A Pond of Stars and a Weeping Willow
The view was tiresome and miserable in the night sky; where once a spectacle of beautiful rivulets of lights was, now a painting with ugly blotches of undesirable ink spread all over the canvas, remained. Every night, over the past week, was the same sight. Shkein’s airships would set sail promptly after nine o’clock at night, dimming the sky from its splendor with their enormous airships' envelopes, the name Morgan Shkein darkly imprinted on its surface. None of the Wilkers had talk about setting into the sky after their incident with Shkein and Loretta, and none of their neighbors mentioned anything to them about that. They were the only family who had their ship intact, and the only family who didn’t have the pieces of gold and silver.
They were frugal in their spending of money and Dust, for it was diminishing. One dawn, after Skhein’s airships were long gone, Daniel and Aimee set sail into the sky in hopes of gathering some Dust left by the Lights that were disappearing by the appearance of the sun. However few, they got some. It was a dangerous trip, the air thinned at dawn, making the cold cling on the Light Chaser and hung like crystal chandeliers, weighing it down. They had some complications, which forced them to return; after that incident they promised each other never attempt that again, unless they were desperate enough to lose their life and the Chaser during the process.
Tonight was one of those nights where the airships blocked their view from everything they loved. Aimee reached to pull the curtain, covering the window from the awful view. “I hate it so much,” she complained to the darkness.
Daniel, who was sleeping beside her, nudged her with his elbow and grunted. “Be quiet, Aimee, do you want to wake everybody up? It’s past midnight now. Get some sleep.”
“But I can’t,” Aimee hissed, nudging him back. Aimee slept with Daniel when Adela and Pablo started living with them. It was a drastic change; the house had never seemed so crowded or full of life. Adela was like a big sister to them, even though she had the same age as Aimee. She did all the cooking, cleaning, and maintenance of the house and garden. Aimee had let her borrow some of her clothes, which barely fitted the curvy body of Adela. They went to the Market once a week to buy more food to supply their cabinets and buy some clothes for Adela and Pablo. Joseph was very happy playing with little Pablo, he was so playful, innocent, and curious about everything. Joseph always took him to the lake while Adela stayed tidying and looking after the house. They were currently saving spare Dust in order to fulfill the promise they had made to Adela and Pablo, to one day take them back to their mother in the tropics. Overall, it was a blessing having them there.
However, sometimes Aimee didn’t feel that way. She felt Adela was a competitor against her, and she scorned her for cooking better or doing womanly stuff better than her. When Sophie died, there was no female presence in the house to look after them. Aimee was a teenager when some of her neighbors started remarking and commenting about her duty as a woman. She felt self-conscious about her role in the household and wanted to change that by cleaning the house a bit and trying her hand at cooking. She was bored to death after cleaning one quarter of the house and the food she made was better left untouched. She didn’t have the natural talents a woman had to have. Adela was very different, she performed those roles perfectly. Aimee felt bad for her envy, and reproached herself for having those thoughts. Adela was a very supportive friend, she repeated to herself.
Daniel never spent his time in the house. He was wandering in the Market doing light-knows-what. Aimee had once tried to coax him into taking her to his adventures, but he refused. She only wanted an excuse to see Christian again. Aimee felt sad, and whenever she felt sad, negative thoughts flooded her mind.
“Don’t you think Adela’s food is getting saltier by the day?” she commented, resting her hands behind her head and looking up at the cracks of their roof, barely visible in the dark.
“Here we go again,” Daniel sighed, “envy attacks. Can’t you just accept the fact that some girls are not born to cook and move on with your life?”
Aimee glared at him, but obviously he couldn’t see her. “I just hope we can take them to their home country soon.” Daniel tittered; she buried her elbow deep into Daniel’s ribs. He moaned, but otherwise remained silent. “I meant for their sake, they must be really worried about their mother.”
“Yeah, whatever you say,” Daniel said. “Now go to sleep.”
Aimee’s eyes were directed to the dark roof again. She couldn’t sleep, not peacefully at least. She just waited soundlessly for the waves of nothingness to take her away to the ocean of dreams…and nightmares, as they were common these days.