Title: Star Light, Star Bright
Author: Polly - firstname.lastname@example.org
Feedback: Welcome and greatly appreciated
Category: 500 Words, Mulder POV, Post-Ep, Pre-XF
Disclaimer: These characters belong to Chris Carter and 1013 Productions
Notes: Written for Haven's 500 Word "Back to the Future" Challenge - either a pre-XF or a post-XF moment in the life of one of the main characters, but must tie-in to the episode
Thanks: To Sybil for continuing to come up with creative challenges week after week
Summary: Starlight promises
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"What happens when you die, Fox?"
The sun was setting and soft hues of twilight illuminated the sky. The first stars of evening twinkled overhead as we lay in the sand, the ocean washing away remnants of another summer day on the Vineyard.
"Huh?" Little sisters could be such a pain sometimes.
"Amy said her grandma died and they put her in a box and mailed her to heaven to be an angel." Samantha flapped her arms and legs to make a sand angel but the tide had different ideas.
"Some people believe that," I replied. "But they don't mail you anywhere. They bury you in the ground. And the worms and bugs crawl in and ... EAT YOU!" A quick tickle and she squealed in disgust and delight.
"Ewww! Gross!" she giggled. "But then how can you be an angel?"
"You don't need your body anymore," I answered. "Your soul goes to heaven and becomes an angel. At least that's what some people believe. Grandpa doesn't, though. He says once you're dead, you're dead."
"How does it feel to be dead?"
"Beats me. I guess you don't feel anything."
I enjoyed tormenting my little sister, but she was about to cry. "Some people think after you die you come back to life as something else," I added. "It's called reincarnation. I read a book about it."
"Come back as what?"
I shrugged. "Whatever you want."She thought for a moment. "But what's the right answer? Angels or 'carnations or just dead?"
I laughed. "There isn't any right answer. You believe whatever you want."
"Then I believe in 'carnation," she smiled proudly. "And I know what I'd come back as. A star!"
I stood up and swiped at wet sand clinging to my shorts. "Why a star?"
"Because then I'd be able to see everything! I'd know people's wishes! I could watch over you and Daddy and Mommy. And every night you could look up and say goodnight to me. Promise me you will."
I pulled her to her feet and we walked toward our bikes. "I promise." No point in arguing. "But I'll die before you do. So will Mom and Dad. That's the way it works. Older people die first."
"I don't want you to die, Fox."
"Don't worry. We'll both be around for a long time." I pushed up the kickstand and motioned for her to do the same. "Unless we don't get going. Mom'll kill us if we're not home in five minutes."
She jumped on her bike and sped off, pigtails flying behind her. "Race ya, buttmunch!"
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I stood outside the hotel staring up at the stars. "You always get your way, short stuff. Goodnight."
A few minutes later Scully slid her hand in mine. "You okay?"
"I'm fine. Just keeping an old promise I made to Samantha."
She didn't question, just squeezed my fingers - a simple gesture, but one filled with strength and love. Scully knew how much I needed both tonight.
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