The Iron Writer Challenge #211
2017 Autumn Equinox Challenge #6
500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements
Writers will be announced when the voting is completed.
Someone left behind
Image is of a boy next to a spaceman
Where are Our Children?
He opened the morning newspaper and saw the headline:
WHERE ARE OUR CHILDREN?
The story said that children all over the city are missing after attending the opening of a new space themed amusement park. The story sparked fear in the hearts of parents everywhere.
He set the newspaper down and grabbed an old photo album that he kept in a trunk. He went back to his chair and opened it. Immediately he turned to a picture of a small boy posing with a man in a space suit at the amusement park. He is in the picture and he knows what happened to the missing children.
The man drove to the site of the amusement park that was now closed, as he knew it would be. Hundreds of people were searching the grounds for any kind of sign of what happened to their children. He spotted a reporter for the local news and approached her.
“They will never see their children again.”
“Excuse me?” the reporter asked. He showed her the photo he took out of the album.
“This is me over forty years ago. All of the children who had their photo taken with the spaceman disappeared shortly after.”
Stunned, the reporter asked, “Can we go someplace quiet and talk?”
“Sure. Bring your crew to my house. I don’t live too far from here.”
He gave her the address and left the scene.
The news crew showed up at his house and set up for the interview.
“Okay Mister Sirius, is it? Earlier today you told me that these children who have disappeared will never be seen again. How do you know this?”
“I know this because it happened more than forty years ago as well. Hundreds of children attended the grand opening of a space themed amusement park. Hundreds of children disappeared that day. All except for one child. Every child that had his or her photo taken with a spaceman that day were invited to a party inside a building at the amusement park. The parents were told to go and enjoy the park for an hour and the children would be safe. The children at the party were told that they were going to start a new colony on a distant planet. Confused and excited, the children were herded by fours into a teleportation device and sent off to the planet”
The reporter clicked her tongue and said, “Come on, I find this a little hard to believe.”
“Well, when you go back to your office, research their disappearance. I know this because a little boy managed to sneak out and went to tell his parents the good news. By the time they returned to the building, all of the children were gone. No trace of them.”
Wait…are you saying that you are the little boy in the picture?” the reporter asked.
The man smiled and replied, “No, Miss Ivy. I am the spaceman in the picture. I was left behind to find that little boy.”
He then pulled a small remote control device, pushed a button and vanished into thin air.
“Don’t worry, Brian, I’ll be back,” said his father, ready to board the last shuttle to Colonization Voyager IV, its destination Mars Colony III.
“But Dad, I’m frightened! I don’t wanna be left behind with Nani!” The truth was that he’d had nightmares about the mole on her chin, especially the three thick hairs growing from its middle.
“Now, now, son,” he said, kneeling down in his spacesuit and holding Brian by the shoulders. “I have to go, don’t you see? The colony needs a dental floss extraction engineer, and I’m their man.” He tried to kiss Brian on the head but forgot he was wearing a helmet. “Ha. Damn, I can’t take it off, I’ll have to go through the contamination room again and there’s no time for that. I have to go, Brian, but I’ll send broadcasts every day.”
“But Dad! I can’t stand her pig-in-the-‘oles and steak and kidney pies! And you can bounce her soufflés across the floor! Please, Dad! Don’t go!” Brian ran into his father’s chest, digging deep into his breathing apparatus and causing a few blips and beeps.
“Come on, Brian, get yourself together, she’s…” He looked over at Nani, all 5 foot 3 inches of her, both tall and round. “…she’s not that bad.”
“Now you ‘come on’, Dad, you were the one who said her armpits looked and smelt like six month old Tamarins hanging on for dear life!” Nani crossed her arms and huffed.
“No, no, I never said that,” lied his father, smiling as best he could at Nani.
“Two minutes to launch!” announced the loudspeakers.
“I really have to catch that shuttle, son,” pleaded Brian’s father as he held onto his leg. “Okay, all right, how about we get Nani to take a photo. Yes? Let’s take one photo together. Okay? Nani, have you got the camera?”
Nani nodded, wobbling all her four neck rolls. A few moments rummaging in her handbag brought no success.
“Dad, don’t leave me with Nani, please!” screamed Brian once more. His father stood up from his pose and went over to Nani, instantly finding the camera and placing it in her hands.
“There. Now, Brian, please, give a nice smile,” said his father. Nani fumbled with the camera and gave a little giggle. “Oh, for f…. heaven’s sake!” Brian’s father had to go over again and show her which button to press.
After the fifth attempt, Nani took the photo and Brian tried to smile.
“Okay, Brian. Be a good boy and…” Smoke appeared around them and the loud boom of engines drowned out any words his father said, but Brian could see from his lip movements and hand gestures that they were bad ones.
When the smoke faded and the shuttle was a mere speck in the sky, his father, left behind, took off the helmet.
“Well, son, looks like we’re both stuck with Nani now.” They sighed as Nani gave little leaps of joy on the spot.