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Birthday fic: Sunrise, Sunset - 1/1

Title: Sunrise, Sunset
Author: htbthomas
Fandom: Superman Returns
Rating: G
Word Count: 602 words
Summary: The sun rises on a day of endings.
Author’s Notes: A birthday ficlet for saavikam77. Her prompt: “Sunrise on the farm.” Creatively interfered with by van_el. ;) Thanks to mark_clark for the beta.

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Far to the east, light was slowly creeping across the land – bringing green things to life, wakening the small animals, opening the eyes of children, reflecting off of the water and the chrome of the cars which were already cruising the roads.  Dew collected and started to fizzle as the sun warmed the air, and flowers began to slowly turn their heads toward the life-bringing light...

Back in Kansas very early in morning, when even the nocturnal animals had not yet returned to their homes, Clark Kent sat on the roof of the barn facing east.  He hadn’t been able to sleep, not that he physically needed to, but his mind was whirring too quickly to rest.  But if he focused, he could hear the sounds of the world wakening ahead of him, feel the gradual increasing of temperature as the earth turned slowly to face the sun. 

Closing his eyes, he could feel his cells tingle with anticipation in much the same way. It was usually a glorious feeling, the influx of energy, recharging the man who expended so much of it when protecting the world... but today... Today, his body’s expectancy for the coming sunrise was at odds with the melancholy of his soul.

Clark scanned the fields, lying fallow, remembering the time he had spent working the land with his father, Jonathan.  He yearned to see cornstalks rising high, even though it wasn’t even the right time of year.  He listened for the clucking of the chickens, the lowing of cattle, the horses turning over in their stalls...

But the barn was empty.  Every animal had been sold or given away, the money put into a joint bank account. He closed his eyes for a moment and let his perfect recall take him back to his high school years, when his father was still alive, and the fields and barn were full.  He could still hear his mother humming in the kitchen and his father talking gently to the mare which was foaling...

Some time later, he felt the infinitesimal touch of the rising sun, even before it broke the horizon.  His eyes sprang open involuntarily and he drew in a deep breath.

“Good morning, Clark.”

Clark looked down at the ground, where Martha stood looking up at him. In her hands, she held a steaming cup of coffee.  “Good morning, Ma.”

“You know,” she began, taking a sip of her coffee, “not all changes are bad.”

He looked out over the farmstead, feeling the emptiness wash over him.  “I know, Ma.”  She was right; not all changes were bad, his tousle-haired boy was an example.  “But still, I needed to say goodbye.”

“I know...” she said quietly.  And then in a louder voice, she added, “Come on down, you can have coffee with us and share a last breakfast here.”

“I’ll be down in a minute...” At her searching look, he added, “I promise.”

She nodded, turned and went into the house.  Clark watched her go in, giving Ben a light kiss on the cheek before the two of them sat at the table.  The house was empty save for the barest essentials, which Clark would help them with just before they left for Montana.  At that moment, the first rays of the sun broke over the horizon. The light woke him from his inertia like a psychic alarm – he stood, and then floated gently to the ground. Goodbye, he sent out mentally.  Then he went inside the kitchen for his coffee, just as the sun’s rays sparkled against the metal siding of the moving truck.

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Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
ellalou73
Dec. 13th, 2007 12:16 pm (UTC)
I really liked this. Sad to think that Clark's home as a child is going to be gone, but he has the memories he needs to keep it in his heart. I like the idea of him sitting the roof top remembering times past when the barn was full of animals and the times he worked the fields with Jonathan.

Good short story
htbthomas
Dec. 15th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Van helped me get this little idea started, but I really liked it. I don't usually write things that are so melancholy, but it's the way I imagine he would feel at a time like this. :)
thrace_adams
Dec. 14th, 2007 02:55 am (UTC)
REally nice, poignant ficlet! Nice vision you created. It's always hard to say goodbye to someplace you've lived...some more than others :) Great job catching those feelings!
htbthomas
Dec. 15th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC)
It certainly is hard! I can't imagine what it must be like for him - the farm was always the place he could come when life got to much for his large shoulders. Thanks!
saavikam77
Dec. 14th, 2007 03:38 am (UTC)
*wibble* O_O Oh, Clark... *hugs him tight* Such sorrow at saying goodbye...

I love that you played the sunrise off the 'sunset' theme, though for the life of me, now all I can hear is the song from "Fiddler". :p

Thank you so much for this, hon. It was gorgeous! ^_^ *hugs you*
htbthomas
Dec. 15th, 2007 03:00 pm (UTC)
LOL, I don't know what it is with me and song titles for ficlets lately... but this one just seemed to fit.

I'm glad you enjoyed the ficlet, and I hope you had a truly wonderful birthday! *hugs*
babettew54
Dec. 14th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)
Aww, really nice, Barb. So sad for Clark. We all know how much he loves the farm and all that it’s meant to him, and to say goodbye forever was heartbreaking. I really like how you showed him awaiting the rising of the sun, and correlating those feelings and memories into his having to leave the farm behind. Interesting and a really sweet idea!

Thanks.
htbthomas
Dec. 15th, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
I have to credit Van for the initial idea - he was helping me brainstorm. But I loved the concept, so I went with it!

Thanks for the review!
jij
Mar. 9th, 2008 09:22 am (UTC)
Beautiful and sad, and I love the way you've captured the early-morning feeling on the farm.

He closed his eyes for a moment and let his perfect recall take him back to his high school years, when his father was still alive, and the fields and barn were full. He could still hear his mother humming in the kitchen and his father talking gently to the mare which was foaling...

Perfect recall is such an odd blessing/curse, and I really like the way you used it here. Very bittersweet.
htbthomas
Mar. 9th, 2008 12:39 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I wish for perfect recall -- but so often characters who have it are cursed as much as blessed, it's true. Monk, Babs, Clark...

But it's nice to make it a sweet thing sometimes. :)

And my, you were busy tonight! :O
jij
Mar. 10th, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
*grin* I'm traveling to America next week and I know I'm going to fall even further behind, so I really prioritized getting caught up on some of the things I've been wanting to read this week. :) I had a happy Clois night!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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