Pictures In The Skies

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"That one looks like a birdhouse," said the boy.

"No," replied the girl. "It looks like a seahorse."

"It's a birdhouse!" exclaimed the boy. "Look, there's its roof, and there's the bit where you put the food,..."

Emma and Scott were lying on the top of a small hill, surrounded by fields. They had been told by their mother to play outside because it was a nice day. They had played "tag" for ten minutes, but had then got tired. So they decided to lie on the grass and make pictures out of the clouds. It was quite a good day for it too, as there were quite a few clouds, but the bright blue sky behind was showing through as well.

On one side of them were woods. The tops of the trees had prevented any of the blazing sunlight to get through, and so it was quite a bit darker in there than it was out on the fields. Emma and Scott had developed a fear about the woods. The darkness was enough to make them believe that there were monsters hiding in the shadows and behind the trees. They had also been given strict instructions by their parents to stay out of the woods.

On the other side of them, at the edge of the fields, were streets, roads and houses. It seemed a quiet day traffic-wise, and in the last twenty minutes only one car and a lady on a bicycle had gone past.

"This is getting boring now," said Emma, and she sat up. Her long brown hair was such a mess. It had been so tidy before, because Mother had done it. Now the ponytail was loose and there were bits of hair falling around her face. Not that she cared of course.

"Yes," agreed Scott. "It's so boring I could fall asleep."

"How long have we been out here?" asked Emma.

Scott sat up as well and looked at his watch. It was a new watch, and Scott adored it. He had decided it was the best watch out of all the watches he had ever seen. "Ten past eleven," he said. He stared into the glass on his watch. He had recently discovered that it doubled up nicely as a mirror. He inspected his gelled-down hair, and patted the top gently to try and flatten the upturned tufts. He was blond, and people often commented on how odd this was, because Emma, his older sister Valerie, and his parents all had brown hair. At least his eyes followed the family pattern - they were green.

"Oh," said Emma, and sighed. "Well, Valerie should be coming to find us anytime soon then." She laid her head back on the grass again, and examined the clouds that had now sailed into view. Scott did the same.

"That one's a ferret," said Emma, pointing. "You can see the tail."

"Which one?"

"The one above the big bit."


"It's a ferret."

"No," said Scott. "That is no way a ferret!"

"Is too."

"Is not!"

"Is too!"

"Is NOT!"

"Is TOO!"

Scott gave up, and began to search for another cloud.

"Oh, look at that one," he said. "It's a unicorn!"

"The one next to the grey one?"


"Looks like a man running to me," said Emma.

"No..." began Scott, but he was too tired to argue. The two of them laid in silence for a few minutes, just staring at the sky.

"Oh my god," whispered Emma suddenly.

"What?" asked her brother.

"That one," she replied, in a whisper, pointing heavenward.

"Oh my god," echoed Scott, in a gasp.

The cloud Emma had drawn attention to was a large cloud, isolated from the others in a large mass of blue. It appeared so white against the sky, and even seemed to be glowing slightly. Scott and Emma stared open-mouthed at it, for it was more than obvious what it looked like.

"An angel," they said in unison.

As they looked at it, the other clouds seemed to just float on by, but the angel cloud didn't move. It just hung there, shining ever whiter. Nothing else mattered to Emma and Scott, for the angel cloud captivated their whole attentions. A tree in the wood could have been struck by lightning, or even one of the monsters that they had dreamt up could have appeared, but they wouldn't have cared in the slightest, for the angel cloud was everything.

Suddenly a voice.

"Come on, you lazy babies. Mum said she wanted you home by eleven thirty, it's almost twenty to."

Scott and Emma immediately snapped out of their trance, and sat up quickly, turning to look at their older sister.

"Oh! Valerie! You won't believe what..." began Emma, but Scott gave her a look and she stopped.

"I wouldn't believe?" asked Valerie. A smile crept across her face, and she helped them up. "Try me."

"I was going to say how..." Emma trailed off.

"How you wouldn't believe how boring a morning it's been," finished Scott.

Valerie put her arms around their shoulders and began to lead them home.

"Really?" she asked. "It can't have been worse than mine. Guess what we're having for lunch..."

Then, at the same moment, Scott and Emma turned to see if the angel cloud was still there. But it wasn't. The blue space which had contained it was now empty. The angel cloud was gone.

And so they began to walk back.

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