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A True Meaning

Posted on Fri Dec 26th, 2014 @ 5:14am by Lieutenant Commander Maurelle Valentine

Mission: Tales from the Frontier
Location: Stalingrad, Russia 2380

It was a still brisk night in the city of Stalingrad. The buildings and streets were lightly dusted by a layer of white snow which continued to fall from the clear night sky. The bright lights illuminated the streets which bustled with joy and activities as parents and children alike hurriedly made their way to the various New Year's trees placed around the city to call for the arrival of Father Frost and his grand-daughter Snegurochka whom would deliver the presents to the good children of Stalingrad. For some however, their celebrations would be more private and personal....as was the case at the Tarasenko residence.

"Maurelle! Maurelle!" Natalya exclaimed as she excitedly rushed across the room tugging at her big sister's shirt. "It's time It's time we have to gather around tree."

"Not yet little one." Maurelle said with a short smile as she focused intently on a book she was reading swatting away at her sister as if she was a fly.

"Maurelle, we must call Ded Moraz soon before he leaves back to his home. We don't have much time I don't want to miss him." Natalya pleaded once again tugging harder on her sister's arm. "Where is mama and papa?"

"They will be late today sister. But do not worry we will call Ded Moroz and he has special surprise just for you." Maurelle replied with a sigh. She looked away from her book to the floor, her mood dropping as she knew this not to be true. The times had been hard on them and their parents were off working while Maurelle was left with Natalya with no gifts. She would be heart broken.

"But they promised!" Natalya moped stomping her foot on the ground and furling her brow.

"Natalya!" Maurelle said in a slightly raised tone raising her index finger to her younger sister. "You must be good girl or Ded Moroz will not come. Have mama and papa ever disappointed you?"

"No." Natalya replied bowing her head disappointedly. Her mood dropped as she knew she has made her sister cross. She knew better then to have such poor manners.

Maurelle could tell her sister was upset. The news she was about to receive would not lighten the child's mood. As much as she wanted to curse her parents for not being here for Natalya she knew they were trying their best to maintain a roof over their heads. Prolonging the news any longer would not help her sister any. Maurelle had to break it to the child....or hope for a miracle. "Come Natalya, let us go to tree." she said setting the book down and taking her sister's hand and leading her down the hall to the tree.

The New Year's tree was not set up like a traditional christmas tree of the Western world. Instead while this tree had few lights akin to it's counterpart it was decorated with various fruits and other homemade ornaments. While it lacked the lavish nature of the town's elaborate tree, it was special to the family as it was decorated with love and represented the bond they shared.

"Now Natalya we wait patiently for Father Frost to arrive." Maurelle stated placing her hand on her sister's shoulder holding her tightly and close. She looked up to roof and secretly wished for a miracle, for her parents to burst through the door with gifts in tow allowing her sister one more enchanted evening.

A clock on the wall shelf ticked ominously filling the silent room signalling the passing moments. With each movement of the hand both Maurelle and Natalya's spirits and hope diminished. It was not long before Maurelle heard the weeps of her younger sibling.

"Oh dear Natalya." Maurelle said as her own eyes began to water. "Do not cry, it is New Year's." She began to rub her little sister's shoulders with both hands.

"He forgot about us. How could he forget about us was I bad girl?" Natalya cried out as she turned and wept into Maurelle's torso. Her arms grasped Maurelle tightly.

The sorrow struck through Maurelle's heart like an arrow coated with poison. Her heartbeat began to increase, tears streamed down her eyes as she frantically searched her mind and soul for something, anything to save this young girl's faith.

And then it happened.....

"Natalya! Natalya look!" Maurelle exclaimed turning her sister about a pointing to the corner. "We have missed Father Frost but he has not forgotten us." She continued joyfully as she could barely utter the words.

Natalya wiped the tears from her eyes and looked to the corner. She did not see what Maurelle saw. "I don't see it Maurelle. That is just a bunch of bags." she replied with a sulk still disappointed.

"Bunch of bags? Are you kidding sister? This not bunch of bags, this is supplies for sewing." Maurelle said as she walked over to the corner and began to shuffle through the contents.

"So?" Natalya replied still clearly unimpressed.

"So? So Father Frost has given us great gift. We can use these supplies to make beautiful dolls for each other! Just the way we like them." Maurelle said with a smile as she pulled some of the contents out and placed them on the floor. "Look you have buttons for eyes, pretty fabric for dress and you can use this fabric for skin. Come Natalya, let us make good of this gift and make dolls for each other."

"Ok!" Natalya said rushing over to Maurelle with a new found glow erasing the sorrow that had plagued her only moments before.

[[[Later in the Evening]]]

"Alright Natalya I am done my doll. How about you?" Maurelle said showing her younger sister her creation.

"I am done too sister." Natalya said showing her sister hers. "Wow!" she said with widened eyes. "Your doll is beautiful. It looks like you."

Maurelle's heart skipped a beat as she was taken back by her sister's generous comment. "Why thank you Natalya. That is very nice thing to say. You know your doll is very beautiful as well, just like you." she said winking to her sister and giving her nose a pinch.

Natalya giggled and playfully swatted her sister's hand away.

"You know what Natalya? I think we should exchange dolls. Presents to each other." Maurelle said as she placed her arm around her sister smiling warmly at her.

"This good idea Maurelle. I would really like this." she said as the two exchanged dolls.

"Thank you Maurelle. This is best New Year ever. You will thank mama and papa for this?" Natalya said as she placed her head on her sister's lap.

"Of course Natalya. But I hope you learn valuable lesson tonight because this gift was more then just dolls. This gift was a symbol of family and that as long as we have each other and our imaginations there will always be happiness." Maurelle said brushing her hands through Natalya's hair.

"I was never sad Maurelle, because I always know you are there to make everything better." Natalya replied.

[[Present Day, Starbase 80]]

Lieutenant Commander Maurelle Valentine looked out the window into the stars as she had done many nights in Stalingrad. It had been many years since she had returned home to her family and many New Years she had spent away from them. Natalya had grown since that day and was now on her own path through Starfleet. Since that day however, Natalya never found herself disappointed again. As for the dolls, both girls still carried them everywhere they travelled.

Maurelle pulled a necklace from her shirt. A small silver cross on a thin chain. She let the cross run through her fingers as a tear fell from her eye.

"Schastlivogo Rozhdestva." (Merry Christmas) Maurelle said as she placed the cross back in her shirt and walked away from the window down the corridor.

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