Posted on Sunday, 1 November 2020 - 9:11pm by Lieutenant Alex Kingsley
Location: Personal Quarters
Timeline: 2393 *links with Family post
It was magical...!
Clapping her hands in delight as the darkness was replaced by stars, blue eyes stared in wonder as a little hand reached out to try and touch the small points of light. A determined expression turning to frustration as they all remained just out of reach. Even when she stood on her tip toes like the ballerina in her mother's jewellery box, she couldn't quite reach. At least until she started to fly.
She giggled as her father lifted her up onto his shoulders. Arms stretched out her fingertips passed through the holographic images as he turned her in a circle. "Faster daddy!"
Her laughter echoed around the room and she was quite dizzy when they came to a stop and fell down onto the mass of cushions which littered the living room floor. While her mother was away, her father had promised they could go camping. She didn't know what camping was exactly but it was pretty fun. They had played games, read stories and gone 'hunting'. Hunting was when her father went into the kitchen while she stood guard for lions and tigers and bears. She was sure those animals didn't live on Mars but she stood guard with her trusty cuddly kitten anyway.
Afterwards, they ate while her daddy told her a scary story. Because it was, he reminded her, Halloween. As if she could forget. They had already been at Aisha's party and she had a bucketful of candy her dad had put on top of the fridge where she couldn't reach. She had given him her bestest, sadest eyes and petted lip but he had said something about 'wanting to live'.
"You know," her dad said after a moment, "if your mum looks up at the sky right now, this is what she will see?"
"Really?" Alex whispered, seeming to have decided that any loud noise now would break the spell. She wondered if her mum was looking up at the stars, just like they were. She concentrated really hard on the brightest star she could see, wishing she could see her mother in it. She had gone to Earth, something had happened, something which had made her sad. She had been gone three nights now. She had never been gone for so long before and she missed her. Her dad could do anything... except her hair. Or mend her costume. She ended up dressed as a cat. Again.
"Really," he agreed as they lay side by side. A quiet fell and he foolishly thought she might have fallen asleep. Of course it was not that easy.
"What was that?!" Alex gasped as she jumped to her feet, almost falling as she darted across the room to watch a streak of like pass out of sight. It had looked so pretty.
Andrew grinned, "It's a shooting star. You know, you make a wish when you see a shooting star.. Go on, close your eyes, and make a wish..."
She closed her eyes, thinking hard. She couldn't think of anything she really really wanted. Other than... I wish mummy was here.
"Done?" her father asked after a long moment, smiling.
"Done," Alex said with a serious nod as she threw herself back down on the cushions. "But I can't tell. You can't tell what you wish for, it's the law and your wish wont come true."
"The law, huh?" Andrew grinned. "Then it's your secret. But I bet, if your mummy saw the same shooting star, she'd be wishing for the same thing. Now, how about a bedtime story under the stars?"
"K." Happily grabbing her blanket, she fluffed her pillow just like she had watched her mother do and lay back staring up at the stars. "I'm ready. But you have to do the voices. Just like mummy. She does the funny voices."
There was a pause. "Daddy?"
"Okay, okay, I'll try. If you promise to go to sleep."
"But if I go to sleep, I'll miss the end of the story."
"You have heard this story a hundred times," her father reminded her as he tucked her in.
"So you'll fall asleep?" he asked hopefully.
"Maybe," she giggled.
He rolled his eyes, knowing he was beaten. She was far too much like Laura. "Alright, alright. But if you sleep, your wish might come true. Okay, Jack and the Flum Flum Tree. You sure this is the one you want?"
"Yep. And then the Gruffalo."
"And then!" Andrew groaned as she held up a second book she must have hidden under the cushion. He saw her oh so innocent smile and shook his head. Like he could say no. "Okay, you win. Alright, here we go. Once upon a time..."
"That isn't how it starts, daddy," Alex complained.
"All good stories start once upon a time," he countered. Didn't they? He cleared his throat, opened the book and began to read. She curled up against him, her mass of red curls hiding her face from view as he spoke quieter and quieter. By the time the front door unlocked and his wife slipped inside the room, he was certain she was fast asleep. At least until he remembered too late that he had moved all the furniture and heard an 'ow' just seconds before his wife accidently knocked over her favourite vase...
Alex awoke with a start, the sudden noise tearing her from her dream. Disorientated she frowned, breathing hard as she stared up at the same night sky as her dream. Except light now spilled in to the bedroom, causing half of the image to disappear. It took her a moment to remember all the lights were off when she had decided to lie down. She needed the dark for the projector to work.
She was still in her uniform, lying on top of the bed...She had decided to lie down in the dark to help her headache and she had hoped the stars would help lull her to sleep. It must have worked.
Finally her eyes focused on the person standing in the open doorway. Clearly not Soral but just as familiar. With a wave of her hand the device on the bedside table deactivated, and she stood. Not trusting her eyes and sure she had to be asleep.