Paul had come home with his office pictures and knick knacks in a single cardboard box, his eyes dull with shock. Most of those were in the trailer attached to the car, running on hope that it would survive the long, cramped trip back to his parents house.
Jennifer was day dreaming about the honeymoon in Holland. Driving past fields of tulips had sent her right back.
They were two hundred miles from Paul’s hometown when something in the engine made a wet, rattling sound and the car began to slow down, no matter how much Paul swore at it.
‘What are we going to do?’
He had rested his head against the steering wheel.
‘I could ring my dad. See if Gerry could come out.’
She sighed and stared out through the windshield.
‘I’m calling him now, but the signal is shit out here.’
Something had fallen from the sky. The air was thick with the soil and debris. Paul ran around to her side and put his arm around her. She pointed past him to where the impact had originated. He looked around, reached for his phone but she put her arm up and touched his shoulder. She had her hand up to shield her eyes from the dust.
She wanted to see. Paul went ahead, but she took his hand, giving him directions after a fashion.
Whatever had landed, the impact had left an oval crater, no more than a foot deep and set within it an ovoid shape, glowing white from the impact. The air shimmered around it from the heat that it gave off, and they both stood there. Paul reached for his phone and snapped a picture. Jennifer frowned at him but he rolled his eyes and tutted.
‘Oh come on. You’d do the same thing.’
She laughed and said that she had left her phone on charge in the car. The shape made a sharp click, and begun to shift before their eyes. It opened like a flower, petal shapes flowing outward and whatever was contained within it, cried out.
A baby’s cry.
She rushed over before Paul could pull her backwards.
The eyes were golden, and the colour of it’s skin lightened at the sight of Jennifer’s face, slack with shock and surprise. The purple and red diluting to the tawny peach complexion that made something within her tug and lurch from the dark places of her heart. Kicking his chubby legs, reaching for her with soft fingers.
She went to pick it up, Paul urged caution but she had it in her arms already. The sound of his breath, trembling and uncertain. Paul wondered if it was due to the soil that had been thrown up by the impact. He wanted to ask her not to pick it up, but he looked into her eyes and knew that she would brook no argument.
He sighed and said that he would get a blanket in the trunk. Nothing good fell from the sky, he had a mental library of books and films to back that up, but he looked at how she held the baby and knew that there was no debate here.
He got out his phone and tried his dad again.
Jennifer sat in the front passenger seat, mesmerised by the infant in her arms, the damp warmth of his breath against her shoulder made her want to sob with delight. She looked around, the fields of tulips no longer made her look backwards.
She had time to regret her decision, later.