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SPACE AGE - By Oheji Precious

“Magmus 1649, cleared for landing,” Tom said with a smile on his face.

He wasn’t necessarily happy because of his successful trip; he had had a lot of them previously. He was happy because this was the first trip he had Dercia with him. Since he was a teen, he had always wished to have a girl who would take after him for his first child. This was the beginning of his dream come true.

“Take this, we would be landing in a jiffy,” he said to Dercia.

He had left the cockpit to attend to his beloved daughter. He handed her a spacesuit and went back to the cockpit. He was the head of his flight crew. It was her first time following him on these trips and she felt a surge of excitement. Moments later, a bustling noise escaped into the spacecraft and then faded away as the ship tumbled.

Dercia had no idea what was happening. She wondered about the noise for a moment but forgot about it immediately. She began to flip through the Spaceport Magazine when she saw her dad running towards her from the direction that led to the cockpit. She was confused.

“Der...” he started to call her name but a heavy thud completed it for him with an explosion. “Boom!!” “Dad!!” She screamed.

There was dust everywhere and she could not see anything. She began nudging around in the darkness. Sixty seconds passed and all she heard was the echoing of her own voice. “I need to find dad,” she cried to herself.

She reached for a weapon and headed towards the dust. She was determined to save her father. She knew he would do the same for her. She had wasted so much time already. But then she heard a sharp shriek as she took another step forward. She tried not to be frightened as she moved deeper into the dust. She kept creeping further, trying to feel her dad with her legs. Suddenly, she fell off the craft into something that felt like a hollow and “DUM!!” she hit the floor with a heavy thud.

 

THREE HOURS LATER

Dercia felt something touching her, all over her body.

“Dad, is that you?” she said in excitement, her eyes still closed.

She heard an unusual sound, the type she had never heard before. She opened her eyes quickly but it wasn’t her dad. There it was. A four toothed monster. It looked like something from her dad’s moonlight stories.

“Dercia, if you ever needed to be brave, now is the time,” she told herself.

She immediately reached for her weapon, and struggled to her feet. She ran to the top of a nearby hill and charged at the beast using various stunts and skills she learned at gymnastics lessons. She slid beneath the beast who was not expecting someone so little to be powerful, and she positioned her blade in a way that it would cut through the beast’s belly. Just as the blade hit the beast, it broke into pieces.

She was astonished. Her dad did not mention strength such as this. With her weapon broken, she knew she could do nothing. She began to run. The beast followed. Her strength was dwindling and so was oxygen. She had not taken the inhaler from the craft. She tripped and fell. The beast soon caught up with her. She had no strength left. The beast crept slowly over her and made an enormous noise.

“Dad, you never talk of the dangerous side of space,” she muttered, feeling very bad she was going to die this way.

She was ready for death now, but she wished it was in the arms of her father.

“Kill me now!!” She said to the beast in a soft voice.

The dangerous beast was still creeping over her like she was his. He was probably wondering what to do with a girl this beautiful. 

 

Dercia was gradually giving up on life. She was exhausted and was still trying to come to terms with the depth of the situation when she heard some piercing sounds. The beast screamed all of a sudden. She thought the beast was piercing her and she tried to open her eyes. She could only open them halfway. Then, she saw her dad. She smiled despite her weakness. She felt like the happiest and luckiest girl on earth. She knew once her dad was there she was safe. He had actually shot at the beast and that was why it had screamed. She felt relieved. But then she noticed something. The beast had left her and was charging towards her dad. She immediately stole strength from wherever it was. When it comes to Dad, Dercia could give her life for it. She picked one of the arrows her father had shot at the beast from her side and charged at it from behind.

 

She threw herself up and landed on the beast. Just before the beast could gain consciousness, she pierced it right into its brain. She fell with a thud and found that she was laying side by side the dead beast. Her father was hovering over her. He gave a salute. She struggled to her feet and went for a tight hug.

“I’m proud to have you as my daughter,” he said.

 “I love you,” she said.

He gave her a kiss on her forehead.

“Tom,” he heard someone call his name softly.

He was fixated on Dercia’s face.

“Tom,” the voice called louder but he did not look up.

“Tom?” He heard the voice again, this time in a shout and with an accompanying noise.

He blinked at his teacher’s spanking paddle hitting his desk. He had been daydreaming right in his science class. He knew he was in trouble when he looked up and saw the question 'What is Space Age?' boldly crafted on the white board. He was only six years old and didn’t have a daughter.


ABOUT THE WRITER

Oheji Precious is a space scientist in the making. Writing is one of his many skills.

Help him win the Short Story Contest by voting his story in the comment section below. 

 

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