Chapter 23

The mother – taller than medium height, a red-haired woman with green eyes in her late thirties and little boy, with chestnut hairs and narrow face were bustling in the kitchen. At the outdoor got dark and they switched on the one bulb chandelier, the warm, sun-color light of which was like a velvet sheet covering the furniture and goods. On the table combined with electric cooker, the woman was kneading the dough. Also time to time she was throwing glances into the oven, examining her previous shortcake, didn’t it burn?
The kid had nothing to do here but his bandaged throat was showing that nobody permits him to go out at that cold autumn evening and he could be satisfied to be with his mother. Usually, he never visited the kitchen but now there was a special day: his mother was cooking the cake.
“Mom, what’re you going to present me in my birthday?” he asked after a few minutes pensively wandering between the kitchen cabinets.
Miriam looked at her son smiling:
“Georg, have the patience, you’re big boy already. You will be seven years old tomorrow.”
“Will Grandma Agnetha come too?” The child immediately changed the topic, what he could do if he was forced to do that.
“Everybody will come, why are you asking only about her?”
“For no particular reason,” the boy attempted to hide his thoughts but how can he cheat his mother?
“I understood,” Miriam said. “You’ll again annoy her with questions about the rockets.”
“I’m not annoying her,” Georg disaffirmed mother’s shrewdness. “Yesterday she told me herself that together with my birthday we’ll celebrate arriving of the rocket to its goal. Mom, is it true? Are there dragons like those in the movies?”
“Dragons…? Who knows? We will learn that when the ship informs us about its arrival,” his mother answered evasively and involuntarily remembered the day when she first time saw Agnetha. Then wounded and worn up woman said that till that ship arrives its goal, there is almost twenty-five years more. How quickly passed that enormous amount of time? Now Miriam surprised.
“Mom, do you hear me?” Son’s urgent voice returned her to actuality. “When does it inform us? Will we see the touchdown on the planet also tomorrow?”
“No Georg, people will see that when you’ll be in the age of your father, that is, in forty-five years,” his mother answered.
“Wow!” The boy shouted in amazement and disappointedly. “It is very boring to wait so many years!”
Instead of response Miriam opened the oven, took with metal brazier already baked flat dry shortbread from there and put it on the kitchen table.
Georg inhaled with pleasure the smell of vanilla cookie and asked:
“Do there will be photos and we will see the dragons if they’re there?”
“Why not? We will see everything,” Miriam assured him.
After that, she emptied brazier and spread on it the new rectangle of dough. Georg also found the pursuit. Imperceptibly for his mother, he was trying to nip off small pieces from shortcake yet hot as a flame.
“Other ships will send us photos from their planets and we’ll see them also together!” Excitedly proclaimed the boy persistently gazing in his mother’s eyes, hypnotizing her, didn’t allow notice his stir.
Smiling Miriam wiped her hands with a rag, then squat down in front of her son, took his forearms, a short while was watching in his eyes and finally said:
“Son, when the translation of the rocket intended to land tomorrow will come to us, I would be eighty years old and this is true in case if that signal will arrive just in time. Till the arrival of the messages of other ships, there are decades and centuries.”
The boy confusedly blinked and hesitantly asked:
“How do photos of another rocket−? You−” The child stopped. He was at loss and afraid by guess which he had comprehended right at this moment, the first time in his life.
“Yes,” his mother confirmed the boy’s discovery, mandatory to every sapient creature. “You’ll see the messages of the rest of ships without me, with your own children.”
The boy became pensive. Seeing how is changing his expression, Miriam realized that the kid is internalizing the new, mysterious nature of life. Though the boy neither bothered because of it nor his mood worsened. That’s what happens always: exactly in Georg’s age the human been is realizing the existence of the death and is not perceiving this as a significant phenomenon. At this time the end of the life looks very distant and vague, lost in the infinity.
“What it turns out? We all die one after another, and ships will fly and fly?” Georg asked finally.
“We’ll examine that later, now we have to take care of relatively simple things, for example, writing letters and words correctly,” his mother stated.
“Oh, Mom, come on,” the boy instantly became disappointed. “Better tell me again how our great-grandfather Iase saved space travels. Did he save?”
“Yes, he did. If they didn’t fly then, later, when the life was collapsed, who did care about flights? Who had got sufficient abilities for that? Maybe our forefather saved the only chance of mankind for departing to the stars,” Miriam was talking and simultaneously putting next portion of dough into the oven.
“It’s clear. Tell me about grandfather Iase,” the child stubbornly reminded to his mother.
Mira almost caressed son’s head, but she remembered in time that her hands are blurry with the flour. Instead, simultaneously with cooking, she started once again story of the past, about which she also knew from the tale.