Random Image SciFi Writing Contest #2 progress:
With a shaking hand Amaleia took the paper from her uncle. He didn’t wait for her to read it but turned and silently left the room, leaving her alone with the documents, the letter and her nurse.
My Dearest Amaleia,
As your father I want you to know that you have grown to be nothing less that the living visage of your departed mother. How I loved her, and how I have always loved you. Over the next weeks I may be coming and going a lot, my business keeps me from you at times but do not think that I ever stop thinking about you. I’ve hired a nurse to be with you through this time of coming and going. Her name is Nan, and I expect her to arrive any day. Please make her welcome and obey her like the good little girl I know you are. I will return from Marosea soon, and we will have a picnic among the scarps as soon as I return, I promise.
With all my Love,
Amaleia turned to Nan with glistening eyes, barely noticing the wide eyed expression of on her nurse’s face.
“It was the letter that was to introduce us. It must have arrived just after they found his shuttle. Oh, I’m so glad he sent you Nan,” she began to sob, “I could never have made it without you.”
But Nan seemed not to hear her. With tremulous wrinkled hands she gently took the letter from Amaleia.
“We have been looking for this for years…” she muttered as she shuffled across the room.
“Nan, what are you doing?”
The nurse ignored her and proceeded to the fireplace.
“Nan? Nan STOP!”
But it was too late, without a hesitation Nan threw the parchment into the fireplace where it landed on a log and was instantly engulfed in flame.
“NAN!” Amaleia screamed racing over the fire.
An aged but firm hand blocked her arm from reaching into the flames. She paused, bewildered and overwhelmed. That’s when she heard it.
It was a voice. It was THE voice. The voice she had longed to hear for so many years. The voice she heard only in her dreams now spoke to her out of the flames.
“And I just speak into it and it will record me?” her father was saying.
Amaleia approached the fire cautiously and saw that the parchment was not being consumed by the flames, but instead glowed brilliantly. Slowly an image took shape on the page. Her hand leapt to her mouth as though to keep her heart from spilling out when she saw him.
“Amaleia. Amaleia, I hope you receive this. I hope you find my message. The future is never clear.”
Her father looked tired and worn, but every bit as kind and loving as she remembered him.
“Amaleia, I haven’t much time. I worry for your safety. They will tell you lies about me, but do not believe them. I have found some… some people that need my help. That need our help. It is dangerous I know, and I would never want to endanger you, but without us they will go extinct. They will all die. Amaleia, I am sending Nan to you, she is the only one who knows. You can trust her, but you must tell no one. And above all else, if anything ever happens to me do not let them have the property. We are their refuge, there is nowhere else for them to go.”
“This is a lot to ask of a little girl, I know. But I promise I will return as soon as I can. I love you ‘Leia. Please, be safe.”
The image faded and the parchment turned to darkness. Amaleia didn’t look up from the blackened parchment until a poker carefully pulled it from the flames. Nan stooped and picked up the precious document and looked up at Amaleia with deep watery eyes.
“He was a good man,” she whispered, “He tried to save us.”