I'm sharing a new story, a Middle Grade/YA science fiction adventure, titled Rescuing Mara's Father. The narrator is Mara, an almost 15-year-old girl who lives in a mining outpost on the Outer Rim. This snippet takes place after last week's. Mara's friend Jako is being beaten by the Dunpus brothers. Since they've never heard their first names, she and Jako call them by numbers.
Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. It's also edited from the original.
They are a lot bigger than me, but I don’t hesitate. I’m tall for my age, but what I lack in bulk I make up for in cunning, thanks to Father’s self-defense lessons. I leap up and kick the back of the knee of the oldest brother—I’m wearing stout boots so I’m sure he’ll go down. He does and hits his head. While he lies there dazed, the middle brother starts dancing around so I can’t kick him. He must have seen what I did to Dunpus #1. I jump on #2’s back, and that gives Jako a fighting chance with the youngest. I wrap my forearm around Dunpus #2’s neck and hang on while he tries to shake me loose. If I press hard enough on his throat, I could choke him. Even though he’s a bully, I can’t do that.
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.