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Dancing Eyes

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The coughing cargo plane, wheezing and sputtering its way onto the cracked runway, seemed to e taking its dying breaths. The man in the worn coat was indignant. He had played away his life to get this opportunity, and for what? To die over a hostile, uncaring sea? He glanced at his wife, and then at his daughter, her tiny hand encompassed in his knotted palm. She looked up at him. Had he never never before her sparkling eyes? She knew nothing of the life they left or the life they would enter, but her eyes... they were dancing eyes, glinting in the spare light that peeked warily through the rolling waves of fog. She smiled, and he felt his heart warm. A little of the ice was melting, the ice that he had let grow around his heart, ice of fear. Their oppressors were behind them, the tattooist, the branders. He had been marked, marred with the blood of atrocities he did not deserve, tattooed with a six-pronged star. The proud star, the ancient star, his wife called it, yet proud it was not. Not now. But when the little girl looked up at him, her eyes waltzing to an unsung tune, the star seemed to shine a little brighter.



The captain peered through the haze at the boarders. He rubbed his grimy, unshaven chin, thinking. He had seen people just like them before. They were a stooped people, paralyzed in fear, ducking their chins to avoid the whip. Ah, who care? They were just more passengers, more desperadoes ripe to be leeched. He pondered the succulent prospects. And yet, as they stumbled wearily on board, something twanged within him. Something about the way the man clenched his daughter's hand, the trust that passed between that grip. The girl gazed at him. He quickly ducked his head away, and then cautiously glanced back. Was it a trick of the light, or had her eyes been... dancing?




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