Mason smiled as he, Claridee, and Counselor Anklin walked down a tree-lined street. Those who passed gave them funny looks, but he didn’t care.
He couldn’t help but laugh as Claridee spun around as she walked, trying to see everything at once. “What’s that?” she kept crying at every new sight and sound. Mason did his best to answer, but was afraid he was being more confusing than helpful.
She stopped suddenly and cocked her head listening to birds singing. “That’s so beautiful,” she said in a dreamy voice. She started walking again, looking upward for the source of the sound. Mason had to grab her as she almost walked in front of a passing car. “What’s powering that?” she asked, pointing after the car.
“It uses an internal combustion engine. A flammable fluid called gasoline is ignited in small chambers which drive pistons to power the engine,” he explained.
“I really want to see one of those engines,” she replied, eyes wide with wonder, “they sound amazing.”
Mason grinned. “I’m sure that can be arranged.”
Every time they passed a sunny area Claridee would pause, staring up at the blue sky so the sun would shine on her face. Seeing the sun light dancing through her hair, and the look of contentment on her face made Mason’s heart leap with joy.
“Thank you so much again for bringing us to Earth, Counselor Anklin!” she enthused.
Counselor Anklin smiled broadly. “I was determined to give the two of you a wedding present you’d never forget. However, it might be better if you didn’t refer to me as Counselor. Try Professor instead.”
“Okay, Professor Anklin,” she laughed.
The sound of rustling from a nearby tree drew Claridee’s attention. Looking up, she pointed to a small animal with a long bushy tail running along the tree branches.
“What’s that?” she asked.
“That’s a squirrel,” answered Mason.
Claridee clapped her hands with glee. “I never imagined a place like this could exist!” Turning to Professor Anklin she continued. “Was Myscreth once like this?”
“It was before the war,” responded Professor Anklin. Looking around, he continued in a faraway voice, “and hopefully it will be again.”
The sound of barking caused Claridee to rush over to the edge of a small fenced-in yard. A small white dog stared up at her and barked menacingly.
“It’s so cute!” she squealed. “Isn’t this one of those dog animals you told me about?”
Mason smiled. “Yes.”
“It looks so soft,” she cried, reaching for it.
Mason instinctively grabbed for Claridee’s hand. “Be careful, it might bite,” he cautioned.
Claridee stepped quickly away from the fence, frowning.
“I didn’t know you had animals that would eat people.”
Professor Anklin chuckled. “No Claridee; dogs only bite to defend themselves or when they’re afraid. Not to eat you.”
“Well, I didn’t know,” muttered Claridee to herself.
In a little while they stood in front of a small blue house.
“Here we are,” announced Mason, his heart pounding. “Are you ready Claridee?”
She looked at him with an anxious smile. “I’m a little nervous, but I’ll be fine.”
The three of them walked to the front door and Mason rang the doorbell. His heart leapt as the door handle turned. Maybe they’d moved away. After all, his father had always talked about moving to Colorado. At the first sight of a familiar head of grey hair, Mason drew a deep breath: it was his mother. She stood there, staring at him in shock. It didn’t last long however, and in the next moment Mason felt himself wrapped in a tight embrace. “Mason!” his mother cried, hugging him even tighter.
In the next instant, Mason heard heavy footsteps rapidly approaching and felt a pair of strong arms embracing him and his mother. “Dad!” gasped Mason.
Blinking back tears, Mason could see Claridee and Professor Anklin beaming. At last Mason and his parents broke their embrace and his parents stood back to get a better look at him.
“You look wonderful,” his mother exclaimed through happy tears.
For a moment, Mason just stood there, feeling as if it were a dream. However, his reverie was soon broken as Professor Anklin cleared his throat.
Mason looked around in surprise before coming to his senses. “Mom and Dad, I’d like you to meet two people who mean a lot to me.” He gestured towards Professor Anklin. “This is Professor Anklin.”
“Pleasure to finally meet the two of you,” he said, shaking their hands warmly.
“And this,” continued Mason, taking Claridee’s hand, “is Claridee, my fiancée.”
His mother let out a cry of delight and rushed over to hug her. Unable to restrain herself, Claridee started crying. As the two women finished their embrace, his father came over and wrapped her in a huge hug.
“We’re so happy for the two of you,” he whispered to her, and Mason could tell he was desperately trying to fight back tears of his own.
“Thank you,” Claridee replied, barely able to get the words out. “It’s so wonderful to finally meet both of you. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.”
For a moment, the five of them just stood on the front porch, not quite sure what to do. Finally, Mason’s father took charge.
“Why don’t we go inside? The two of us would love to hear what Mason’s been up to.”
Mason smiled at his parents.
“There a lot I need to tell you about where I’ve been. It’s become very important to me for many reasons,” he declared, glancing over at Claridee.
“You’ve never heard of it, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. It’s a place called Myscreth …”
- Parker T. Allan
An engineer who enjoys writing something other than technical reports. Writing lets me share all the ideas floating around my mind. I hope my writing jump starts your imagination as so many books have done for me.
If you enjoy physics, check out https://physicswithcats.com/ for some fun stories which explain various physics topics.