Title: The Star's Child
Author: Ty-rose
Written: August 1997
Rated: G
Category: MSR
Keywords: Pre-XF
Summary: A short piece about M&S as kids, a retrospective from Mulder.

Note: Ty-Rose is at it again! You may remember me from 2 short stints I did a while back: "Mulder's Answering Machine Messages" and "Maire." Anyhow, started this one last night, 3 parts looks safe, and I'm working on a re-write of Maire as it's been 2 years and I hate the original. 'Nuff said, no disclaimer; highly overrated anyhow.

Another Note: Many praises to Robert Louis Stevenson and Christina Rosetti, whose children's poems filled many a childhood day for me and inspired part 1 of this story.

"When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had 2 pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay
To keep me happy all the day.
And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills.
And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.
I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane."

I remember my mother reading that verse to me the summer that I was nine.

She had long since insisted I was too old to be read to, but on this occasion I was deathly ill, and she relented in one of her rare, motherly moments.

My father had brought us to the sea for holidays and we'd not been there 2 full days when the doctor was fetched by my mother and I was pronounced "down with Scarlet Fever."

Whilst Sam skipped along the rocks and shore and my parents sunned themselves on the beach, I lay in bed, propped upon the pillows in our rented beach-house, feeling miserable and sorry for myself.

It was on one such dull afternoon that I happened to glance out the window and catch sight of a most extraordinary creature.

A tiny girl was skipping along the beach, followed by 2 boys and another girl, all of whom I'd seen Sam playing with earlier. The child in front wore a sleeveless white linen dress and her long, flame-red hair was done out in a sort of braid which was wrapped around the back of her head and pinned tight.

I watched as Samantha ran up to the other 3 redheads, and the four of them ran, laughing, into the sea. But the little girl in front slowed down and gazed suddenly up toward the beach-house. Her startlingly blue eyes held mine for a moment before she broke the spell, turning gracefully around and settling down on the sandbar. I pulled away from the window, breathless. It wasn't till 3 days later that I actually met this child face-to-face.

I was feeling better and apparently looked so also, and my parents set up an umbrella-sheilded chair a safe distance from the shoreline so that I wouldn't miss out on the sea entirely. One morning my father disentangled me from the bedsheets and carried me down to my new resting place near the water.

A few hours of looking out to see and reading Kingsly's "The Water Babies" passed by before I heard a soft, lyrical voice recite:

"Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by."

I craned my neck needlessly, for she was around the chair and in front of me in an instant. If she'd looked unreal previously, how much more so she did now! Her hair and clothes were the same as the days previous, and her blue eyes looked right through me. I swallowed.

"Why are you still in your nightshirt? Doesn't your mother dress you in the day-time?" the girl asked boldly.

My dignity swelled suddenly and I replied sharply, "I'm sick, if you must know, and I'm old enough to dress myself."

Her little brow furrowed, but she remained undaunted and sat down beside my chair in the sand. I studied her carefully. Delicate freckles speckled her milk-white skin, making her hair all the more bright in comparison. Bright red, full lips were centered upon her soft little face, and her body itself was thin enough to look sickly on any other child but she. What a perfect little person, I thought to myself. Only such a person could come from above. A star's child.

Star-Child left that day without warning, and she would continue to do so for the rest of the month with nothing but a recitation to announce herself.

I became stronger as that July wore on, and I played with the Star-Child more and more, but she became no more familiar to me. I suppose that's what made me love her.

Then one day in early August as we were trying to get just a few more minutes out of the waning day, I grasped her in the awkward embrace of a child.

Holding her to me I breathed, "Are you real?"

"Yes," she whispered back, head pressed to my chest.

One more thing I had to know before this perfect day could end. "Can I keep you?" I asked shyly.

And she pushed herself up on her toes and softly gave me my very first kiss before running off into the twilight, leaving my heart beating wildly, but contentedly.

It was the last time I would see her.

My father received a call from Washington that night, and he packed us up into the car to start home. I didn't get to say good-bye to my Star-Child, and I experienced my very first broken heart.


'Nother part coming, feedback is your friend.....

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