I was born a child of the stars.

My mother was on a colonial ship from Earth when she fell pregnant to my father and the voyage still had another sixteen months before landfall.

Both were farmers looking to bring new life to the virgin soil.

A fault with the landing systems took that dream from my father.


As a young girl I watched my mother till the earth in the dry sun of our new home. I watched the fruit and vegetables she would pull from the ground and I ached to become skilled in this mystery. I would play in the sand next to her as she worked, burying my own little seeds and nurturing them with my toy plastic watering can in my little play patch in front of our cabin.

She would smile as I copied her, never expecting anything to grow from my efforts but when they did, she would bake us the most incredible fruit pie to celebrate.

Sometimes I would wander with my plastic spade and try to plant in the dry areas where mother had given up. Then we would have extra big pies.


As I became able I helped her sow and look after our crops. We were never short of food. In fact some of the neighbouring farmers whose crops were struggling would trade with us for the excess seedlings.


We became well known for our produce and with fame came invites to the monthly social gatherings at the colonial hall.

It was at these events that mother met Edward Graintree – a neighbouring farmer – who was a widower to the same accident that had taken my father.


His nephew Hayden was visiting and as our season was ending we would go for walks together in the autumn hills.

Maybe it was his dark handsome features or his experienced wit – he was three years older than my seventeen – or his stories of the dark side of the planet where he lived and their extraordinary short summers where all the plants sprung to life for only a few short weeks. Or perhaps the promise of the incredibly sweet poiregranite fruit that grew there but I knew I had to see all this for myself.

I really hoped mother wouldn’t be too upset.