Times Past, 1969
Day of Sorrow
by Andrew Troy Keller
For most people, Mother’s Day is a day of joy, where children of all ages pay honor to their mothers. But for Eve Eden, alias Nightshade, Mother’s Day is a painful reminder of how she lost her mother at a young age. Can Captain Atom bring comfort to this grieving daughter?
Sunday, May 11th, 1969:
On this Mother’s Day, it was beautiful and sunny in Washington, D.C., and people everywhere were spending the day with the ones they loved the most: their moms.
Well, most people were, for atop a downtown factory building stood the spy-smasher named Nightshade, alias socialite Eve Eden. She was looking over the horizon with sadness as tears ran down her cheeks.
At first she was alone with her personal misery. But that was before a good friend landed behind her, placed a gentle hand on her shoulder, and asked, “Eve, are you OK?”
She turned around and saw that it was Captain Atom who was behind her; he was her close friend and fellow member of the Sentinels of Justice. A teary-eyed Eve answered, “I’m sorry, Nate. It’s just that today’s Mother’s Day, and this is the day that I really miss her the most.”
Wrapping his arms around her, an understanding Nathaniel Adam took a deep breath and said, “I’m so sorry, kiddo. I wish I had the right words to say that would cheer you up. I can’t imagine what you’re going through now.”
She silently turned around and started to look once again over the same horizon. Of course, my ultimate goal is to reach a level of CIA training where I can return to the Land of the Nightshades to rescue my brother, Eve thought to herself. But I’m afraid that by the time I do, it may be too late to rescue him — or avenge my mother’s death!
No one but Eve knew the truth about the death of her mother, that she had been killed in the Land of the Nightshades by minions of the evil Incubus, who had stolen the throne from the princess’ family. After the mother and her two children were attacked by hideous creatures, Magda Eden had managed to use her powers to bring little Eve back to Earth, but only after she had been fatally wounded. By that time, Larry had already been abducted by the creatures. (*) The authorities had been forced to conclude from the little girl’s confused story that a home intruder had killed her mother viciously and kidnapped her brother, who was still missing to this day. The story had made international news, since Eve’s father and Magda’s husband was U.S. Senator Wayne Eden.
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Image’s Idyl,” Captain Atom #87 (August, 1967) and “Poetry of Peril,” Captain Atom #88 (October, 1967).]
“Look, Eve, you shouldn’t feel guilty over your mother’s death,” said Nate, turning her toward him and trying to guess her thoughts. “After all, she sacrificed herself to save your life. And if you were to ask me, I believe that the best Mother’s Day gift she ever received was you and your brother. As a matter of fact, I think that I can see your mother’s beauty in your face.”
Hearing that, Eve let out a smile and said, “She really was beautiful, wasn’t she?”
“Yes, Eve,” answered Nate, placing a gentle hand on her cheek. “She really was.”
After a short pause, Eve took a breath and asked, “Do you want to go get some coffee, Mr. Adam?”
“Sure,” answered a smiling Nate. “Let’s do that, Miss Eden.” He gave her a strong hug, and they began walking slowly across the rooftop.
Looking over the horizon once again, a smiling Eve said, “Happy Mother’s day, Mom. I’ll always love you.”
At that, Captain Atom took Nightshade in his arms and flew them away from the factory building and to a place where they could share that cup of coffee. Thanks to her good friend Nathaniel Adam, this Mother’s Day was no longer a day of sorrow for a socialite named Eve Eden.