Family Tree (Stories on a Theme – “Family”)

Hannah looked over the birth certificate on her screen. The writing was difficult to make out, but she could just about see the word Mary Jane Smith etched into the paper. Her great-great-great grandmother.

She tapped the few buttons to add Mary Jane Smith to her virtual tree. The computer page flickered, changing to show her whole line all the way back to Mary. Hundreds upon hundreds of history layered upon one another. Some had photos, a few she could even identify the family ears or the slight wrinkle in her forehead like her great-grandfather.

Hannah traced her finger down from Mary Jane Smith to her own biological parents, Susan Griffith (nee Baradge) and Michael James Griffith. Parents she had never known, disappeared on their last expedition to the southern planetary systems. The death certificate marked their deaths as lost in exploration, along with a little photocopy of their medals of valour. Hannah had scanned those in herself.

At least on one database on this damn planet, her parents would be remembered as heroes, not traitors.

Hanna reached out and touched the photo of her parents on her desk, taken just before that last exploration. Her mother held Hannah tightly in her arms, pressing a kiss to her baby forehead, with her father waving his ship keyring in front of Hannah to keep her entertained. They had been doating parents according her aunt, brilliant pilots according to their friends.

And yet, their record had another little line under lost in exploration. Written there on the anniversary of their deaths, after the searches had been called off.

Assumed traitors to the Starlight Cause.

Hannah wasn’t convinced. Someone else had put that there. Someone else was trying to user her parents, who couldn’t fight for themselves, to get away with their own traitorous actions.

“I’ll find them,” Hannah whispered to the photo of her parent, “I’ll find who did this.”

Once she’d cleared their names, she’d be able to come back to this website and update the tree to show herself as the daughter of Susan and Michael. She’d officially be the daughter of heroes.


Stories on a Theme is a writing challenge to write flashfictions set on a particular Weekly Theme. It’s running from 6th July to 30th August – Check out my IG for more info on how to join in!



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