- Vol. 03
- Chapter 01
Image by Coralie Bickford-Smith
NO FLIGHT OF FANCYI stared at it for quite some time. It looked like a big eye in tomato soup with noodles: those chopped noodles you get in canned products. It made me wary of approaching the fridge. It looked like it was guarding the door.
“Do you like it, Daddy?”
“Daddy loves it, Shelly,” Diane said with a straight face, then turned away and talked into her palm. “Just look at his face.”
I generously took the muffled snorting as a fit of coughing.
“It’s…” Should I lie outright? Should I find something positive to say about it … or should I tell her honestly that it was a regression from her previous art homework? I looked her straight in the eye, into those angelic, trusting features and forced a smile. “It’s bright and wonderful … just like the real thing.”
The smile she returned was like a rank of halogen spot lamps.
“Where did you get the notion?” I valiantly ignored my wife’s sniggering from the back door. Diane had suddenly discovered the need for a ‘bit of fresh air’.
“The school took us in a big helicopter over the last crop circle, see?” She handed me a laminated card rectangle.
I was about to be annoyed at not being consulted over the authorisation for the flight until my eyes recognized the card for what it was.
“Diane, come see this.”
She stepped further out into the yard.
She must have read my tone, because she came in, the laughter washed away by concern. She moved to stand at my shoulder as I grabbed her hand with my free one.
Together we stared at the aerial colour photograph.
“Shelly, dear,” my wife was able to ask evenly, “where is this … exactly?”