in Short Fiction

The Stars

I looked up from my book as the zip of my tent moved up, and then stopped 2 feet from the ground. My son’s hand couldn’t reach up any further.

“What’s wrong, Sammy?” I asked.

“I need to pee,” Sammy said.

“Coming,” I replied. I put on a coat, my shoes and walked out. The fire was still burning low, the telescope next to it covered under the tarp. The moon was shining bright and full, covering everything around us with a soft glow. I might have taken a moment too long to admire the beauty and silence around me, because Sammy tugged at my pajamas.

“Now!” he screamed.

“Of course,” I said and held his hand as we walked towards the edge of the woods. “It’s a beautiful night, isn’t it?” I asked Sammy.

“Yes! Heel leuke.

“English please,” I said, as we came to stop and Sammy started with his business.

“The night is very beautiful,” he said. “And the stars too.”

“I am glad you liked the stars. You know when I was your age, I used to dream about going into space one day.”

“Uh huh. Me too!” he said excitedly. “I am going to live in the stars,” he said matter-of-factedly.

“But then you’ll be so far away. I’ll miss you so much!” I said as I put some sanitizer on Sammy’s hands.

“You’ll come visit me, Daddy,” he said slapping his hand against his forehead, clearly exasperated at his dumb father’s naivety. “I’ll wait for you,” he promised solemnly.

I laughed. I picked him and put him over my shoulder. And we walked back to our tents.

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