I'm sharing a new story, a Middle Grade/YA science fiction adventure, titled Rescuing Mara's Father. It's still a work in progress (though I just got my edits back), 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 Jako, her best friend, saying, “I heard a Voxian cargo ship came in this morning, wanna go to ‘port and see?”
Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. It's also edited from the original.
I look at the darkening sky then at the clothes hanging on the line next to the house, “I have to take in the laundry first, then I’ll catch up with you.”
I take the clothes in through the side door, not the one to the classroom. If I hurry, I can leave them on my bed and be off before Teacher turns into Father.
It’s like living with two different people. In the classroom, his study, he insists I set an example for the others and call him Teacher. There he’s a stern taskmaster. In the rest of our house, he’s Father, warm and caring—at least, he used to be. A while ago, he started changing. Now, even at home he’s demanding, and nothing I do is good enough.
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 them 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.