Tom, sobbing, and bloody-nosed, reached into the cardboard box and with frail trembling hands, he lifted the Gull. He cradled Turlok to his chest, rocking him as a mother would her baby.
“Shh, you’ll be ok little Pal.” Sniffed tom, as he gently stroked the gull’s crimson-stained feathers.
Meanwhile, back in outer space: “Sir! Lieutenant Turlok needs help, his alarm is beeping.” Reported 1st mate Zonger.
“Then get our best team down there and help him out.” Replied Commander Zorg, without turning from the communication screen. He had witnessed everything on the Gullcam.
“Tom – make your wish, I’ll put things right here.” Said LT Trillion, leader of the landing party.
After gently kissing the bird on its head, Tom placed it back in the box. As soon as he released his hold on the injured Turlok, the words flooded into his head. I wish to be in between. A second time, much louder, demanding, I wish to be in between.
Tom sat on the grassy bank of the stream, his legs bent bringing his knees up to his chest. The crystal clear water babbled an endless melody. From the leafy trees, warblers sang. High in the blue of Summer, a Raptor stooped, roller coasting for all to see. Tom threw a small twig upstream, then watched it bob past in front of him, it reminded him of a ship on a stormy sea. It disappeared, out of sight.
He looked at his hands; they were clean, youthful and strong. Tom was no longer 68, but 28. He realized someone was approaching from behind him. He turned his head, the bright Sunlight made him raise a hand to shield his eyes. It’s a girl, he told himself. He watched as she picked her way across the Summer filled meadow. Her frock disturbed Dandelion clocks and sent Bees buzzing as if annoyed by the disturbance. Beauty radiated from the young woman. It’s Ethel! He stood and quickly brushed his hands over his trousers, then beckoned her toward him. They greeted each other with a warm smile followed by a tender hug, then they sat, side by side on the grassy bank. Ethel linked an arm through Tom’s, then smiling, she tilted her head to rest it on his shoulder. Tom then tilted his head and gently rested it against Ethel’s. With each other’s scent filling their nostrils and the aquatic melody of the stream filling their ears they both closed their eyes.
“Right, that should do, for now, I want him checked every hour, call me as soon as there’s any change.” Said Doctor Larus, spinning to face the door, then swiftly exiting without a response.
“Do you think he’ll make it?” Asked a concerned voice. It was yuura, Turlok’s wife.
“He will.” Answered the duty medic confidently.