April 5th, 2015


Reality Check

I wrote this to kay_brooke's prompt "The stars in the sky don't look quite right."

“Ah, Dad?” Simon knew that he wasn’t supposed to disturb his father when he was working but his father was so rarely home and right now what Simon wanted to show his father was visible outside.

“Yes, Simon?” His father took off his glasses, rubbed his eyes and looked up from his papers. “What is it? I know I’ve had dinner and you’re not supposed to interrupt me when I’m working.”

“I know,” Simon shuffled a foot, “but Dad, when did you last look at the stars?”

His father indicated the papers on the desk in front of him and the computer screen set to one side, “Simon, I’m an astronomer. I look at stars all the time. I’m looking at stars now.”

“You’re looking at bits of papers with information about stars,” argued Simon. He added quickly, “Important information, but when did you last look at them with your own eyes?”

His father gave a short cough of amusement. “Why only-. Well, it was back at the lunar eclipse in spring, wasn’t it?” He scratched his head. “You have got a point there. Why don’t I come out and look at them with you now. That was what you wanted, wasn’t it?” He smiled at his younger son.

Simon nodded. “Uh huh. There’s some stuff I’ve been wanting to ask you about.”

“Excellent.” His father beamed. “Let’s go look at some stars.”

They walked out of the house into the darkness of the backyard and looked up. Above them silver points of light flared and retracted in unison, as if to an eccentric heartbeat. Each time the stars flared colours tinged the nimbi around them. The background glimmer of the Milky Way pulsated in time with the stars.

“How long has this been going on?” Simon’s father appeared fixated.

“At least two weeks.” Simon added, “Didn’t any of your work friends call you?”

“I’ve been letting a lot of things go through to my messages while I get this paper finished,” his father replied absently.

“I’ve noticed,” commented Simon.

“I think I should go call a few people now.” His father was still looking up but walking back towards the door. “Yell at me if anything changes.”



I wrote this both to aldersprig's second prompt "More of these people" and her request elsewhere for catbois. It follows on from The Funeral And The Wake.

Corella got up late the day after her parents’ funeral to find an email from her brother Matthew. It had been sent barely an hour after she’d gone to bed in the early morning after the last of those who’d come to pay their respects had left. Matt was somewhere in the middle of an Arctic Siberian winter so he, like their other brothers, hadn’t been at the funeral.

“Sis,” it read, “one of the guys here is getting a bad feeling about you. His gut instincts are pretty good so I’ve arranged for someone else’s brother to come round and keep an eye on things for you. If he can’t have the ground floor guest room, then he could have my old room. He’s a professional but you don’t have to worry about paying him, I’ve traded favours to make this work. He’s already in that part of the world so he should be there by half past ten this morning, your time. Not sure which name is on his papers but he’s got green eyes and a feline theme. Let me know when he arrives. Matt.”

Corella looked at the time and almost swore. It was after ten and she was still in her nightwear and hadn’t cleaned her teeth. A rather frenzied ten minutes ensued, however it wasn’t until she was cleaning up from breakfast that the doorbell rang. When she checked through the peephole she saw a man in his mid-twenties wearing clothes that looked vaguely foreign and a broad brimmed hat.

When she cautiously opened the door she realised that the man on the other side of the security screen had a pair of clear green eyes, and then he took off his hat, resting it with one hand in the middle of his chest while he said, “Corella Lavrentova? Matvey Lavrentovich sent me.” Corella realised that not only did the man have blue-grey hair or fur on his head, he had cat’s ears, “I am Radimir Petrovich Chadov.” He bowed and Corella noticed that he had a fine set of shoulders. “As I am here to protect you, Corella Lavrentova, it would help if you let me in.”

This is now followed by Settling In.