped his pants. Every eye in the classroom turned to focus on the two balls.
After several seconds passed a collective gasp from the back of the room drew the professor’s attention to where Thomas’s two balls hovered, a foot and a half above the floor.


‘Grandpa says we’ll probably have to move soon …again!’

Gasher
March 18th, 2013, 07:33 PM
I was reminded of Adam Sandler's Waterboy as I read this ("Mamma says Benjamin Franklin is the devil! :D). I liked the setup and how you played up the boy's feigned ignorance and the teacher's confidence in his authority. Grandma's take on gravity was interesting in its own right, and lent the story an allegorical feel. Unlike lowprofile, I thought the twist was satisfying and I think it's safe to assume the boy can levitate 3 feet without hitting the ceiling.