The Stork Never Came

"No parent should have to bury their child."

Isaak and Celia belong to me.

Celia is huddled in the corner. Only moments ago was she screaming at him.

"DON'TTOUCHITDON'TTOUCHITDON'TOUCHITDON'TTOUCHIT!"

"Why?"

Isaak presents her with this simple question. She is calmer now. So is he. Isaak does not have the will sob. It won't do either of them any good. Celia is still huddled in the corner. She's holding it to her chest.

"It's dead." She croaks.

This is not Celia. This is not the beautiful human girl he fell in love with. This is a mother without child. In her arms is said child, devoid of life as one might say.

Isaak grew up being told that everything had life. Even after death. He longs to hold his child. Outlived it may be. The child has never seen the world for their eyes. Isaak leaves. Celia doesn't think twice about it.

When he returns, there is a box on the dining table. It's simple but sturdy. Inside the child is wrapped in warm cloth and has been cleaned. If he didn't know any better he would have thought his child was asleep. Maybe they are asleep. Isaak nods to himself. His baby is sleeping and waiting to wake up. He's going to wake them up.

Isaak picks up the box and brings it outside of their small and quaint home. What house once would have been full of laughter and low melodies of foreign song is now deathly silent. Celia follows but keeps her distance.

His knees meet the ground. He carefully places the box next to him. Isaak sinks his hands into the moist earth. It's early morning and a layer of dew blankets the ground. Soil is tossed around as Isaak digs. Celia is standing off to the side, clutching a coat to her frail body. She is seriously begining to question her husbands sanity.

He finishes with an arms length hole that has been dug around the size of the box. Realization dawns upon her. She can feel tears threaten to break. Isaak looks at her.

"No." He says.

"W- .. What?"

Isaak cradles the box and gently places it in the grave. He pulls off the lid. Isaak fights to look away. He doesn't want to face the truth, but he must, so he pulls the blanket up to his child's sleeping face. It'll be alright if he lies to himself a little longer.

"Everything deserves another chance to live, Celia."

"My baby is dead." She hisses.

Isaak holds his hand out for her. Although she'd rather knock some sense into him she persists and holds his hand. She too kneels down and touches the child's face. Her touch is so light that it's hard pressed to see the motion. Isaak draws one of his wings around her.

"No, our child lives." He does not lie this time.

From his pocket he pulls a seed. A thousand miracles and foolish hopes all in one. Isaak replaces the lid and on it he puts the seed. So innocent, so small and very vulnerable.

"Do you .. really think this will work?" Celia bites her lip.

"Yea. They'll wake up and grow to be big and strong and beautiful."

Celia helps him push dirt into the hole. With each thud that hits the box she can feel her hopes rising a little. She pats the ground and finds herself surprised to feel a drop of rain hit her hand. They turn their sorrowful gazes to the grey sky. The sun has not shown it's face but the salvation of rain has answered their calls.

Celia succumbs to Isaak's embrace and he holds her. Whispering words she will never have the strength to revisit again. She closes her eyes and whispers her own encouragement. Let my child live again, she thinks, they shall wake and greet the morning sun.

Many sunsets and moon rises have flown over their heads in the passing years. Celia is old. Aged like the earth and Isaak lives on, showing few signs of aging. He will outlive her, but their child will outlive them both. She thinks he's glad. They sit under the large tree. Their backs to the trunk. It holds them both up when many years ago they could not.

No parent should ever have to bury their child. Isaak is saddened, he will never be able to teach his child how to fly. Celia is saddened, she will never be able to comfort her child on a stormy night. In a preserved sense of happiness they have watched their child grow. The sturdy tree has protected their little house from the most vicious of weather and kept them cool on a scorching day as a child would make their parents proud. They have watered and tended to the tree's soil as a good parent would raise their child.

In a brilliant and pathetic attempt to save all that had been lost they had given the child another chance at life. Isaak holds Celia in his arms and whispers words into her ear. This time she can recall them.

"Isn't she beautiful?"

FIN