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A Short Beginning

They had always been told, "Look but don't touch". The Vanderlaan Children stood behind the red velvet rope staring at the Monet painting. The oldest, Danny said "I heard he cut his ear off" his younger siblings, Marica and Lily acknowledged their brother with small nods, shutters of cameras could be heard behind them. They hardly heard the camera clicks anymore. The Vanderlaan Children were triplets, born into a Hierarchy on the planet Goop. Danny stood second in line to inherit the crown as King of Goop, their planet, Lord of Meager, their city, the newspaper titles read he could be crowned before the year is out. His Father was in bad health, scars on his lungs from battling the blazing fire on Earth, the last fire ever. The Vanderlaans were human, their planet was not. Little oxygen was left. Earth had long been since demolished by the sun. "Damn thing ran right into us" their great-grandmother told them, as she tucked them into bed. "Sun, ran into the Earth"? Lily asked, unwinding a strand of string from her pink pj's "Lot's of people survived they started evacuations in the year 2050 the fire was in 2090, by then almost no one lived on Earth. Danny rolled his eyes, taking off his glasses to show his irritation Lily knew so little. Great-Grandmother Leah swatted Lilles hand away. "Ashes to ashes dust to dust, close your eyes and pray to Gus, goodnight my babies". Lily watched her grandma's long silver hair flow out behind tall frame her as she shut the steel door to seal in the Vanderlaans. Gus was their new God. Since their youngest sister couldn't pronounce D's they renamed God, Gus. Lily clasped her hands and began to pray out loud. "Dear Gus, please let the people of Goop live longer, thank you" she began to snore as Danny bit his nails, and Marcia began to read a heavy object people called a book, Earth had some pretty wild stuff. Some was saved before the fire, the little left was now considered an archive. Marcia would return the book before anyone knew it was gone. "Look don't touch, if you ruin it we can't get it back" The Vanderlaan children were told this several times before they were three. The year 4000 was tough, little food, little monies, little room on the Planet Goop. Their own "Castle" was a mere seven hundred square feet. They slept in a three-person bunk bed. "Young people love bunk beds, my childhood friend Vickie slept in one back on Earth" their mother Linden had said when she chose the furniture. The Vanderlaan children looked at the painting. "I wonder why he did that," Marcia said her space suit beeping. Low oxygen. "He needed to see what he could not" Danny answered, transfixed by the colors.


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