The moon was missing.
Every night as she went to sleep, it was there. Right outside her window. She always saw it there. Now, startled awake by something she no longer remembered, she looked outside and saw nothing.
Well, she saw the rest of the neighborhood block below and the stars above, but she wasn’t looking for those things. She was looking for the moon. Continuing to not find it caused her to panic, throwing her covers off and running out of her room.
Her mother’s door was still open, meaning she wasn’t in bed yet. So she went downstairs, where her mother was in the kitchen. “Mom! Mom, the moon is gone!”
Her mother put down her coffee cup. “The moon? Where did it go?”
“It’s not outside my window! It’s always outside my window!”
The girl’s mother hoisted her up, resting her against her hip and walked the both of them outside. They both looked up and behold! There was the moon!
“It watches over the rest of the world too, baby. It greets you goodnight, but then it has to move on to greet other little girls goodnight.”
Seeing the moon in the sky was much more of a relief than her mother’s words, but she nodded anyway.
“Now, let’s go back to bed.”
Mother and daughter returned inside.
“What’s that?” the little girl asked her mother.
The mother looked at the item on the shelf. Her daughter wasn’t referring to the item in question, but in the container surrounding it. “That protects the item.”
“Why’s there a spider on it?”
“Well, that’s the type of anti-theft protection it is. A spider type.”
The girl nodded. “Oh. I thought that meant it protected it from spiders.”
The mother chuckled. “Well, that too.”
“Do you want to hear a story?”
Not the usual answer from her daughter. “Oh?”
The girl whipped out a self made sword, out of paper towel rolls and origami paper. “I’mma make one!”
The mother watched with interest. “Are you? Mind telling me how?”
“I’m going to go save some nobility and become a hero?”
She nodded at her daughter’s words. “That would work. What if there are no nobles in trouble?”
That didn’t slow her down. “Then I’ll get ’em in trouble first!”
While that was nice and all, none of that would put her to bed. Reluctantly, the mother convinced her such adventures were best left to the morning.
She sat perfectly still. Still enough one could have balanced a pin on her head. She could hear mother in the other room talking with the staff. Whichever one it was, she didn’t envy. Mother wasn’t in a good mood. Not that mother was ever in a fantastic mood.
Today though, mother had already had a couple drinks. It was why she didn’t want to move from her position. When mother came back in, she would not see anything wrong. She was behaving. All was well.
She inclined her head slightly, to look at the book in front of her. Unfortunately, it sat on the other side of the table, where her mother had been sitting a few minutes before. Upside down from her, she strained to read it. The part that was probably the easiest to read was obscured by the ruler.
She straightened her neck.
Mother came sweeping back into the room, not looking directly at her. She knew better though, mother had great peripherals when desired. If there was something wrong, mother would know.
However, all she did was sit across from her. “Shall we continue?”
Apparently, she’d passed the test. They continued the lesson.