Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Spring (as in the season) (11/28/05)
TITLE: Springtime Arrival
By Patrick Verbeten
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Through my blurry eyes I could see my mother as she shook me gently, saying, “Wake up, Chad, honey. Mommy and Daddy are taking you on an adventure!”
“I want to sleep.”
“No son, Mother said now, and now it is,” came the commanding voice of my father. Even at seven I knew not to cross him, so I sat up and began the ritual of dressing quickly. I wondered what kind of trip this would be.
It seemed like they had an unusual amount of equipment with them as we boarded our vehicle. “Where we goin’?” I asked hoping it was to the woods for a camping expedition. But they remained silent, almost deadly silent. This was not like other outings. They were not their usual happy selves. And, I did not spy our tents or any other camping equipment for that matter.
Minutes later, it was zoom, Zoom, ZOOM… and not only were we out of our city, but out of Earth’s atmosphere as well. Before too long we passed the Moon, which I had only done one time before. I was excited now! This was the adventure of all adventures. Maybe we were going to Mars. Could it be possible?
Much later, I broached the subject again, “Will you tell me where we goin’ now?”
Dad unstrapped his harness and mine, took me onto his lap, tussled my red hair, and sighed a bigger sigh than I had ever heard before. He looked at Mom. That ever-so-slight nod of her head told Dad, and told me because I was on to that secret, that something big was happening.
“Chad, something has gone really wrong on Earth. Your Mother and I, along with a dozen other families have decided that we needed to leave Earth and even this solar system to see what new worlds exist in the galaxies. Our travels will take us on a new expedition, one we’ve never been on before. But, by God’s grace we will find a safe place….”
“Wow!” I thought. Dad’s words were as distant as the planet we were quickly leaving. My thoughts overpowered me. New places to explore, maybe even new friends. I dared to wonder if they would be human or something we had never seen before. It was exciting… and scary.
The explosion that came from what looked like Earth jarred me back to reality and propelled us on a different course. Mom and Dad were right, something was very wrong. Mom started to cry. “Does that mean Earth is gone,” I wondered? Dad wrapped his comforting arms around us and my thoughts were confirmed.
“Harness up. It could get worse!” Just as Dad had ensured that were all buckled in, the second explosion came. This one was much stronger, and brighter. The aftershock propelled our little ship faster than I had ever gone before, and, by the look on her face, faster than Mom had flown before too. I could tell, though, that Dad was enjoying his newfound speed. He played with various controls and the GPS. Mom successfully radioed eleven other families. They too left Earth before the blasts. They presumed that the twelfth had betrayed us, and as such were destroyed in the inferno that once was Earth.
Via the radio, and through plans that the adults had secretly talked about for months, it was decided that Galaxy 28 was where we would meet up. There was a planet there that could possibly sustain Earth travelers. “Is this New Earth,” I asked?
My parents looked at each other quizzically. Mom answered, “I’m not sure. I don’t think anyone thought of naming the planet. Do you have an idea?“
“I like Spring. It’s the time when the trees get their leaves back, the birds sing again and the flowers pop out of the ground. Maybe we could call our new home Spring,” I responded.
Mom smiled. I knew she liked my idea. After several calls on the radio, it became apparent that the other families liked it as well. So we were off to Spring, and perhaps coincidentally, would arrive there at what would have been springtime on Earth.
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