You know what happens when you get up an hour earlier than you usually get up and knock out a story for Story A Day May with random inspirations? Well, sometimes it’s hash.
Mother’s Day on Mars
Mom says they used to give their mothers flowers for Mother’s Day on Earth. Flowers and chocolate candy. She says they didn’t cost a lot on Earth. All I could give my mom was some ratty old diamonds I found when I tried to dig for water under my playdome.
She cried, though, and hugged me, said I was the best daughter in the known universe, and said she would keep them forever. She is the best mom!
You know what she gave me for my birthday last year? A MONSTER! Not a store-bought monster, either; she made this one herself! It looks just like me, only shiney and fake-looking, the way monsters are. Mom says they have to look fake and we have to call them monsters, because they don’t want people to start thinking monsters have feelings and stuff. I asked her who “they” are, but she just said, “them.” So I still don’t know.
Mom got kinda mad at me when I sent my monster outside the dome and it didn’t come back. I’m sorry I did it, now. I liked having my own monster, especially one my own mother made special for me. But I was only little last year. I was only a five-year-old baby last year. I’m a lot smarter, now.
The thing is, I told the monster to go pick my mom some flowers. I was so dumb when I was a little baby, I thought maybe there were flowers somewhere on Mars and I thought my monster could find some. But it’s been over a year, and the monster still isn’t back, so I guess there aren’t any.
Oh, the Visitor Approaching chime! Goody! I love visitors!
“Who is it?” I ask the AI.
Mom says, “Identify.”
I can see by Mom’s face she doesn’t know the name.
Then the domebuggy gets close enough for visual and audio. I snuggle up next to Mom to look at the screen, but there’s nothing on it.
“Request entrance,” says a woman voice.
“Identify,” Mom says.
“Mother’s Day delivery from Mila.”
“That’s me!” I squeal. “How can it be from me?”
Mom says, “Engage entry protocols.”
On another screen, we watch the door open and the domebuggy pull into the lock. I get bored waiting, but Mom pats me on the shoulder and explains all the safety checks the AI has to do before somebody can come in from outside.
Then the domebuggy opens and a lady gets out. Then my monster gets out, too!
“Mommy, it’s my monster!” I jump off Mom’s command chair. “It’s back!”
I’m so excited, I race back and forth between the inner door and Mom until Mom joins me at the hatch.
“Enter,” she says, and the door opens.
I stand still like a good girl.
The lady says she’s Doctor somebody — a lot of the grownups here are Doctor somebody or other — Mom’s a doctor and she said my daddy was a doctor.
Anyway, this doctor says, “I found this monster wandering the surface late last year. It said it was looking for flowers for Mila to give her Mom for Mother’s Day.”
Mom hugs me and says, “Oh, Mila! Is that why you sent it out? Why didn’t you say so?”
I just shrug and hug her back. I didn’t say so at first because I wanted the flowers to be a surprise, and then because I was ashamed to be so baby-stupid.
The lady says, “I brought it home with me and cleaned it up and repaired the damage.” She looks at me and says, “Although it isn’t a good idea to start an open-ended, uncontrolled experiment, I did retrieve valuable data on the effects of prolonged exposure and wear on monsters of this particular construction and composition.”
And I know I’ll be a doctor some day, too.
The doctor tells my monster to step forward, and I see it’s holding a big metal box.
“Flowers,” it says.
Mom looks really, really surprised. I know I feel that way.
“Of a sort,” says the doctor.
Mom opens the box. She pulls out a bottle of blue stuff. She puts it back and pulls out a yellow one, then a black one.
“Nail polish,” Mom says.
The doctor says, “My grandmother used to use it. I can remember watching her put it on when I was little. Sometimes she put it on me. When she got too shaky to use it, I put in on her. First you paint, then you stamp patterns and pictures on it. I’ll show you how, if you like.”
I pick the colors, and the doctor puts the paint on Mom’s nails. The doctor says, “I enjoyed synthesizing the formulas and colors. They aren’t exactly the same as my grandmother’s, but I think she would have liked them.”
“They’re beautiful!” Mom says.
The doctor pulls a metal plate out of the box. It has pictures of flowers on it! She puts ink on it, lifts the ink off, and stamps it on Mom’s nails.
“Oh,” says Mom. She cries a little, like she does when she’s happy. “Flowers on Mars. Happy Mother’s Day to me.”
Our #4 Daughter, the amazing Sara Marian, gave me a gift certificate to Maniology, our nail art online shop of choice. I got four polishes and a starry plate. In a previous order, I got a pineapple-shaped stamper. One of the perks of buying from Maniology, which is based in Hawaii, is the pineapple gummies they often send with your order. So.
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: A flower in an unusual place.