The Sky

“Dad?” Elizabeth looked over to her father, lying beside her.

“Yeah, hun?” John replied, looking over to his daughter who was playing with grass in one hand and supporting her head with the other.

She looked up. “Dad, whatever happened to that sky thing you were talking about earlier.”

John’s eyes darted to his daughter, his palms beginning to sweat he began to wonder.“how did she hear me?”. His mind raced for answers.

“Oh, don’t be silly,” he said, putting on a smile. Elizabeth stopped twisting and dissecting the tender dandelion in her hand and looked back at her father.

“Uh huh, I saw you talking about it with the tall man in the grey coat.” John’s smile began to falter. He looked around.

“Hey, honey, come here.” John sat up and crossed his legs signalling his daughter to sit in his lap. She got up and sat down on her father’s legs.

“Honey.” John looked up into the artificial light that bathed them in its glow. “The sky… was the most beautiful —”

Elizabeth looked up towards her dad, her blonde hair twirling as her head turned. “Beautiful? But I thought you said Mom was the most beautiful thing you’d ever seen.”

John looked down at his daughter. “Yeah.” He smiled, remembering his wife Nora’s smile. “She is. Just like you, hun.” He kissed Elizabeth on the forehead. “Listen closely, honey.” John picked Elizabeth up and faced her toward himself. “You gotta promise me not to talk to anyone about the sky, ok?”

Elizabeth pouted, “Why not? maybe they can tell me more about it!”

“Elizabeth, please..”  John remembered how his old neighbors were ‘silenced’ for speaking of such things in public, “You have to promise that you won’t talk about this to anyone else.”

Elizabeth nodded, understanding how much her father wanted her to be discreet.

 “Well…” John closed his eyes and imagined the sky from before, “The sky was blue, like the oceans.  “ Really?” Elizabeth said looking at her dad in amazement. “Yeah, hun, The warm Sun shining on a clear day was one of the greatest joys one could have.”  “But, Dad – that’s not what the sun is like!” Elizabeth said, interrupting.

“No, honey, the sun—” John tilted his head backwards to keep his tears from showing to his daughter. “The sun from back when Ma was here, It was yellow, bright, and warm.  

Elizabeth’s smile began to fade.  “Well then, Dad, what happened to it?”

John was about to explain what happened to the sun, but stopped just before he could say a word. He felt an ominous feeling as a buzzing sound filled the air; he looked up to see a surveillance drone flying overhead. “Sorry, honey, but that’s all for today.” Elizabeth  dropped  her teddy bear in disappointment .  

“But-”

“No buts, honey. Remember what I said, okay?”  

She stood up with a sour look on her face. “Okay, Dad.”

“Good,” John replied as he stood up and continued his routine, making it seem like he and his daughter were having but a normal day.

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Categories: Short Stories

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