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Aberrant: Wild Card - [HW #2] Happy Birthday


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They went to visit Dad every year on his birthday. The psychologist both of them had to attend as part of Alexa's settlement with the court for custody of Danny had said that it was fine, so long as neither of them become obsessive about the loss of their father. She also said they should try contacting their mother. So much for psychologists.

Alexa tried to make it like their own personal birthday party meets Cinco de Mayo, complete with a home-baked cake, a picnic basket, and the vanilla scented candles Dad had always kept around the house instead of popouri. Danny had chewed on them when he was really little, but Dad had always said that it was better than coming home and finding his son munching on a pinecone. Danny rolled his eyes every time Alexa teased him about it, but it was a memory from when their little family had been just a bit larger so he let her tease him with all of the serious solemnity of his thirteen years. And besides, there was always cake to go along with the teasing.

It was high summer, just a few days past Indepence Day, which mostly meant that it wasn't as rainy and the breeze off the ocean was just cool enough to make the day perfect. They got there a little past noon, ate, played games, talked to the tombstone that marked where their father's body had been interred, and stayed until after the twilight became night so they could watch the candles light up their personal corner of the graveyard. The graveyard closed at sun-down, but the caretaker had never had the heart to push to the kids out. So it was well after dark when Danny finally fell asleep next to his father's grave, after too much sugar and hours playing hide-and-seek amongst the dead.

Alexa pulled out the disposable camera she'd brought with them and snapped a final picture of the day, her little brother curled up next to the flower-and-candle covered mound of their father's grave. She packed up the picnic remains and carried Danny back to the car. It wasn't perfect, wasn't really normal, but it was their day and for now it was enough to keep them going.

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