I’m expanding the length of each section of this story to fall under 500 words, a slightly longer flash fiction that resembles a drabble. However one classifies it, I hope you enjoy the story.
Flying HomePart I
“Why don’t you call someone for a ride?” Leigh suggested. The two sisters had been walking along Seven Hills Road for nearly an hour on their way back from the astronomy lecture at the observatory.
Emily shook her head. “I like the night. It makes me think.”
“Not more about Julian, I hope.” Leigh looked down into the darkness and sighed. “I don’t mean that awkwardly, Emily. I just don’t want you to be sad.”
“I’m not sad. Not exactly.” Emily peered at the stars above their heads as she searched for the right word. “It’s kind of like he’s with me. And it makes me wonder what he was feeling when his plane disappeared into the desert night.” There had been no evidence of a crash, just no trace of Julian or his aircraft. “Nights like this remind me of him. We’ll be fine because he’s out there.”
“Well, here’s our turn.” The ever sensible Leigh seemed relieved to reach the road that led them back into tiny Aurora, Arizona.
Twenty minutes later, Emily and Leigh were back inside the bungalow house they shared two blocks off Main Street. It had been Emily and Julian’s home, but Leigh had moved in with her sister when it was evident that Julian wasn’t coming home.
“I’m going to bed,” Leigh announced. “It’s going to be an early morning.”
“I think I’ll stay up for a while.” Emily glanced at the radio on the console in the living room next to her favorite chair. It was where she’d always waited for Julian to come home from secret military meetings in the evenings. For some reason, the secrecy surrounding Julian’s work hadn’t bothered Emily. She and Leigh both worked for the Aurora Observer, the town newspaper. She wasn’t always at liberty to discuss her latest work, either, and they had somehow made it work.
She sat down, absentmindedly picked up the scarf she was knitting for her aunt in New Hampshire and turned the radio on. Stars Fell On Alabama filled the room and lulled her into a sense of contentment that eventually gave way to a sleep marked by dreams of Julian existing forever twenty-eight years old, suspended in space.