Friday, July 07, 2006


All his friends just asked for toys. Darth Vader toys and Barbies. Scooters and skateboards and doll houses. At 7, that’s what he should have asked for too.

Its night, and it’s cold and he is snuggling up in his blankie. Mom tucks him in and kisses his forehead.

“Now be a good boy and shut those eyes. You have school in the morning”. And she leaves him. But he isn’t being a good boy – he is looking out the window to the many many stars. Simba said that they were the great kings of the past. He liked that better than what Timon said (fireflies) or Pumba did (balls of gas?? No way!!).

And there amongst all the sparkling little dots he finds the brightest firefly, the biggest king – and he gets an idea.

Shuffling quickly out of bed, he gets to his knees by the bedside. A little frightened he is that mom would come back to check on him, but she never comes back so quickly, so he knows he is safe. Besides, this is important. It always is in the movies and cartoons. The good children always pray. Maybe he IS being a good boy after all. Maybe mom just doesn’t understand.

Shutting his eyes, drowning out all the bad thoughts of the day he prays to that Great King. He prays vehemently, his little hands clenched in fists, his body stiff with concentration. He shivers a little because of the cold, but his fledgling belief keeps him steady in his prayer.

Mumbling out his sincerity and his hopes, he ends with a little praise – promising his new deity that he will be the bestest good boy on the planet if The King accepts his prayer. Unable to mask his childish and pure expectance he looks up again to the shining light in reverence.

A n d t h e s p a r k l i n g l i g h t g o e s o u t


“All systems are go, Captain”, says the Lieutenant – nodding to the man in charge.

The captain takes one last sweep of the cockpit, and briefly shuts his weary eyes. It’d been a long day. “Alright, I’m going to get some shut-eye. We have a lot of tests to run tomorrow. Keep us in orbit and turn off all unnecessary auxiliary power. We won’t need the lights out here in space either. It’s not like a drunken spacecraft pilot will crash into us. I hope they’re having fun on the ground.”

The Lieutenant grins, and offers a small salute as the Captain wanders off to his quarters.

Reaching out, he flips a switch and the outer hull of the craft goes dark leaving only the soft glow of the many switches and screens in the cockpit.


Stunned he slowly rises, dully aware of the pain in his knees – but his eyes fixated on the spot where the Great King was just moments ago. Tears brim in his young eyes as he wonders why… confused, and shattered he climbs into bed and forces himself into a troubled sleep… wondering why… wondering if he had killed the Great King (but he was already dead..!), wondering if the firefly had finally burnt out (were fireflies like matches Dad lights his cigars with?)… wondering if that meant his prayers were not accepted… wondering if that meant he should never have fucking asked in the first place.