Welcome back to the next Storytime Blog Hop!
Interstellar Student Exchange
No, no, no, no, no, he thought and ran faster. They have her. They can’t have her. He felt the rasp of breath in his throat and the painful twinge in his side, but he had to get to the clearing. Everything was wrong. How had he not seen? Lured away with a promise of an exchange for money when they didn’t even want money. They just wanted her. He would have given them everything to get her back safely, but when he got to the exchange site, there was no one there, just a message that he was too late.
Then, he’d started running, and now, he could hear the sound of the rocket. He had to get there before they left, before they took her for who-knew-what experiments. His daughter, his little girl, even if she was sixteen now. What was the phrase? You’ll always be my baby? Yeah.
So he ran, but he didn’t know if he could make it. Already, the breaths were coming too short and his legs felt like rubber. But he made it. He made it to the clearing. The rocket was still there, it hadn’t left yet. There was still hope. He ran up to it, pounding on the sides even as he felt it begin to shudder. He didn’t know how it was powered, didn’t know if he would burn to death in an explosion like Earth-rockets. He pounded at the doors, and one of them opened.
“Alright, get in,” ordered one of Them.
“No, I want my daughter. She doesn’t need to–”
Alexis was sitting calmly, her arms entwined with one of Them. Oh, no.
“Why are you here?” she asked.
“To bring you home!” he realized he was screaming as his words echoed off the walls of the chamber. “They abducted you, they are going to do horrible things to you. Come home!”
Two of Them blocked his view, then parted so he could see her better. She was sitting with one of Them, its arm, a tentacle, around her shoulder, looking oddly comfortable against the gleaming wall.
“Don’t worry, Daddy. I agreed to go. It will be like a study abroad. Lots of teens are doing it these days.”
“ABROAD?” he thundered. “Abroad is Italy or Spain or heck, maybe Africa. And so what if lots of teens are doing it. If they–”
“Jumped off a cliff? Look. I signed their contract thingy. It says no harm will come to me as long as I obey their orders. And it’s just for a few days unless . . .”
“Let’s relieve him of his anxiety,” the one he hated most said, the one with its tentacle wrapped around her shoulders.
“Okay,” she said, smiling, standing up and weaving her arm around Its. “April Fools!”
Arm linked with Its, she pushed past him getting off the shuttle.
One of the others looked at him sharply before he could follow his daughter. “You will keep my boy safe,” It commanded. “He is here on a student exchange. We will be back.”
He turned back to see his daughter still waiting, arm interlinked with the alien’s. “Well? Aren’t you going to invite him to dinner?” She didn’t wait for an answer, as she started back down the path to their house.
Continue on to the next story here: The Ghost Fighter, by Bill Bush
List of All Stories:
- A Snow White Morning, by Katharina Gerlach
- The Letter, by Juneta Key
- Trick or Treacle, by Angela Wooldridge
- Sugar in the Raw, by Karen Lynn
- Inferno, by Fanni Soto
- Tae, by Barbara Lund
- This story: Interstellar Student Exchange
- The Ghost Fighter, by Bill Bush
- Hare, by Elizabeth McCleary
- The Widow, by Vanessa Wells
I hope you enjoy this spring’s stories! Come see us again in July!