“How can anyone be so lonely?”
The stars peak out in the sky, creating their own little constellations in the black depths. Each twinkle, speaking in their own language. Yet, Daffodil slithers to her knees. Her chest, on this night, has weighed her down, as much as she likes to not admit it.
With a sigh as heavy as her chest, she stands and goes to wash her face in the bathroom before bed.
Standing in the warmly lit bathroom, she stares at the jelly like fluid she squeezed onto her hands. She rubs it together, the slathers it all on her face. It feels, cold, yet just okay enough to sit and stay on her face.
Daffodil rinses her fingers in the sink. The gel slips into her fingers, making it all the more aggravating to clean out.
Yet, she wasn’t staring at her smothered nails, she was staring at herself. In the mirror. Her eyes locked with her own, staring at the blueish greenish face before her.
“What’s the poiiint…” she starts to rake off the mask using her already full nails. What was the point really? Did the gel even work? Was her skin going to take it all in, absorb its advertised nutrients, or was she just putting some nasty cold do-nothing slime on her face?
In the midst of overthinking, that once blue-green reflection morphs into something… gray? Like storm clouds ready to burst flood her reflection.
But unlike storm clouds, a large snout pokes out from the cloud. Then two eyes.
The more Daffodil comprehended the figure, the more it morphed, changed, and finally gained a shape.
The figure leans out of the mirror, its cheerful lisp barking,
“WELL, THAT’S NOT VERY NICE OF YOU! I am a TOY POODLE! Not just any ol’ dog.”
It steps out of the mirror, clambering onto the sink then down onto the floor. The poodle stands on its hind legs confidently.
The small girl, now backed into the corner, has every right to be confused. A dog of all things, standing at least seven feet, puts its paw to its fuzzy chest.
“I AM REYNARD MUREL VON CAINE THE FOURTH!!” He bows, a wild smile on its snout, “But you can just call me Reynard, my dear child!”
Daffodil stands rigidly, more than just shocked at the sudden existence of this… poodle right in front of her.
“I’ve ah… I’m… I have to ask… who are you??”
Reynard looks at her, an overdramatic shock reigning over his face, “Why dear child! I am your angel after all!! Your guardian angel, might I add!!”
The notion wasn’t too insane; he wore no regalia, but his fur was this yellowish gold that shimmered in the bathroom light. One would see it and want to run their fingers in it, if they weren’t shocked by a bipedal dog in their bathroom.
He seems to look at a nonexistent watch on his right hand, suddenly gasping at the time, “Daffodil, my lovely child, my one of a kind… WE’RE LATE!!” He suddenly grabs her arm and yanks her out of the bathroom, out the window, and onto the soft dewy grass.
“Why, I’ve invited you to come on an adventure of a lifetime!!” He explains while galloping, “How would you like to see the stars? Those bright twinkly things are just dyin’ to meet you, my dear flower.”
Daffodil gawks at the fever dreaminess of this situation. Her mouth freezes into a tight line, unsure what to say entirely. But, one thing does peak out from her tightly sealed lips, which is a simple “Why me?”
He stops, looking at her oddly confused, “Well, why not you??” Raynard now slowly walks, her in hand, “You seem a little… bored with life at the moment, my dear. Figured you need to get out and get some fresh air… in the stars.”
Daffodil presses her hand to her heart, wondering how to respond. Bored…? With life?? Well, he wasn’t entirely wrong. Life… had been a drag. Too quiet, too lonely.
They arrive behind her home, staring out at a funny-looking multicolored space ship that seemed to be as tall as her house. In the back of her mind, she wonders how that arrived without making so much noise.
“Now,” he grins at her, “Don’t be so nervous.” Right as he says that, the hull of the ship opens, revealing a ramp to the inside. “Let us go!”
He pulls her peppered arm, but she refuses to move.
“I… Raynard,” she breathes, “Wh-where are we going?? When are we coming back??”
Raynard sighs boredly, huffing, “You focus too much on the details. I think it’s time for you to have a change of heart with the stars.” He then whips her into the ship, and he follows after, letting the ramp close.
Daffodil rubs her scraped arm, standing hurriedly to meet Raynard’s gaze.
“Don’t worry, my little friend!! Let’s get this ship off the ground.” He then runs to the controls, pulling a large metal pole, tipped with a dusty blue plastic ball.
All of a sudden, the floor begins to rumble, making the girl slip and fall on the floor once again.
“Hold on to your horses, because it’s about to get real LOUD!!”
The floor warms, and she can’t help but leap to the passenger chair next to him. Despite the ship, Raynard seems very comfortable, and blasts the ship up… and up… and up…
Daffodil grabs hold of the chair’s armrests as her gut churns. The house she knows and loves gets smaller and smaller, so do the trees and the ground below her. A small smile peaks at Raynard’s lips. He loved to see her eyes spark for the first time in a while. The way they gleam just like the stars reminded him about just how good he is at his job. He loved enchanting his kiddos.
The rocket meets the sky. The stars are still very far away but have never been closer to her. They beckon for her to come and dance; come and twinkle with them, because she’s just as good a star. She watches quietly as they shine; totally breathless. Raynard watches with a smug smile, letting himself mutter, “I’ve seen these stars so many times before… absolutely gorgeous.”
The girl turns to him, “I love these stars…” she presses her fingers to the glass, which makes him pull her arm back, “Ah ah ah, no fingers on the glass missy.”
She chuckles, “Sorry, sorry. I just wish I could reach out and touch them. They’re just… so beautiful.”
Looking back to Raynard’s watch, he gasps, “Daffodil!! Say your final goodbyes, we’re goin’ back to orbit!!”
Just as he says that the ship falls back down, sucked down by gravity. Raynard leaps to buckle her seatbelt and hurries to buckles his own.
They sink right back down, a smile peeking on Daffodil’s lips, then they open to scream and laugh. Her stomach feels like it’s lifting like one might feel on a roller coaster. Reynard can’t help but laugh too, just because the joy on his kid’s face makes him feel light too.
They slow after what feels like hours, and they slither back to sit on the ground. The shuttle door opens, revealing the fresh ground once again. Daffodil rushes out, skipping and falling on the soft dewy grass.
“Welcome home, kiddo.” Raynard smiles with her, padding out onto the ground to help pick her up.
“Th-thank you, Raynard… no, really…” She smiles, “That was the funnest thing I’ve ever … experienced…” She says out of breath.
Daffodil stands in front of her door, looking to her friend. “Reynard, aren’t you coming in?” He shakes his head, “No, my dear friend. I have business to attend to… but you sure made tonight all the while.
Daffodil rushes into his arms, burying her head in his fuzzy chest. He chuckles, deep and rumbling, and pats her on the shoulder.
The girl skips upstairs, settling back onto the windowsill to meet the stars one last time. Then, she feels the rumble of the house, and she gets to watch that colorful ship fly up back into the atmosphere, becoming one with the stars.
And that night, she felt one with the stars too.