I push the coin around the tabletop with my fingertip. The man on its surface regards me through one eye in intimidatory fashion. He does it once too often, so I flick him hard to the floor. My mother slaps my head and asks how I like it. I don't.
When the screen shattered, three months of torturous work splintering into hundreds of tiny pieces, she looked my way and glared.
"I'm sorry, love," I said.
"He'd evolved," she growled.
"He was the wrong colour, anyway."
"How about I get you a real one?"
"Will he break?"
"One day, perhaps."
She stared at the pavement, then me, "Can I have a purple one with yellow spots?"
Electronic pets had a lot to answer for!
The scissors twizzled and twirled in a blur of snip-snap motion cutting through the papers like morning through a dream. The girl’s mother finished with a final snip, stepped away from her daughter and flung the tissue paper into the air. “Rainbow snows are yours, darling,” she whispered. “Enjoy.”
“You should be asleep.”
If the little girl heard her mother, she did not reply. The child stood on a stool reaching up to the window glass just too small to attain it. The apartment window, left ajar by her momma, allowed the night to pour in bathing her in the forever. The child’s nightgown shimmered in the moon’s silvered rays, a slight sea breeze playing with her milk-white hair, an ocean of starlight flickering in her wake. All was perfect in that stillest of nights.
“Didn’t you hear me, Celeste?
“I’m thinking, momma.”
“Midnight is not a time for small children to be thinking, it is time for sleeping.”
“I can’t help it, I’m worried.”
“Why?” asked her mother, her face washing from frown to concern.
“I’m scared I shall never see it again.”
“That is what the boats are for.”
“For what?” Celeste replied.
“To take you there in your dreams, when the night is darkest.”
“Yes, that is why poppa and I made this our home, so you should never have to feel afraid.”
“But if the moon disappears, then how will I find it again?”
“It will not,” breathed her momma. “You will never lose the moon or stars, or any of the magical things of the night. Not for a very long time, anyway, and even then, maybe never,” she smiled and picked her daughter up in her arms.
“How can you be sure?”
“Because I was like you once, dear Celeste. Poppa and I named you after the heavens to remind us to never lose track of such things. Your name means heavenly, you see.”
“Does that mean that you are magic, too?”
“Yes, when we are with you.”
“Then, please never leave,” she said with a yawn.
“That is the thing with heaven it is always at the end of your fingertips.”
“Yes,” said Celeste, as she clung to her momma’s, smiled, and closed her eyes.
Hush, little darlin’, please don’t cry
Everybody has to die
Remember all the pretty things
For mummy now has angel wings
She’s swooping through the stars and sky
Watching us from way up high
Shedding tears to cleanse our skin
Smiles of love to prevent sin
And waiting for that perfect day
To come and take us both away
And fly with her o’er land and sea
To sit with grace at God’s right knee
That’s where she is, that’s where she waits
The gleaming gold of heaven’s gates