The Girl In The Box
A short story featuring the son of Garran Doranth, hero of Promises To Keep.
Amirilla Asteras's only constant friends had been the stars she's lived amongst until she started a long-distant relationship with Ganth Doranth, who operates a Gaian freighter with his father. Both had agreed early on to audio only communications so she's never seen Ganth, but he's wormed his way into her heart anyway. Unfortuanately Ganth is a Gaian man and must attach to a suitable woman, someone whole and healthy, and Ammi has been confined to a motorized box-like wheelchair all of her life.
She knows her misshaped legs should keep her and Ganth apart and she dreads having to tell him the truth about her, but the tricky Gaian man has something else on his mind and seems determined to meet her in person, whether she wishes it or not.
This story was originally published in the Dream Quest Anthology, edited by Linnea Sinclair and JC Wilde.
Kathy's Review Corner Gem 2012
“Haven’t you ever wanted to do more, go places, see things?” They’d finished their game for the night and now Ammi listened to the eagerness in Ganth’s voice. “It can’t really be enough to sit third shift on a station comm.”
“Oh, sure, sometimes. There are lots of things I’d like to see.” She thought about it for a moment. “Trees for one, big trees.”
“Yeah, big trees, big enough to climb. I’d show you, Ammi. We have great trees for climbing on Gaia.”
Climbing trees on Gaia, like that would happen. But they were dreaming here, why spoil it with reality. “I’d like to climb a tree.”
Ganth’s voice was wistful. “I used to climb to the top of the one outside my bedroom and watch the stars at night. If you were with me, I’d pull you to the top of any tree you liked.”
Wouldn’t she love to sit in a tree-top with Ganth. Or anywhere with Ganth for that matter.
“Ammi, the communication center has a window. Go look outside.”
Hitting the switch to open the shutters, she took in the view full of stars. “How do you know about the window?”
“I looked it up on the station schematics.”
“Those are classified, aren’t they?”
He laughed. “Gaians are born knowing how to break into computer systems, Ammi. But that’s not important right now. Look at how so many stars are bunched together, but some are so alone. I’ve always felt like that, a single star in the universe.”
She stared at the individual points of light. “I know what you mean.”
“You don’t have anyone, do you? Family? I mean, you never talk about them.”
“No. My mom died a long time ago. My dad…she didn’t say much about him.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to pry.”
“You didn’t.” She rested one elbow on the console, one hand cradling her chin. “I guess you could say I’m a lone star, too.”
“We don’t have to be, Ammi. Two stars alone, maybe we should pair up, become binary.”
Reviews for the Dream Quest Anthology
... Some very talented authors have contributed to this fabulous collection of stories. In "The Girl in the Box" by Janet Miller, space station worker Ammi thinks that living without the use of her legs means a future with Ganth, a small freighter operator, is impossible.- Susan Mobley
...In The Girl In The Box by Janet Miller, Amirlla Asheras works third shift on space station Blue while communicating with her friend Garth on the space freighter Noble Cause. She refuses to let him see her or meet with her because she doesn't want to see the pity in his eyes when he finds out she is handicapped. It is only when a near tragedy occurs does she realize love transcends all obstacles. This beautiful futuristic love will acquaint readers with a very talented author. - Harriet Klausner
The Girl in the Box is a touching romance of a woman finally seeing herself as the perfect Gaian mate Ganth always knew her to be. Although this is only in Ammi's point of view, we can feel Ganth's frustration, his sincerity, and his devotion to Ammi. This may be a novella, but it is also short, sweet and perfect. - Kathy Andrico