Fool’s Struggle

This story is based off the Story Prompt Challenge #4. I’m working on writing short stories, and hoping you will hold me accountable. Hope you enjoy it!

“Val, I’m home.” Dr. Collins stepped into the living room, dropping his coat and briefcase on the couch.

“We’re in the kitchen.” His wife’s voice met him in the hall, along with the smell of lasagna.

Judy, in her purple tiara and green tutu, perched on a bar stool, was busy at work with her crayons.

Val turned from the sink of dishes. “Did you get the job?”

Dr. Collins couldn’t hold back his grin. “You were right.”

“Oh!” Val threw her arms around her husband’s neck, soapy water dripping on the back of his shirt and the floor.

Judy looked up from her drawing. “Is daddy gonna be an astronaut?”

“I knew you would, with a hundred degrees in all the physical sciences, how could they not choose you?” Val beamed proudly at her husband.

“Well, I knew I’d make the team. But this . . . ” Dr. Collins just shook his head.

“Yay! Judy skipped on the two bar stools separating her from her parents. “Daddy flies in space!” Her final leap landed in her father’s arms with her little hands clasped behind his head.

“Judy,” Dr. Collins sat on the bar stool and sat his daughter on his knee. “What if, in ten years-“

“Fifteen at least for her.” Val cut in.

“Ten or fifteen years, give or take, you got to fly through space and land on a planet that daddy helped make?”

Judy’s eyes got really big. She stared at her father, not even bothering to notice that her tiara had been disturbed in her excitement and was on the way off her head.

“What kind of planet would you like to go to?”

Judy squealed. “Can you make a unicorn planet?”

“Well,” Dr. Collins’ grin weakened.

“And a purple sky!” Judy bounced off her father’s lap and hit the floor running, her tiara dangling from a small section of hair.

“The only purple gas I can think of to put in the atmosphere would be toxic.”

Val laughed. “What did you expect when you asked Princess Judy?”

The oven timer beeped and Val obediently pulled the lasagna out.

“What kind of planet do you think I should make?”

Val narrowed her eyes at her husband. “You, as the most qualified individual, have been asked to pilot the most advanced technology, designed to make a planet. And you are asking your housewife what to do?”

“You’re right.” Dr Collins pulled his wife in for a quick kiss. “When you say it like that, it’s so simple. I just have to test out the technology and build a planet.”

“Exactly,” Val kissed Dr. Collins’ forehead. “You’re just testing it out.”

“But should I make a planet we can use, or one with a purple sky?”

Val sighed and took Dr. Collins’ hands in her own. “Given complete power to create a masterpiece and you don’t even know where to begin.”

“Yes.” Dr. Collins stood, fully expecting to be wrapped in the comforting arms of his beautiful wife.

But Val put oven mitts on and took the lasagna to the table. “Judy, come and eat.”

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