Ariel snuggled into bed, her white cotton sheets clean and fresh. Cait leaned over and kissing her forehead said, “I love you sweetie. Sleep tight and I’ll see you in the morning.”

“I love you too mommy,” responded Ariel with an impish smile born in the warmth of the moment, worry and concern absent in the cocoon of her room.

Cait smiled back, stood up to leave and hesitated. She had not allowed Ariel to sleep in her bed for more than a year, yet the thought hung in her mind and she mused, Was this desire for Ariel or me? “Honey, how would you like to sleep with mommy in the big bed tonight?”

“That’s okay mommy, I’m a big girl now.”

Cait looked down at Ariel, her cheeks uplifted with pride. “Yes you are darlin’.” Cait smiled, kissed Ariel again and let herself out, closing the door softly.

Ariel rolled over and in a real quiet voice whispered, “Okay, she’s gone. Would you read me a story?”

Her pillow began to glow and the gentle voice of her father responded, “Well, that depends. Have you been a good girl?”

“Oh daddy, I’ve been really, really good.”

“Okay, then, what would you like to hear tonight?”

“I want to hear the one about the little girl who grew up to be a superhero. Tell me about her rocket shoes daddy, that’s my favorite part.”

“That’s my favorite too. Here goes. Once upon a time there was a little girl with primrose hair and sapphire eyes who found a pair of rocket shoes. These were not any ordinary rocket shoes, but very special ones.”

Ariel jumped in. “What did they look like?”

“They sparkled ruby red and had wings on the back and when the little girl put them on, they glowed and sparkled with the brilliance of Rubion and Triste. “

And so the pillow glowed and talked and Ariel smiled that smile that children do when they know they have the best dad in the whole world. And somewhere, many parsecs away, there was a dad that was smiling too, that smile that dads have when they know they have the best daughter in the whole universe.When the story was over Ariel whispered with sleepy lids, “I love you daddy.”

And the pillow whispered back, “I love you too. Sweet dreams my dear angel.”

Categories: Story, Caitlin, John Discovery, Ariel