Rated: Anyone can read it. G.
Category: Kid Fic, Pre-X-Files, MA, M POV.
Archive: Gossamer. No others without asking first, please.
Disclaimer: If I owned Mulder and Scully, my name would be
Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions would be my company,
and Fox Studios would be the home of those film reels. Since
I am not him, I make no money and intend no copyright
Author's Note: Written for the Nursery Files Lazy, Hazy Summer
Days challenge (kids' photo based story).
Sometimes, I dream of her and that fateful night I couldn't
wrest her from her abductors. Then I berate myself for
the umpteenth time about blaming my barely adolescent self
for not having seen and heard the events that led to that
When I'm alone, tired after another out-of-town red herring
or casefile, I come home, throw my things down, and take
the photo album from my desk drawer. The phone messages
can wait. The Gunmen with their new project can wait. My
email box with its overflow spam can wait. I open the album
and try to remember where I came from, who I was before she
disappeared, and what it was like to be that boy who once
worried only about the summer's end, why the fish wouldn't
bite, and why my parents were arguing during the best time
of the year: cottage time.
My eyes often stay glued to the pictures of Samantha and
me just being kids. We run free, chasing each other around
the grass, climbing trees, playing hide-and-seek with
neighboring cottagers' kids, and them my gaze goes fuzzy.
I drift to a place where there are no forms, badges, files.
folders or bogeymen. The summer when I was 11 and Samantha
That summer, the air was pleasantly warm, and the occasional
afternoon thunderstorms often broke any humidity that had
come our way. Young as we were, we ran straight back outside
chase each other through the grass, climb trees, imitate
animals, (I was always the monkey), and sometimes discover
a rainbow. Our parents were sensible enough not to take us
there if there was a predicted hurricane wending its way up
Sometimes that particular year, the last summer together, we'd
lie in the grass and tell each other what we saw in the
cotton-like puffy clouds.
"I see The Enterprise*," I would say. "With photon torpedos
"You and Star Trek*," Samantha would laugh. "I see a bunny
with a kitty cat."
"Bunny? You mean a rabbit," I'd say. "Over there's a
fire-breathing dragon... " And we would do this for hours
if we could have.
One August afternoon, when Mom had us out here while my
Dad was working some unknown place, I swore I saw the face
of Dad's best friend, with smoke coming out of his mouth
as usual. Then, the clouds seemed to add horns to his head.
I didn't dare tell Samantha I saw that. "I see a man with
a cigarette, and a fire extinguisher is shootin' out at him
but good," I said. I remember thinking how nasty I must
have sounded to Samantha.
"That's so rude, Fox! Besides, I see an angel. Maybe my
guardian angel, or yours, or Mommie's. Maybe even little Jeffy's."
"Jeffy? Oh geez, Sam. He's a baby! Anyway, he makes me
feel like something creepy's going on."
"You are a crazy brother!" Samantha's face was red with rage.
She threw a stone at me, and I ducked. It hit a tree.
Maybe that day was a portent of things to come. Maybe that
cloud formation and it's image was hinting at a truth I wasn't
I look at the last picture from that summer. She's in a
paisley sundress with those tie up straps, with yellow
flip-flops on her feet standing beside me in the wildflower
garden at Chepachet, Rhode Island. That was truly one of the
best summers we had, and the last one I had with her. I wipe
tears before they hit the protective plastic in the album,
close the damn thing and put it back in the desk drawer.
Why I do this to myself beats me. Pardon me, I beat myself
as a result of all the guilt I still carry for letting her
Perhaps some day the self-punishment will end, as I either
find her, or find out what happened to her.
* The Enterprise and Star Trek are copyright protected by
Paramount Studios and Gene Roddenberry's Estate. I bought
the movie, "Star Trek VI", so I have given payment and credit
where credit is due.