Karid and Brianda have never seen Spring. When they do, it may change their lives forever.
A Journey into Spring
Pattick places his boney fingers on the shoulders of
his Planetary Researcher, Willina. “It has been almost three
Unan months since it changed from very cold to Spring. How
much longer is it going to stay Spring there on Loonch?”
Willina looks at Pattick. “I don’t know. But I don’t
think it will be more than a couple of months, though.”
“What is Spring?” Karid asks as he and Brianda enter
Pattick cocks his boney head toward Karid. “What are
you doing here?”
“We have been trying to contact you.” Karid answers.
“But we haven’t been able to do it. It’s almost time to eat.
So, I came to get you.”
“Torroni knows that I was going to stop by here before
I returned to our living quarters,” replies Pattick. “What
are you doing here?”
Karid doesn’t say anything for several minutes. Then he
points up at the main monitor that has Loonch on it. “Is
“Yes, that’s Spring. Is that why you have come here?”
“It is.” Karid finally says. “I heard you and Torroni
talking about it a few weeks ago. And I can’t stop thinking
about it. So, when I heard you and Torroni talking about you
stopping off here before coming to eat I thought this was a
good time to come here and ask you what Spring is.”
Pattick walks toward Karid. “You could have asked me
when I came to eat.”
“I know,” replies Karid. “But then I wouldn’t have been
able to see it. So, what is it?”
“As you have learned all planets have seasons. We don’t
know a lot about Loonch yet. But what we do know is that one
of their seasons is called Spring.”
Pattick smiles. “Does that answer your question?”
“Yes, it does.” Karid answers. “But now I have another
“What do you want to know now?” Pattick asks.
Karid looks at Brianda. Then back at Pattick. “We have
never seen Spring. Can we go with you the next time that you
go to Loonch?”
“You already know the answer to that.” Pattick answers.
“But that does remind me of something.”
Pattick walks over to Willina. “We know all that we can
about Loonch from up here. I think it’s time that we do go
down there to check it out personally.”
Karid and Brianda stop just after they leave Command
Control. “What are we going to do now?” Brianda asks.
“We do what we always do,” says Karid. “Just because I
am thirteen and you are twelve, they think we are too young
to be going down to a planet. So, we go down there anyway.”
Just after sunrise the next day a small spacecraft
leaves the bigger one and heads for Loonch. About an hour
later it lands on that planet. Karid and Brianda wait until
they don’t hear anyone else on that spacecraft before they
come out of hiding.
Karid peeks out the still open entrance to see where
everyone is at. Once he sees that no one is near them or
looking toward them, they jump down to the ground. Then they
quickly get under the spacecraft between its boney legs.
Karid and Brianda slowly start looking all around them.
“So, now that we are here what are we going to do?”
“Anything we want,” answers Karid. “The Researchers are
going to be here for several days. So, we have plenty of
time to see as much of Loonch as we can.”
Karid and Brianda look around for another few minutes.
Suddenly, Brianda points toward a lot of flowers. “I think
they are flowers,” says Brianda. “At least that’s what they
look like. Let’s go there first.”
Before Karid can say anything Brianda starts running
for those flowers. But he is right behind her. For the next
several hours, they run among those flowers playing, holding
hands and just walking, etc. Every time they step on one of
the flowers a faint yell can be heard. But it’s so soft they
can’t hear it.
Brianda is the first one to sit down. Karid sits next
to her. “I like spring,” says Brianda.
“So, do I,” says Karid as he looks toward the sky.
“It’s almost dark. We better get back to the spacecraft
before the others do or they will know we are here too.”
Karid helps Brianda get up after he does. Then they
start running back to the spacecraft. They stop just after
they get off those flowers. “Where is the spacecraft?” Brianda asks.
“The Researchers left us behind,” says Karid. “Why have
they done that?”
“Because they don’t know we are here,” answers Brianda.
“The bigger question is why have they left Loonch?”
Walking quickly down a corridor, Pattick stops Willina
with a boney hand on her shoulder. “Have you seen Karid and
Brianda?” Pattick asks.
“No, I haven’t. The last time I saw them was in Command
Control a day ago,” answers Willina.
“The last I saw Karid was when I sent him to sleep
after eating,” says Pattick. “And no one has seen him or
Brianda since then.”
Willina takes Pattick’s boney hand into her and guides
him to the corridor wall where there are symbols, shapes,
and numbers everywhere. “There is one easy way to find him.”
“I already thought of that,” replies Pattick. “But I
feel that’s checking him out. And I can’t do that.”
“It’s a good thing I don’t feel that way.” Willina taps
a symbol on the wall. “Data Information, where are Karid and
Brianda at right now?”
The wall lights up. Symbols and shapes start flashing
everywhere. “Karid and Brianda are no longer here,” Data
Information finally says. “They are on the planet below us.”
“They are where!” Willina asks. “What are they doing
“I’m not surprised they are down there,” says Pattick.
Karid and Brianda wanted to see what spring was.”
Pattick smiles. “They most likely got on the small
spacecraft just before the Researchers.”
“What are we going to do now?” Willina asks.
“There is nothing that we can do,” answers Pattick.
“Once that storm down there dies, we will go get them.”
Karid peeks around the corner of the huge opening in
the large rock hill they have been living in to see a big
wall of white with red lines of different shapes and sizes
flashing within it. “It hasn’t moved much since the last
time we saw it,” says Karid.
“I think it’s safe for me to go out there to get us
something to eat,” continues Karid. “After all, we haven’t
eaten in almost a day.”
Brianda grabs Karid and holds him tight. “You know I
don’t like it when you leave me alone.”
“Don’t like it either,” says Karid. “But what else can
we do. We need to eat until this storm is over and they come
to get us.”
“Do you think they are coming back for us?” Asks
Brianda. “Because I don’t. I think they left us here a long
time ago because of this storm.”
A small spacecraft lands on Loonch. Pattick and Torroni
are the first two to get off of it. Right behind them a lot
of other Oxums leave it. Once out, they separate into small
groups and start looking for Karid and Brianda. They even
are calling them by their names as they do it.
“That’s weird,” says Pattick. “It has been only a few
hours since that storm disappeared. And it looks like it
ended a whole lot longer than that.”
“Who cares about that,” says Torroni. “All that I care
about is Karid.”
Pattick points toward where Karid and Brianda are at.
“From the images, I saw of Loonch from above, there are some
openings in that rock hill. If they are anywhere, that is
probably where they are.”
About a half-hour later, Pattick and Torroni go into an
opening and suddenly stop. There on the ground next to a
small fire in clothing that is barely there is where Karid
and Brianda are at together holding each other. Only they
aren’t Karid and Brianda. At least they don’t look like them
anymore. They look a lot older now.
“What on Oxum! Who are you?” Torroni asks.
Karid is the first one to get into a sitting position.
But Brianda is right behind him. “So, you finally decided to
come back to get us,” says Karid.
“Unless you are here to claim Loonch,” says Brianda.
“If you are here to do that, you are already too late. It
has already been claimed by the flowers here, and us.”
“We aren’t here to claim this planet,” says Pattick.
“All we are interested in is Karid and Brianda.”
Karid gets up first. Then he helps Brianda up. “Don’t
you see who we are,” says Karid. “We are Karid and Brianda.”
“That’s impossible,” says Torroni. “You can’t be Karid
“I know that storm lasted a lot longer than we thought
that it would,” says Pattick. “But it has only been a couple
Karid smiles. “It may have been only two days for you.
But for us, it has almost been twelve years.”
“No way you are Karid and Brianda,” says Torroni. “You
may look like an Oxum. But you’re not.”
“Would you please keep your voice down,” says Brianda.
“We don’t want you to wake up our two Young Ones.”
Karid has Young One in his arms and Brianda is holding
hands with another one as they walk back into the open area
next to the entrance into that opening. They sit down with
their Young One next to Pattick and Torroni.
“This is Cante. She is three,” says Brianda as she
points to her. Then she gestures toward Shandan. “And this
is Shandan. He is just over one.”
Pattick and Torroni look at each other first. Then they
look back at Karid and Brianda. “We are here to take you
home,” says Pattick.
“This is our home now,” says Karid. “It has been for
almost twelve years now.”
“You can’t live here,” says Torroni. “There isn’t
anyone else here but you four.”
Pattick gets up and starts walking toward the opening
entrance. “They are adults now. If they want to stay here,
there is nothing that we can do about it.”
Torroni gets up and puts her boney hand on Pattick to
stop him. “Them being adults is true. But what about Cante
and Shandan?” Torroni turns to face Karid and Brianda. “At
least come back to your spacecraft to get some clothing,
Karid and Brianda look at each other. “We can always
use more clothing and food,” says Brianda. “And some other
things there will be nice to have too.”
About an hour later the small spacecraft lands on the
bigger one. As soon as Karid and Brianda step off of it,
they fall to the floor. Suddenly, a light greenish glow in
their shapes surrounds them. Then it starts shrinking in
size just before it disappears. Karid and Brianda are
thirteen and twelve again.
Brianda is the first to sit up. She looks at Karid
as he sits up too. Then at her two Young Ones. “I think we
are going to have a lot of explaining to do when they get a
“That’s not what I’m wondering,” replies Karid. “I
wonder what will happen once we return to Loonch with what
we came here to get. Will we return as adults or will we go
back to being thirteen and twelve still?”
“I don’t know,” says Brianda. “But there is only one
way to know for sure who will be. Whichever way it is we
will still be together.”
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