Rappaccini’s Moon

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Glass separated Vanna from the grown-ups as it always had, as it always would.  She placed the flower in a box which sealed shut at the press of a button, then waited while the grown-ups investigated it through their gloves.

“Exquisite,” Dr. Baglioni said.  His eyes, soft and rich brown, looked to Vanna with curious need.  “Where did you find this?”

“Beatrice gave it to me – and she wonders when you’ll believe that she’s real.”

A scowl.  “Beatrice is our moon, where we live.  It can’t give you flowers.  Are you lonely, Vanna?”

“No, but… I got you this flower.  Twelve kilometers that way.”  Vanna pointed south of town.

“That’s mighty far.  Are you sure it’s safe?”

Vanna nodded vigorously.  “It’s an easy walk.  I can wear a tracker if you need me to.”

Dr. Baglioni lifted the flower and examined is pristine, blue petals.  “We’ll prepare for the…

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