Acknowledgements; the Tracy family were created by Gerry Anderson and his team and now belong to Granada Ventures. Only little Ky is mine.
My thanks to Purupuss and Boomercat for their proofreading and encouragement.
There is a slight connection between this story and my 'Dark mirror' and 'Listening cure', but you don't need to have read those to understand this little tale.
Alan entered the nursery on tiptoe. "Any improvement?"
Tin Tin looked up from her seat beside the bed and smiled at her husband's worried expression. Judging by the way he had reacted when his son caught a cold, she dreaded to think what he would be like if the child ever had any serious illness. And he used to tease Scott about being a 'mother hen'!
"I think he's over the worst of it now. His temperature's gone down a bit anyway."
Alan leaned over, stroking his son's cheek and pushing the dark curls back off his forehead. "How're you feeling now, young man?"
Young Kyrano, known as Ky to his family, stirred restlessly and squinted up at his father with a fretful expression. "Head hurts, Daddy."
Alan patted his shoulder. "You get some sleep now and you'll feel better in the morning."
Ky snuggled down in his bed, then turned to his mother. "Sing to me, Mommy."
Tin Tin was a little surprised at the request. Though she often read her son a bedtime story she couldn't ever remember being asked to sing to him before. "Of course, sweetheart. What do you want me to sing?"
The child yawned. "Sing me Gamma's song," he said, with his eyes half closed.
"Grandma's song? Which song does Grandma sing to you?"
The boy's answer was a mumble and Tin Tin leaned closer. "I'm sorry, darling, I didn't quite catch that."
Ky muttered something that sounded like 'gowan summers'.
" 'Going summers'?" Tin Tin shot her husband a quizzical look, but Alan shook his head. "Sorry, sweetheart, I don't know that one. But I'll sing you a song my father used to sing me when I was a child."
Alan left the room accompanied by the lilting strains of a Malaysian lullaby.
The following afternoon, Tin Tin decided Ky was well enough to be allowed to get up for a few hours. She carried him through to the lounge, but was surprised to find only Virgil and Gordon there.
"Oh!" she said, "I was expecting Alan would be here."
Virgil looked up from his seat at the piano, where he was running through some scales. "He went down to Thunderbird Three's silo with Dad and Scott. He wanted to talk about her next overhaul."
Just then Grandma Tracy entered the room, resting on her cane. Gordon leapt to his feet and helped her towards her favourite chair. "Now, Gordon, don't fuss. I'm quite capable of looking after myself."
"Of course you are, Grandma," he replied with one of his winning smiles. "I'm just practising in case I meet anyone who's not as fit as you on a rescue."
The old lady batted him away with an affectionate pat, then turned to her great-grandson, opening her arms. "Hallo, darling. Are you feeling better now?"
Ky tottered over to the old woman and climbed into her lap, where she settled him in a comfortable position and began to rock him.
Tin Tin smiled – she loved watching the two of them together, though sometimes it made her wish her own father was still alive to see his grandson. Then a thought occurred to her.
"Grandma," she began, hesitating. It had taken a lot for her to start addressing the older Mrs Tracy in this way. "Ky mentioned last night that you sing him a song, but I didn't know what it was."
The older woman's brow wrinkled. "Sing? No, I don't sing to him. I don't think I ever sang to the boys either. I used to tell them stories instead."
"That's odd. I wonder where he got the idea from then? He did try to tell me the name of the song, but I couldn't quite make out what he said. It sounded something like 'going summers'."
There was a sudden silence as Virgil's fingers halted on the keyboard then, after a short pause, he began to pick out a melody with one hand. "Was this it?" he asked, a slight catch in his voice.
At the sound of the tune, Ky scrambled down and tottered over to the piano. "Gowan summers!" he exclaimed.
Grandma put her hand to her mouth. "Oh my…"
Virgil looked across at Tin Tin, his expression pale. "The song is called 'Golden slumbers'." He swallowed hard, then continued, " It's the lullaby Ma used to sing us to sleep."
Ky had reached the piano and was pounding on the keys with both hands. He looked up, beaming. "Play it, Uncl' Virgie! Play what Gamma sings me!"