Birthday in Space
The stars shimmered against the Prussian blue sky that cold clear winter night. The suspended orbs of fire looked as if a bucket of freshwater pearls had been dumped and then consciously scattered throughout the heavens. They radiated a soft but luminous light with the subtle blinks of their lustrous eyes, steadfastly casting a white glow upon the trees that cascaded down the mountains. In a leisure town outside of where the mills, breweries, factories and foundries remained in existence, Mary, the young daughter of a dive bar owner, was in labor with her fathers bartenders baby. They had met at her fathers bar for her 21st birthday. His name was Joseph. They had an immediate magnetism. He drew her in with his dark deep-set eyes. Every drink he poured her he carefully observed the spreading of her lips when the glass would approach her mouth. He relished her sips, her swallows. She was immensely intrigued and drawn to his rugged look yet humble demeanor. She had heard a lot about him from dinnertime conversations. Her father would boast of his ability of being able to "pick the winners" and that this particular guy had just the right amount of gentleman and just the right amount of cowboy. After the last call was dried out Joseph offered Mary a ride home, which she happily and hastily accepted. Nine months later she would be riding in the back of a pedicab that her betrothed dug out of his garage when the tires on his car fell flat, rubbing her abdomen in severe pain.
"I am not going to make it to the hospital!"
"What do you mean? It is right over the hill!"
"You have to pull over-now!"
He pulled the tricycle over to the side of the winding road. The sun was setting and twilight was creeping in. He saw a light shining from out of the corner of his eye. It was coming from a lamppost that stood in front of a shed and farmhouse standing 50 feet away from where they were.
"Can you walk to that shed?" he asked her, heart racing.
"Yessss! Let's go!"
Inside the old and dilapidated wooden shed stood a couple of broken shelves that were propped up against the corners with piles of outdated magazines on them, some tires, a few oil lanterns with matches by their sides, and four large blocks of two-string straw bales.
"I have to lay down now. Did you bring the blanket?"
"Yes-here let me put it on the ground for you."
"No, it is December. We need it to wrap the child in. "
An hour later the most adorable and healthy baby boy was born. There was a large flat flower basket that Joseph retrieved from the inside of one of the tires. He yanked a handful of straw from out of its tightly packed bundle and sprinkled it onto the basket for extra padding before the swaddled child was laid upon it. A moment after they had done so, three men appeared in the doorway.
"Is that your bike out there by the road?" the man with the yellow shirt asked Mary and Joseph.
"Yes, it is," Joseph replied back.
"You need help or something?" the man with the green shirt offered.
"A ride would be nice. My girlfriend here just gave birth. I am sorry, she could not make it to the hospital."
The three men gasped.
"The prophecy has come true!" they said in unison.
"What are you talking about?" Mary said with a worried tone in her voice.
"Our mother is a an oracle. She told us she had a vision that by divine intervention a young couple would meet and have a child together near our farmhouse on this very day. A child that will change the new world."
"For the greater good, let me add," said the man in the purple.
"This is crazy. Why should we believe you or your mother?" Joseph argued. How could our child be—Mary interrupted—“A savior,” she said in a drifty voice with a look of detachment in her eyes. Joseph turned to her, astonished. He could feel what she was going to say next.
"I never told you, but I had a vision as well. Three months into my pregnancy I saw an angel at the foot of my bed. The angel told me my child would go on to bring morality and values back into the decaying world. He would teach us kindness, honesty, loyalty, empathy and love for our fellow man. I am sorry I never told you, I just thought it was my hormones and stress getting to me."
"We have no time to waste!" the three brothers interjected.
"There are three things your child needs to protect him from the enemy," said the man in green.
"The enemy?" Joseph asked feeling quite confused.
"Yes. The government already knows about his birth. He needs to be launched as soon as possible or the child will be killed," the man in the yellow sternly warned them.
"Launched? Killed! I can't believe this," the frustrated father began pacing about in the dimly lit shed.
"Yes, mother said he has to live in space until he is fully grown," said the man in green.
The new parents could hardly believe their ears. Panic had consumed their faces.
“Why?” Mary asked, holding her son against her breast.
"In three months the earth will go through a devastating catastrophic polar shift. It will turn the world upside down. There will massive amounts of casualties. Famine. Disease. Murders. People will burn and people will freeze to death. We will start to lose our minds in the process of rebuilding our earth again. Unless, we have someone like your child show us the light."
"How long does he have to be in space for?" the parents asked.
"Until he is twenty-seven-years-old. That is when his purpose will be called upon," said the man in yellow.
"And what will become of us, his parents?" Joseph asked.
"He will protect you. But you have to stay hidden," said the brother in purple. “We have an underground bunker right below our farmhouse that you can live in. That is your only chance of survival.”
After much contemplation, the parents finally came to a decision. They agreed to go forth with the plan. By the light of three lanterns, the family was guided to a clearing in the woods behind the farmhouse where a small metal capsule awaited them.
"Listen closely mom and dad,” the brother in yellow said, holding the lantern up to his weathered face. “He will need three items to survive: Faith, hope, and love."
"Sure, absolutely,” the parents said in agreement.
“But, who will nurture him?” Mary asked.
"The martians will."
“I thought they wouldn't like us," Mary said cuddling her son.
"These martians do," the brothers said.
Before the child was loaded into the capsule his parents whispered into his ear "We will see you in twenty-seven years, son. We love you," and kissed him on the cheek goodbye.
The capsule shook, rattled, and vanished in the flash of a bright white light. A light that shimmered against the Prussian blue sky that cold clear winter night.