Each weekend the Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.
I'm sharing a new story, a Middle Grade/YA science fiction adventure, titled Rescuing Mara's Father. It's a work in progress (though it's with my editor), so suggestions would be great. The narrator is Mara, an almost 15-year-old girl. The scene is class in Teacher's study in a mining outpost on the Outer Rim. This snippet takes place immediately after last week's, which ended with Mara saying, "The Central Planets with their Coalition are light years away, besides they don’t care about us. Why should we learn about them or how they rule? All we have to know is who’s in charge here, and that’s the mining company.”
Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. It's also edited from the original.
I sit quickly, surprised at my own outburst, not as surprised as the rest of the class, let alone Teacher. He gives me a look that says I’m going to hear about this later. I am so glad I only have one more month of this. At Pamyria Tech, I won’t have to learn useless information about the Coalition and especially about Compara—I’ll learn important stuff about starship engines. One more month, just one more month, and I am gone.
I shift around in my chair to look at Jako, who never voluntarily speaks during class—unlike his brother, Lukus-Know-It-All—and he’s even standing, “Why do we have to learn stuff we’ll never use? Manager says we don’t need to know more than to read and write Arthos.”
In linguistics class, we learned that Arthos, the language used throughout the Rim, is a combination of the home languages of the early explorers. Besides learning how to read and write in Arthos, we’re learning to speak Tumie, the language of the desert nomads—practical stuff, not useless information about planets we’ll never have contact with.
Her father is gone! Taken by the Queen of Compara’s agents. Mara has to rescue him before the Queen tortures and kills him.
Instead of the kind, loving father she’s always known, he’s become demanding, critical, with impossible expectations—not just as Father but also as the only teacher in their frontier outpost. Mara would rather scoop zircan poop than listen to another boring lecture about governments on Central Planets. Give her a starship engine to take apart or, better yet, fly, and she’s happy. Now, he's gone.
Never mind, they’ve had a rocky road lately.
Never mind, Father promised she could go off planet to Tech Institute next month when she turns fifteen, where she’ll learn to fly starships.
Never mind, she ran away because she’s furious with him because he reneged on that promise. Father is her only parent. She has to save him.
Along with her best friend, eleven-year-old Jako, and his brother 15-year-old Lukus, Mara sets off to find her father. An old spaceport mechanic and her mentor seems to know why the Queen captured Father. In fact, he seems to know her father well. But, does he tell her everything? Of course not. He dribbles out info like a mush-eating baby. Worse, he indicates he’ll be leaving then soon. And Lukus can’t wait to get off our planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave her, and she’ll be on her own. Despite her fears, she has to rescue her father.