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Packed for Earth
The lights were so bright and the noise…what was that humming noise? Mhelika struggled to open her eyes but she was so tired. Her eyelids felt like they weighed 1000 pounds. She tried to move her arms or legs but for some reason they didn’t respond to her commands.
Opening her eyes only made the headache feel even worse so Mhelika decided against it. She took a deep breath, breathing slowly in…and out, and tried to think instead. What place could she possibly be in that had very bright lights and could keep her from moving?
Since her head was pounding, it wasn’t very easy to think, but Mhelika tried hard. She remembered loud explosions…a face came into view. But who did the face belong to? Mhelika didn’t recognize the girl. She looked about her age, but different because of the color of her skin and eyes, almost like a…human.
One Month Earlier
The colors were so pretty. Drifting through space, Mhelika saw the Red Giants and Dwarf stars as she did flips in the air. She could see hundreds of galaxies from where she floated. The bright stars passed her as she flew faster, twirling around. She felt so happy and peaceful, just floating.
Mhelika started toward a path of rainbow colored lights. It was so beautiful she just wanted to watch them soar and wave through space forever. But just then a star in the distance exploded. She looked at the blast of vivid light, frightened, and she saw more stars exploding.
The noise got louder and louder. A close star exploded and sent her flying through the atmosphere. “Mhelika,” she heard. “Mhelika, we have to go,” the voice urged. The insistent voice spoke in Klonani, the language spoken on her planet, Qutlon.
“Mhelika!” the voice repeated.
Mhelika woke up to her mother’s face staring down at her. She realized that she was just dreaming, but the explosions were still roaring loud and clear. She looked at her mom, scared and confused.
“Mom? What’s going on?” Mhelika asked in Klonani as her bedroom shook in her house. Mhelika’s room was located on the second floor of the dome shaped building. She looked around and saw her favorite picture on the floor, the glass that covered it cracked, and many of her other possessions also. Her digital clock read 34:23.
“We have to go, Qutlon is being bombed,” Conalia said. Mhelika’s heart stopped for a second. Oh no… Mhelika tried to comprehend what she had just been told but there was no time. Her mother practically pulled her out of bed, giving her quick instructions to pack.
Mhelika was a teenager, 22.6 years old in Qutlonian years. She was very pretty with white hair, smooth white skin, and black eyes with white pupils in the center. For months now, Mhelika had been prepared to pack quickly if an evacuation was needed, but she didn’t think it could actually happen. She thought that Qutlon would be her home forever, but right now, her life depended on whether or not she left.
Mhelika hurried out of bed and put 72 yilon, the currency on Qutlon, her toothbrush and hairbrush, and several of her favorite lansko stories into a special chrome, fire and waterproof bag. She closed the suitcase and brought it down to the floating vehicle in front of the house. Her heart was pounding and she felt a little dizzy, like she was still sleeping. It just felt so unreal to her.
The trunk of Conalia’s vehicle opened after she pushed the button on her remote and Mhelika put her suitcase in with her mother’s and father’s. Mhelika tried to run back to the house because she realized that she still had 8 yilon in her room but a close explosion rocked her, giving her no choice but to fall and the rough ground hit her hands hard.
“Mhelika!” her mother yelled from the house. Conalia shakily ran over and helped her daughter to the backseat of the vehicle while Mhelika’s father, Nishant, climbed into the driver’s seat. Conalia closed Mhelika’s door and went into the seat next to Nishant.
After everyone had put on their seatbelt, the vehicle lurched forward into the sky as they set off. Conalia held her daughter close as they sped farther from the planet. Mhelika didn’t want to look out of the vehicle window, but she couldn’t help herself, so she peeked.
“Jennifer! Your bus is going to pull up any second!” Groaning from her mom’s relentless voice from downstairs, Jennifer forced her left shoe onto her foot, then realized that the shoelaces were tucked inside. Damn. Pulling the laces out, the tied them carelessly, grabbed her camp bag from her beside her desk and ran down the stairs.
“Bye mom!” Jennifer said, running out the door. She ran out onto her front porch, the screen door slamming behind her, just in time to see the bus pull up.
Jennifer ran onto the bus and took her usual seat next to her friend, Allison. Plopping her bag on her lap, she rummaged through it as she checked for things that she most likely forgot.
“Hey,” Allison said as she took off her headphones, placing them around her neck. Jennifer sighed in frustration.
“Shit, I forgot my lunch money again,” Jennifer murmured, frustrated at her complete dedication to forgetting things. She brushed some of her blonde hair behind her right ear. “Let’s see…a dime…a quarter…there’s another dime…there’s a nickel…”
“You can borrow from me,” Allison said, smiling knowingly. Jennifer shook her head, furiously.
“I currently owe you $21.50 from lunch money and I cannot owe you more,” Jennifer replied. “I’ll be able to pay you back when hell freezes over.” Allison laughed.
“You actually are keeping count? Forget it, Jen, what are friends for?” asked Allison as she forced three crumpled up dollars into Jennifer’s hand.
Jennifer and Allison had been best friends for 7 years, since 2nd grade. They had gone to the same summer camp together since they had become best friends. The girls were alike, but different also. Jennifer had blonde hair and blue eyes and Allison had brown hair and brown eyes. But, both girls liked math and hated science.
“So we are going swimming today right?” Jennifer asked, hopefully. “We better be because I already have my towel and bathing suit in my bag. I don’t want to carry it around all day for nothing.” Allison nodded.
“We are, don’t worry. The schedule also said that we’re going to have pizza for lunch today, so $3.00 should be enough for a soda and a slice,” Allison replied. Jennifer smiled.
“Thanks,” said Jennifer. Allison had always been the organized one, which made up for Jennifer’s unsystematic way of keeping track of her life. The bus lurched to a stop and the girls realized that they had arrived at their destination. The kids walked down the aisle to the bus’ double doors.
“I’ll see you at lunch!” Allison said as she went the opposite direction of Jennifer, toward her camp group.
“Later,” Jennifer replied. She walked to the right side of the field to where her group was. The girls were either talking to each other or talking on their cell phones and the boys were all playing football.
Oh…there he is, Jennifer thought. Jennifer stared dreamily at her 3 year crush, Gregory Jackson. He was easily the cutest boy in camp and everyone knew who he was, mostly because he was really sweet and very funny. Ever since he had come to this camp 3 years ago, Jennifer had had a major crush on him.
Jennifer wasn’t exactly friends with Gregory, he basically new that she existed and that was the end of it. Within 5 years the conversations between Jennifer and Gregory had either been, ‘excuse me, thank you,’ or ‘you’re welcome.’ He also went to her school, so that gave her a little extra time to memorize the placement of the hairs on his head.
The counselor walked over and quieted the group down as she took out her attendance book. Jennifer sighed as she forced her eyes off of Gregory to make sure that she wasn’t staring at him when the counselor called her name. The last time she did that, she had said his name instead.