Rated PG-13






Kayla found herself standing in a bright room.  She felt something warm between her right arm and side.  She was happy to realize that her best friend Krypto was with her.  She smiled and began stoking Krypto’s short, white fur.  She heard her Father grunting and looked up to see him struggling to carry a mannequin.  As he wrestled the heavy figure into the capsule of the space pod in his laboratory, Kayla asked, “Father, why do you put that big doll into that funny box?  Is that his sleep room?”


Jor-El exhaled deeply.  Having completed his task, he turned to Kayla and answered, “Well Starshine, this “funny box” is a space pod to take us to a new home.”


Kayla said, “I love my home.  I don’t want to go bye-bye.  I want to stay here.”


Jor-El said, “Where we live and how we live is not your decision to make.  When I tell you we are going, we will go.  There will be no discussion about it.  I will tell you to get in the space pod and you will run to get into it.  Understand me?”


Kayla said, “Yes Father, please don’t make red eyes at me.  I’ll be good and do what you tell me to do.”


Jor-El said, “We will leave here when I say … but it won’t be today … and maybe never.  Your Uncle is up to something but I know that he doesn’t have the resources to do it alone … and that fool won’t ask for my help or have anything to do with me.  As for you, all I need you to do is to learn to obey my ever word.  There is no time for you to be a child.  We don’t have that luxury.  I need you to be ready to go when I tell you to.  It’s a matter of survival!  I need to be ready too.  That is why I am testing the pod with a weighted figure in it.  The pod will make one orbit of Krypton and return … unless it is detected.  If the cloaking technology fails and the pod is detected, the mind controlling it will know better than to return it here.  It will go into space so that the Counsel can’t track it back to this lab.  But if all goes as planned, it will be back less than an hour from now.  Of course, you don’t understand any of this, Kayla, but someday you will.  Then you’ll know why I have to be such a mean old man.”


Kayla and Jor-El heard a voice in their heads saying, “Sir, is it wise to test the ship with a dead weight rather than a live payload?  Your life and your family’s life could depend on this technology.  The pod needs to be tested under conditions as close as possible to what they will be on Exodus Day.”


Jor-El said, “That is true, friend Krypto, but do you suggest I blow up the planet to see if the drive will function while the planet’s gravitational field fluctuates?  And who would you suggest I put into the pod as payload?  I wouldn’t try it myself without having an un-manned test flight first.  I’m sure you wouldn’t want to either.”  Jor-El closed the door of the pod then left the lab.


Kayla heard Krypto’s telepathic voice ask her, “Kayla, you won’t tell on me, will you … if I go for a little ride?”


Kayla stroked Krypto’s white fur from head to tail and said, “I won’t tell, Krypto.  Can I come too?”


Krypto said, “Not this time.  Maybe on the next trip.  I don’t want your Father making red eyes at me either!”


The canine stepped up to the pod and stood up on his hind legs.  His figure blurred and, in a couple seconds, Krypto had taken the form of a man.  Kayla clapped in delight as she always did on those rare occasions that Krypto took on a different form.  Krypto quickly opened the space pod and carried the mannequin to another room.  He came back, got into the pod and strapped himself into the harness.  He smiled at Kayla and waved goodbye.  She giggled, blew him a kiss and waved back at him.  Kayla saw Krypto’s eyes light up as he gave her one last smile.  Then he closed the door.


Within a couple minutes, Jor-El returned with a mind – a small, flat gray octagon.  He put it into an octagonal recess in the outer surface of the pod.  The gap between the mind and the pod seemed to disappear, as did the gap around the pod’s door.  This left the outer shell of the pod totally seamless.  The pod began to glow and levitated a short distance above the floor.  The roof of the laboratory disappeared and the pod disappeared in a vertical blur of motion.  Kayla’s hand shot into the air.  She waved frantically and shouted, “Bye-bye!  BYE-BYE!  Come back soon!”


Jor-El heard a beeping signal from the console behind him.  He turned and said, “What is it Lab Mind Seven?”


A crystal on the console quietly said, “The pod mind is reporting that the pod’s stealth mode failed to operate effectively enough to avoid detection by sensors on the planet.  It is altering its flight path per mission parameters and has severed communications permanently.”


Jor-El said, “Precisely what I was afraid of!”


Kayla said, “Don’t be afraid Father!  I’ll help you!  Krypto will help too!  When will the funny box … pace pod … come home?”


Jor-El said, “Never.”

Kayla looked at him blankly and asked, “Never?”


Jor-El said, “Like I told you earlier, it was sent into deep space so it can’t be traced back to us.  It is gone forever.”


Kayla screamed, “FOREVER!!!”  She put her face in her hands and began to wail and cry uncontrollably.


Jor-El shouted, “KAYLA!  UNACCEPTABLE!  UNACCEPTABLE!!!  STOP this behavior NOW!!!”  Jor-El looked at her and had to make an effort to stay angry.  He felt that the worst thing he could do at a time like this was what he wanted to do most -- to take her in his arms and comfort her.  He took a deep breath and yelled, “STOP IT NOW!!!”  When she continued to cry, his anger flared again and his eyes started to glow red.


Kayla paused to breath.  She looked up at her Father’s face hoping he would tell her that he would bring her best friend back to her.  She saw his eyes and screamed again.  She tilted her head back and began crying even harder.


Jor-El yelled, “ALURA!  Come and get YOUR daughter out of here!  She’s out of control and in my way!  I have WORK to do!”







The scene shifted.  Kayla was three years older.  She was hiding in the dark in the corner of her room behind a storage chest, but it wasn’t a game.  She stroked the walls of the room with her outstretched fingers to try to comfort herself.  She heard her parents calling for her but she didn’t say anything.  She was scared to answer … and scared not to.  Suddenly her Mother’s face appeared over the edge of the chest and looked straight down at her.


Alura smiled nervously and said, “Little One, we must leave now.”


Kayla said, “Mother, I don’t want to get in that thing.  It took Krypto away forever and ever.  I think it killed him.”


Alura said, “We don’t know that Krypto is dead.  That pod’s life support system was capable of maintaining him forever.  He may even be waiting for us where we are going.  Some of his distant relatives live there and await us.”


Kayla said, “Dog People?”


Alura said, “Yes.”


Kayla said, “Okay … but put Kal-El in the pod first, then I’ll be ready to get in.”


Alura swallowed hard then said sadly, “We discussed this.  He can’t come.  He is too young to be removed from his gestation chamber … and the chamber can’t be put into the pod.”


Kayla said, “Would it fit if I didn’t come?”


Alura said, “No.  The chamber is build into the wall.  The entire workings are bigger than the space pod.”


Kayla said, “Please don’t make me go.  I want to stay here.”


Alura said, “Here won’t be “here” much longer much longer.  Dearest one, the place we are going is SO beautiful … and you’ll be able to fly through the air without machinery … like a Solee.  And nothing will be able to hurt you ever again.”


Kayla, “I want my Brother to come with us!”


Alura said, “So do I.  So do I.  I know that Kal-El can never be replaced, but once we get to our new home, I will give you many, many brothers and sisters.”


Kayla said, “Mother … I’m SCARED!!!”


Alura said, “So am I little one.  So am I.”


Jor-El stormed into the room.  His eyes glowed red.  He yelled, “You are wasting precious time!  No more discussions!  BOTH of you – GO AND GET INTO THE POD NOW!!!”








The scene shifted again.  The inside walls of the pod glowed softly.  Kayla thought that the pod was nicer than she could have ever believed.  It was a great comfort to be pressed tightly between her Father and Mother.  Each of them held on to one of her hands.  Kayla could feel their hearts beating through the areas where their arms were pressed to hers.  It reminded her of the few times when her Father had allowed her to sleep with them.  She felt so safe.  An internal energy field insulated her and her parents from the effects of inertia.  The pod had left Krypton so smoothly that Kayla had hardly felt a thing.  Kayla was suddenly very proud that her Father was able to make something so wonderful.


Jor-El telepathically commanded the pod’s mind to make the hatch transparent.  As they looked out upon the face of Krypton, Jor-El said, “Zor-El thought it was important enough to breach his silence to tell me that his experiment was failing.  He said that his device couldn’t stabilize Krypton’s core much longer.  Just when I had finally decided that the world wouldn’t explode after all and had started to live a normal life again.  I should never have stopped working on making a better pod!  I should never have agreed to father another child.  But what if my Brother was wrong?  According to what he said, Krypton’s core should have reached a critical point by now.  The quakes should have started.  The oceans should be boiling.  Maybe we left our world for nothing.”


Alura said, “I hope it is a false alarm, then we can go home to Kal-El and resume our lives.”


Jor-El said, “We left without permission.  Correction: we left after being ordered not to.  If we go back, our lives will be anything but normal.  If we don’t, they will bring us back.”


Before another word could be said, green light radiated from the surface of Krypton.  The passengers of the pod suddenly felt ill.  The pod’s mind reacted to protect its cargo by increasing the pod’s radiation shielding and heading away from Krypton at high speed.  The ship silently warned Jor-El that planetary debris was rushing towards them.  As they looked outside, they all saw the huge green rocks rush past.  There was a bump then a sudden rush of air … and then a deadly silence.  Kayla felt her parents squeeze her hands so hard that it hurt.  Then their bodies shook.  The shaking stopped and they released their grips on her hands.  Kayla heard someone screaming.  Soon she realized that it was her.


Kayla shouted, “MOMMY!  DADDY! … MOMMY!  … DADDY! … NOOOOO!!!!  NOT AGAIN!!!!”








Clara woke up screaming.  Martha rushed out to the front porch, sat on Clara’s day bed and held her in her arms.  Martha shouted, “NOT SO TIGHT!  NOT SO TIGHT!!!!”


Clara gasped, “They died because I hid in my room and made us leave too late!”


Martha said, “It’s not you fault.  Everything is all right now.  I’m right here.  Mommy’s right here.”


Clara looked around and said, “Krypto … Is Krypto here?”


Martha picked up a stuffed dog from beside Clara’s bed and held it out for Clara to take.  Clara pushed it back.  She said, “That’s a toy – I want KRYPTO!  He’s supposed to be here.  Mom said he would be here waiting for us!”


Martha put the stuffed dog under her arm.  Clara stared at it for a moment then put out her arms for it.  Martha handed it back to her.  Clara wrapped her arms around the toy and hugged the toy.  She looked very sad.  She clamped her eyes shut to keep from crying and said, “Sorry Mommy.  Sorry Krypto Two.  I … I ….”


Martha said, “… had a bad dream?”


Clara said, “Yes.”


Martha asked, “The same one?”


Clara said, “YES!”


Martha said, “Someday the bad dreams will all go away and leave only the good ones.  ….  Are you hungry?”


Clara’s eyes popped back open.  She said, “YES!”


Martha said, “Go into the kitchen and wait at the table.  Your Dad is coming up the road now.  I’ll help him bring in the groceries.”


Clara said, “I’ll HELP too!”


Martha said, “You aren’t dressed for going out in the yard.  Scoot on into the house.”


Clara said, “You just want to kiss Daddy when I’m not round.”


Martha said, “That too.  Now SCOOT!”








Jon brought in four bags of groceries while Martha carried two.  They sat the bags down on the counter.  Jon said, “How’s my little princess doing?”


Martha said, “She took her nap and had that dream again.”

Jon asked, "The Chicken Man one?"

Martha shook her head and said, "Shhh!  Don't ever mention him!  It could trigger more bad dreams.  She had the one about what happened to the place she came from."


Jon said, “Awww.  That’s too bad.  I should have been here to read you a story before your nap.”


Clara said, “Yeah, you shoulda.”


Martha said, “Should have.”


Clara said, “Should have.  Daddy, you didn’t get anymore of that yucky fruit did you?”


Jon said, “Fruit is good for you.  It will help you grow big so you won’t be such a little shrimp.”


Martha said, “Clara, you love fruit!”


Clara said, “Not the last fruit you got.  I tried to peel it and it didn’t have no peel.  It tasted like birthday candles with no strings attached.  I’m not so hungry now.”


Martha looked at the empty basket on the table in front of Clara.  She said, “Clara, you didn’t!”


Clara was scared that she had done something seriously wrong and the fear showed on her face.  She said, “What I do?”


Martha said, “Did you eat what was in the basket?”


Clara said, “Was it belonged to someone else?  I’m sorry!”


Martha said, “That was wax fruit.  It’s fake.  It was for decoration only … for pretty.”


Clara said, “I’m sorry!!!   I … I … didn’t mean to be bad.”


Martha said, “Oh it’s all right Clara.  Don’t be scared.  You weren’t bad and I’m not mad at you.  I don’t care about the fake fruit.  I care about you.  That couldn’t have tasted very good.”


Clara said, “It didn’t!”


Martha asked, “Then why did you eat it?”


Clara said, “I eat what is in front of me on the table.  It is not polite if I don’t eat it if it tastes bad … like when Daddy cooks.”


Jon turned around and said, “Nice!  I think that is my cue to bring in the rest of the groceries.”


Clara said, “I’ll help!”


Martha said, “No you won’t.  You’re still not dressed to go out in the yard.  I just think you want to kiss Daddy when I’m not around.”


Clara said, “I’ll kiss him when you are round!”  She put her arms into the air.  Jon walked over to Clara and leaned towards her.  She wrapped her arms around his neck and tilted her head back to get a quick kiss on the lips.  Clara smiled and said, “Did you see, Mommy?”


Martha said, “Yes I saw.  I am so jealous!”  Clara laughed.


Jon headed for the front door and Clara followed him.  Martha said, “Not outside!”


Clara called back, “I’m not.”


Jon continued out the door while Clara got a box off the shelf and came back into the kitchen.  She put the box on the table.  Martha asked, “Don’t you want to eat?”


Clara said, “Yes, I don’t want to eat.  I’m full of yucky fruit.  I want to play Chinese checkers with Daddy.”


Martha said, “Don’t set that up in here.  Set it up in the living room.  Your Dad and I might want to eat first.”


Jon walked back into the kitchen with the last three bags of groceries.  Clara asked, “Daddy, will you play Chinese checkers with me?”


Jon said, “Sure thing … as soon as the groceries are put away.  Hey.  I got something for you in town.  I left it on the coffee table in the living room.”


Clara said, “Goodie!  What is it?”


Jon said, “Nothing much.  Just go on in and see it … so I can kiss your Mother again.”


Clara took the box off the kitchen table and marched off to the living room.  Jon was good to his word and gave Martha a lingering kiss.  They were startled a moment later by the sound of a large crash.  Jon and Martha walked to the kitchen door and looked towards the living room.  They saw the marbles scattered all over the floor.  Martha said, “What a mess!  Clara, you’d better pick these marbles up before someone falls on them.  Unlike you, we mere mortals can get hurt.  … Clara?”


Jon and Martha looked around the room for Clara.  They saw Clara’s skinny legs on the floor sticking out between the couch and the coffee table and they rushed over to her.  Jon gently lifted Clara and placed her on the couch.  Her eyes were open but she seemed barely conscious.  Her breathing was shallow.  There was a large bump and cut on her forehead.  Clara moaned, “Daddy?”


Jon tried to stay calm.  He quietly asked, “What’s wrong, Honey?”


Clara said, “Daddy, I remember … I remember what pain … feels like … now.”  Her eyes closed and her body went limp.


Martha felt Clara’s forehead.  She said, “Jon, she’s pretty warm.  What do you …. JON!  Oh, NO!  The wax fruit!  Do we have any syrup of ipecac?”


Jon said, “Clara drank 40 weight motor oil once thinking it was chocolate milk and didn’t vomit or get sick.  I don’t think that syrup of ipecac would make her vomit … or that wax fruit would make her sick.”


Martha said, “What do we do?  We’d better take her to a doctor!”


Jon said, “You know that we can never do that!”


Martha said, “We just can’t watch her die!”


Jon said, “What makes you think she’s going to die?”


Martha said, “Look at her!  She’s barely breathing … and she’s turning green!  Please Jon, think of something!  I’ll go crazy if anything happens to her!”  Martha took Clara’s hand and began to sit down on the coffee table.  She yelled, “Ouch!  What the heck is that!”


Jon said, “It’s what I bought for Clara.  The Boy Scouts were selling them.  It’s one of the meteor rocks that fell the day that Clara arrived.  I thought she might like it for a rock collection or keepsake.”


Martha flew off the handle saying, “It’s FILTHY!  Clara’s sick.  You can’t have something that filthy around a sick child!  Why would you give her something like that – a FILTHY STINKING ROCK!”   Martha picked up the rock and marched quickly into the kitchen.  She threw the meteor rock into the sink breaking a couple dishes in the process.  She turned the water on and then staggered to the side and slumped over.  She put her hands on the counter to support herself and began to cry in great sobs that made her body convulse.  Jon came up behind her and put his arms around her.  She grabbed his hands and tried to pull them off saying, “Go back and watch Clara.  Someone has to watch Clara!”  Soon she gave up struggling and put her hands back on the counter.


Jon said, “Everything will be all right Martha.  We’ll go to see a doctor if we have to.  We won’t lose her.  No way!”


A small voice came from the kitchen doorway saying, “Daddy, I feel all good now … and I picked up all the pretty balls.  Can we play Chinese checkers now?  I have everything all ready in the living room like Mommy told me to.”


Martha stiffened.  She raised a hand to wipe her eyes dry before turning around to look at Clara.  Jon and Martha stared at Clara’s forehead.  There wasn’t a bump, bruise or scratch.  Before they could say anything Clara asked, “Where is that green rock?  I wanted to look at it.”


Martha turned back to the sink and put her hands into the water and began moving the rock around to try to get the dirt to dissolve off of it.  She said, “It was filthy.  I’m washing it off for you.”


Clara said, “It’s not any dirtier than the rocks I pull out of the field.  Can I see it?”


Martha said, “Sure.  Come over and get it.  You gave us quite a scare, young lady!”  Clara reached for the meteor rock and slumped to the floor.  She began convulsing and brown wax poured from her mouth and onto the floor.


Jon said, “Martha, give me that rock!”  Martha handed the rock to Jon.  He walked quickly to the back door and went outside.


Clara shook her head and pushed herself up to a seated position.  Clara said, “EWWWW!  That tasted bad, bad, Bad, BAD, BAD!!!  YUCK!!!!”


Martha walked around Clara and sat down on the kitchen floor next to her.  Martha put an arm around her and pulled her close.  Clara pouted her lip and said, “That rock wanted to kill me!  It’s mad at me and it wanted to kill me!”


Martha said, “Clara, it’s just a rock.  Rocks don’t think.”


Clara said, “Yes they do!  Sand rocks and crystal rocks are smart and mostly trustworthy.  But metal rocks are MEAN … especially the ones that are like stop signs but small and colored like spoons and forks … and knives … not the plastic ones.  I HATE the metal ones.  They take friends away forever and  want to put girls in boxes.”


Martha said, “Well maybe rocks on Krypton are smart, but not on Earth.  We even use the expression “dumb as a rock” to describe someone who doesn’t understand anything … but please don’t use that expression because it isn’t polite.”


Clara said, “That green rock IS from Krypton.  It’s like the ones that came after me and my first Mommy and Daddy … only smaller.  Green rocks killed everyone there was like me and now they want to kill me too … because I’m not supposed to be here.  I’m not supposed to be anywhere anymore.  I wasn’t supposed to leave Krypton.  I was supposed to stay there and die.  That green rock won’t stop until it kills me!”


Jon came back into the house and asked, “Is Clara all right now?”


Martha said, “Physically yes, but I need to talk with her for a while.  What did you do with that thing?”


Jon said, “I put it back in the truck until I can decide what to do with it.”


Martha said, “I wish we could buy every one of them and send them all far, far away!  I’ve gotten used to having a daughter who is indestructible.  Jon, could you leave me and Clara to talk for a while?”


Jon said, “Sure, but can I can I kiss my daughter first?”


Clara said, “No, Daddy!  I have wax lips.  I’m too yucky!”


Jon walked over to Clara, leaned down and kissed her on the top of her head.  He said, “No wax up here.  I’ll come back in a little while and we’ll play Chinese checkers if you still fell like it.”


Clara said, “Don’t leave that rock in the truck!  Rocks are very good drivers.  It will take your truck and drive it through a hole in space!”


Jon said, “Okay, I’ll get the rock and put it down in the storm cellar.  I’ll come back in about 40 minutes.  Is that enough time?”


Martha said, “I hope so.”


Jon smiled and then left.  Martha turned her attention back to Clara.  Clara saw her expression and said, “Am I in trouble, Mommy?”


Martha said, “Not at all.  I just want to get a few things straight with you.  A moment ago you said that you are not supposed to be here and that you’re supposed to be dead.  That’s not true and I don’t want you thinking thoughts like that.  You are exactly where you are supposed to be.  If God hadn’t intended for you to be here right now with my arm around you, you wouldn’t be.”


Clara asked, “Then why am I here?”


Martha said, “I think it is mainly because I prayed and pleaded and begged with tears in my eyes until God sent you to me.  But I can’t be totally sure why God blessed me by sending you to stay with me.  Everyone wonders why they are where they are, but only God knows what His plans are.  If I had a guess as to what God has in store for you, I would say that He needs more policemen and knew that you were going to be a really good one.”


Clara moaned, “Mom!  Not a policeman!”


Martha asked, “A ballerina?”


Clara said, “Only a part time ballerina … during ballerina season … to keep me on my toes like Daddy says.”


Martha asked, “What happened to being a policeman?”


Clara said, “I just wanted to help people.  But I heard that a policeman might have to kill people sometime and I have a cold that I can’t kill anybody ever.  I will never, ever make anyone dead!  It’s a bad, bad, Bad, BAD, BAD SIN!”


Martha said, “That’s a ‘CODE’ against killing.”


Clara asked, “Is that like a secret code?”


Martha said, “That kind of code is different.  A code like you are talking about is a rule or principle or standard of behavior.  We’ll read what the dictionary says about it later.”


Clara said, “Earth languages are funny.  The same word can mean different things and different words can be said the same way.”


Martha said, “But you are learning so fast.  You speak much better than many children your age … and they have heard English their entire lives.”


Clara said, “Thank you Mommy.  I try hard.  But when I get scared or nervous, I keep thinking the words in my own language and it gets hard to talk right!”


Martha said, “That’s nothing to worry about.  It will all get easier as time passes.  So, tell me, now that you don’t want to be a policeman, what do you think you want to do as a career?  Just curious.  You have a long, long time before you have to decide.”


Clara said, “I will be a farmer like Daddy is until I go broke like Daddy says he will … then I will think of something different to do for money … but for no money I want to be a voluptuous like you Mommy!  I will do it different than you but for free like you do.”


Martha said, “Ummm.  What exactly are you going to do for free?”


Clara said, “I want to fight fires for free because I don’t burn and I can hold my breath forever … and I like how fire tastes on my skin!  That’s what I’ll do – I’ll be a voluptuous fireman!  When they need me they will call me or blow a big horn and I’ll run to where the fire is … or if I figure it I’ll fly there … and I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow the fire all out like the big bad wolf blows houses down to the ground to get pigs.  When I’m not blowing, I’ll be plowing!”


Martha said, “That sounds like a plan, but where does the voluptuous part come in.”


Clara asked, “You don’t want me sleeping with a lot of men do you?”


Martha said, “Uh … no.  Why would you be sleeping with men?”


Clara said, “If you aren’t voluptuous you have to sleep in the firehouse with all the other firemen and spotty dogs and I want to stay here and sleep outside in my own bed.  … But I wouldn’t mind pole sliding!”


Martha said, “Could you explain the voluptuous part again?”


Clara said, “How can I say it to make you understand?  Voluptuous is doing something for free.  Like you cook and clean for free.  You are a voluptuous cook and I will be a voluptuous fireman … but I won’t put any spots on Krypto Two on account that he likes his coat the way it is.”


Martha said, “Okay.  I think I understand now.  We will definitely spend time with the dictionary later today.  Right now, I’d like to get back to our original discussion – about you thinking that you don’t belong here.  I am sure that you are here for a reason.  Whether it is to plow fields or dance in a ballet or fight fires or be voluptuous or just be my little girl and my best girl friend … or for some other reason entirely, you ARE here for a reason.  Now, about the meteor rocks.  Some things make people sick … it’s called having an allergy.  If you have an allergy or are sensitive to something, you have a reaction whenever you get too close to what you are allergic to.  Some people can’t be near cats or dogs.  It doesn’t mean that the cats or dogs dislike the person that has the allergy … it’s just the way things are.  Another example is that Grandpa Clark gets sick if he eats fatty foods.  Some people can’t eat much sugar.  They are called diabetic.  But the sugar doesn’t hate a diabetic and fatty foods don’t hate your Grandpa Clark.”


Clara asked, “Why does Grandpa Clark hate me?”


Martha said, “Oh, Honey.  He doesn’t hate you.  He is mad at me and that just spills over onto you.  But that isn’t what we are talking about now.  I was just trying to make the point that sometimes there are some things that make us sick, but it doesn’t mean that the thing that makes you sick hates you.  The meteor rocks may be mean or they may be nothing but a lifeless, brainless piece of minerals.  Just like Grandpa has to stay away from fatty foods, you have to stay away from green rocks.  … But because you are certain that rocks can think and feel things, let me add this.  If a green rock actually does think and hate and wants to kill you, it doesn’t mean that it is RIGHT for the rock to kill you or that you deserve to die.  And being the only one of your kind left doesn’t mean that you should die.  In fact it makes you all the more unique and precious.”


Clara said, “But why would the rocks want to kill me if it isn’t what is supposed to happen?”


Martha said, “I’ll give you another example.  If a bear came out of the woods and was hungry and decided to eat me, it wouldn’t mean that God intended it to happen or that it was meant to be or that it would be a good thing.”


Clara scowled and said, “Any bear that tries to hurt you is not covered by my cold … code!  I’d punch it hard in the nose.  And people too if they try to hurt you!  I don’t care.  I’d go to Hell before I’d let anybody hurt you or Daddy!  I won’t kill anyone if I don’t have to … but I am NOT going to lose another Mommy or Daddy again!!!”


Martha said, “No one is going to try to hurt us.  It was just an example to help you understand that if bad things happen to you, it doesn’t mean that you were bad or that you deserved it to happen to you.”


Jon tapped on the door and stuck his head into the kitchen.  He asked, “Is your girl talk finished yet?”


Martha said, “It’s never really finished, but you are invited back inside now.”


Clara asked, “Daddy, I told you that I want to be a voluptuous like Mommy, didn’t I?”


Jon said, “I don’t believe you did.  I would have remembered that one.  But it isn’t a big surprise.  Every girl wants to grow up to be as voluptuous as your Mother, but only a few ever are.”


Martha said, “Why don’t you two go play your Chinese checkers?  But first, Clara, go get me that bag from the corner over there.  I want to show you what we are doing later.”


Clara asked, “Is the dictionary in that bag?”


Martha said, “No, just go take a look.”


Clara got the bag and looked into it.  She said, “Those are old clothes and some pieces of cloth that are too small for anything … but doll dresses!  Are we making more dresses for Barbie?”


Martha said, “No, Barbie has plenty of clothes.  Those pieces of cloth are called ‘remnants.’  We are going to cut them up even smaller and sew them together to make something called a patchwork quilt.”


Clara asked, “What’s that?”


Martha said, “A quilt is a way of making something beautiful out of what remains when the rest is gone or used up.  And often, it is a way to give a second use to something that might otherwise seem to be no longer of any value.  I’ll show you some after your game of checkers.  Jon, throw me a rag. I have to de-wax the floor before I make the effort to get back on my feet.










Story Notes:


I had a few bits and pieces of Clara’s life that didn’t really make a story but would help a reader understand her a little better.  So I quilted these odd pieces together and this is the result.  There is no big climax.  Clara gets ill, but she recovers just as quickly.  There is no dramatic conclusion.  There is no convincing argument that makes Clara feel like she belongs on our world – an issue that she will continue to struggle with for years.


But the story does cover a lot of ground:  Krypto’s launch into space, the moments leading up to Clara’s departure from Krypton, Clara’s first meteor rock encounter on Earth, Clara’s survival guilt and ideas about what she wants to be when she grows up … and Martha introducing Clara to quilt making.


The title was originally going to be “Last Remnants” because it was about Clara as the last remnant of the people of Krypton and about the meteor rocks that are the last physical remnants of that planet.  But it grew to include other remnants – the remnants of Clara’s memories of her first family and first home.


Another theme that recurs in the Clara stories deals with salvage.  Clara likes to give used objects a second life … just like she was given a second life on Earth.  Quilting becomes an important activity to Clara.  Quilts are a way of taking material that is left or salvaged and making it into something beautiful.

Clara’s life story is a quilt of her experiences … and this story was a quilt made from little pieces of who Clara is.