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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Sci-fi · #1950149
Rhea's daughter, Miranda, is united with her healing horse.
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“Class, for the rest of the week, we’ll be discussing the history of our Martian ancestors. Many of you have some percentage of…”

“Aw, we live on Neptune!" Oberon shouted out in frustration. "Why do we need to learn about people who lived on another planet thousands of years ago?”

“Oberon!" Rhea Vesta snapped at the unruly ten year old. "You will not interrupt in my class.”

Oberon shifted around in his seat. “Yes, Mrs. Vesta.”

Rhea collected her thoughts. Sometimes I wonder why I took this job as a History and Stella Cartography teacher. I’m not good with children. My own daughter, Miranda, is so impulsive and uncontrollable at times. It’s no wonder I have no discipline in my classroom.

She paused as she mustered up a smile, then continued. “As I was saying…many of you have some percentage of human in your bloodlines. Five thousand years ago, in the year 2023, humans ventured away from their home world of Earth to settle on Mars. Each seven month journey filled the empty planet with life support units, supply units, living units, rovers, and colonists. The people of Earth managed ten colonization missions to Mars before their home planet was destroyed. The human race survived through these settlers, and inspired generations for many years.”

Sky’s hand shot up. “Mrs. Vesta, why did they move to a stupid planet with no buildings or people on it?”

“It was all they could get to with the technology they possessed at the time. They needed to make the best of what they had because they could never go back. War had begun on Earth. After a period of destruction from chemical and nuclear weapons, there was nothing at all left of their home planet.”

Before Rhea could say any more, Sky had her hand up once again. “But how did they survive with no buildings or people there?”

“The technology they brought to Mars allowed them to begin using the land. They made good use of the water ice under the soil for hygiene, drinking, and farming. They generated oxygen through electrolysis and…”

Just then the bell rang, signaling the end of the school day. Twenty excited children jumped up out of their seats. “Wait!” Rhea began. “Many years ago, our Neptunian ancestors had been mining on the Martian moon of Phobos, when they discovered and rescued that struggling human colony. Your homework is to write a report about the archived story from one of those early colonists."


Rhea’s neighbor, Grace, caught her breath as she ran to catch the teacher before she entered her house. "Rhea!" she called, “It’s your daughter, Miranda! She skipped her last class at school to play in the mines with my son, Luke!”

“Calm down, Grace. Tell me! Is she alright?”

Tears streamed down the frantic woman’s face as she caught her breath some more. “No, she’s not. She's lost quite a bit of life essence, and no one can find her healing horse. We’ve been trying to contact you, but you must have turned your implant chip off.”

Rhea checked the small bump at her temple and realized that it was indeed accidentally shut off. “Grace, where’s Miranda now?” Tears then dripped down her face as well.

“She’s at the clinic. Miranda fell down a long drop. Luke ran home to tell me, and I called the rescue unit...but they can’t fix her. They need Sadie!”

As the words which were quickly blurted out by Grace sunk in, Rhea felt dizzy. Sadie was Miranda’s healing horse. The people of Neptune are linked at birth with their own healing horse. The horse becomes that person’s loving companion for life. A dying person simply needs to be placed on the back of the healing horse, and then they’re reenergized for another lifetime.

The thoughts she pondered at school echoed in her head. I should have been a better mother. I’m not good with kids. I should have told her not to ever go near that mine.

Rhea’s eyes brightened as she remembered where the horse might be. "Grace, I think the horse might be near the pond in Casper Forest. That’s another place where Miranda likes to play, and Sadie might have gone there when she didn’t come home."

Rhea tapped the side of her temple. When a contact list appeared in front of her face, she clicked on her Aunt Lucy’s name. The relative lived right outside of the forest.

Lucy answered promptly. “Hi Rhea, how’s it going?”

“Aunt Lucy, Miranda’s been hurt. Could you go to the pond to see if Sadie’s there? Let me know if she is, and I’ll have Miranda beamed there at once."


Rhea found herself crying again, this time with tears of joy as she watched Miranda’s pretty blue eyes open.

Hugging the champagne-colored horse, Miranda smiled. Only moments earlier, the seven-year-old's limp, barely breathing body had been placed on the life-giving horse. The girl was going to be fine.

“Mommy, thanks for bringing me to Sadie. You’re the best mommy in the whole world!”

Rhea felt her heart ping with joy at hearing her little one’s words.

Word count:885

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