The house was burning rapidly. The inferno of flames and smoke was growing and spreading like a hungry creature ready to devour everything that stands in its way.
– Come on Moira, we need to get out of here. Quick, before there is no way out. – Moira’s mother pulled on the child’s hand and went for the nearest staircase.
– Wait Mom. I left my book. – The small face furrowed in distress.
– No honey I have it in my bag. I remembered to grab it. – Moira’s mother smiled slightly patting the patchwork bag slung over her shoulder. Inside was a small square book bound in red leather and finished with golden letters. Her daughter’s small fairy tale booklet. The last gift Moira received from her father before he departed for the war. He was in Europe, in Normandy. They would wait for him, as long as it takes.
The mother and child left the house just in time. Behind them the debris fell with an ominous hiss of fire.
Julie was intently looking at the silver screen of the TV, that her father bought especially for this moment. He never believed much in this new technological devices. Said it spoiled people. Good, old newspaper and radio were enough to get him his daily portion of information. But this was something entirely different. This they had to see with their own eyes.
Julie palmed the small red book with golden letters nervously. It always calmed her down. The book had the most beautiful fairy tales and was bound in a beautiful red leather. Julie, even though she was a teenager at the tender age of sixteen, still liked to read the fairy tales. She squeezed the book a little harder gazing fixedly at the screen. The astronaut was about to make the final step.
– That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. – echoed the blurry voice of the man that, for the first time in history, set foot on the Moon.
Amanda let out a puff of smoke and threw out the finished cigarette outside the window. She immediately lit up the new one. She intended to finish the whole pack tonight. Because tonight she was both celebrating and mourning. Tonight she was finally a free woman.
After a long battle Amanda won in court and her beast of a husband could harm her no more. She got a divorce and court gave her the custody of the two small girls. She stubbed the cigarette and walked through the long corridor to her daughter’s bedroom. Dim pink light fell around their beds from a star shaped light attached to the wall. She looked at her children’s peaceful faces and new it was worth it.
Her eyes fell on the little red book with golden letters. She found solace in those fairy tales, so different then her own life at the time. The fairy tales from her old book were a favorite bed time story of her two little girls. Amanda was glad that she was able to read it to them, time and time again. After all the little worn book was in their family for generations.
A silent witness to many stories, tears and joys.