Our Child of the Stars by Stephen Cox

Our Child of the Stars by Stephen Cox

Author:Stephen Cox [Cox, Stephen]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Science Fiction
ISBN: 9781786489944
Goodreads: 41577769
Publisher: Hachette UK
Published: 2018-11-01T00:00:00+00:00


Spring, Cory’s second year on Earth

Gene walked across Founders Green in search of a late lunch. The spring sun was warm and brightly coloured flowers were in full bloom. A sort of bandstand now covered the black and orange fragment of the Meteor and as Gene watched, a jay perched on the rock, cocked its head to one side and stared at him. Every time he looked at the rock he had a brief stabbing memory of the day it fell.

Gene hadn’t finished any of the songs he started about Meteor Day; his words couldn’t catch the destruction, nor the extraordinary heroism of ordinary people: the secretaries who comforted the dying, the three seniors who lifted a burning timber off a broken man, the firefighter who went back for the dog. But he knew a great piece of music was out there, waiting to be born – a symphony, or a choral suite, perhaps.

He hummed the theme from ‘Sailors on the Sea of Night’. Joan Baez had taken the tragedy of the two men who died above the Moon and made magic out of it. The song brought back that shared time of worldwide loss; her musical pictures of the silver ship against a sea of stars spoke to everyone whose loved ones would never come back. Gene wished he had the talent to do that for Amber Grove.

The tables outside the diner were packed; the good weather had brought yet more visitors with their theories and their incessant curiosity. At least he didn’t have to talk to them.

These past few months, with more adults to talk to and teach him, and friends to play with every day, Cory had really flourished. There’d been one brief, frightening outbreak of fever, but it had felt almost normal: kids get sick, Diane had said, and sure enough, he’d shaken it off within days.

Gene took his normal tiny corner table, salivating as he ordered a bacon and sausage sandwich. Now he didn’t smoke, meat was his secret vice – he loved Cory, but he was so tired of cheese, eggs and tuna. He got out his brown notebook and looked again at the musical theme which was eluding him.

A smartly dressed woman came towards him; he assumed she was heading to the restroom and ignored her until she put a hand on the spare chair and asked, ‘It’s Mr Myers, isn’t it?’

Her face rang a distant bell. Had they met? She was blonde, with a business-like smile, older than Molly, but not old. The hairstyle, the attaché case, the tasteful jacket, all suggested somewhere far more cosmopolitan than little Amber Grove.

‘Um,’ he said.

‘Carol Longman. I write for Witness magazine. Could I have a moment of your time?’ She was already sitting.

A journalist. Gene stiffened, ready to guard every word, every gesture, but she already had her hand out and he shook it, a polite reflex.

Gene flicked through Witness at work most weeks. It might be too pro-war for him, but he loved the photography and the worldwide focus of its writing.


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