by Lori J
Book 2, Chapter 1. Girl from another planet lands on the earth.
Year - 2160
Laresn / Alien Girl
All of a sudden, light flooded the building. Laresn jumped up screaming, not knowing where she was or what was going on. Her screams ricocheted throughout the building.
Then someone was holding her by the shoulders and shaking her. She opened her eyes and started screaming again. A strange man kept saying something. She tried to knock his hands off of her but that wasn’t working.
Everything started coming back to her. She was on the earth and her airship had crashed and burned. She and Zook, her imaginary twin, had found this building after walking for miles. When she opened the door, she could hear the breathing of animals in the different stalls. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she saw a dim light in the furthest corner of the building. She headed to that corner and pushed on a door that was partly open. In that small room, she saw a desk with a computer, a chair, cabinets, and a sink. Opening a faucet at the sink, water poured out. Just what she needed, she thought, noticing how thirsty she was as she took a big drink. Walking out of the room, she saw a ladder, and going upstairs she saw what looked like a good place to sleep.
“Zook, I don’t know what all this strawy stuff is, but I’m just going to lie down here.” She knew that Zook would lie down right beside her. Zook had always been in her life, ever since she was a small child, and was so alone in First Home on Celem, the planet that she came from. At age five she had been moved to Building GA2. When she was ten and had been moved to the older Girl’s Building GB6, she had changed Zooky’s name to Zook. She had decided that they were big girls now.
The man that had a hold of her wrist started walking to the steps, pulling her along. As they left the building, she saw they were walking to a strange-looking house, red in color. It looked nothing like their houses on Celem, which were made from the trees in the forests around them. She wanted to break away and run, but couldn’t get loose from the man’s grip. She started mumbling to Zook, “Help me here. Can’t you do something?”
Zook whispered in her ear, “Just quit fighting. He’s not going to let you go.” The man pulled her along to the house, with her fighting him all the way. She looked up at him and thought of Rayceen, the guard at her building on Celem. He was about the same height, but was maybe around fifty, ten years or so older than Rayceen. His hair was brown and he was growing part of his hair on his chin. The men on Celem did not do that. Really strange, she thought.
When she finally resigned herself to the fact that Zook was right and he wasn’t going to let her go, she decided that she would just have to bid her time. He couldn’t keep dragging her forever.
When they got to the house, he opened the door and pulled her in. He started saying something to someone inside. A woman came and looked at Laresn with shock all over her face. “Where did she come from?” the woman was asking. Laresn didn’t understand anything that was being said. The man kept his hand on her wrist and led her through the room they had entered and into the dining room, pulling out a chair for her at the table. The woman brought some food and set it down before her.
Oh my, it smelled so good and she was so hungry. She looked up at the kind-looking woman who handed her a fork. Laresn took a bite wondering what this was. She didn’t care then and went ahead and ate everything on the plate. She was given a glass of milk which she gladly accepted. When she was finished, she just sat there, not knowing what to do. She heard the man and woman talking again, and then the woman took her hand and led her upstairs. Laresn had decided that they were not going to hurt her and went with the woman willingly. She was led into a bathroom and shown the bathtub, towels, and even a change of clothes, a long tee-shirt, and a pair of pajama pants. She wants me to take a bath Laresn thought. Looking in the mirror over the sink, she knew she needed one. She started running water and stepped into the tub after removing her clothes. The woman came in after Laresn stepped into the tub, and took her clothes, noticing that there were two sets. Zook had told her that would be a good way to take another set of clothes with her, and she had thought it was a good idea.
When she finished the bath and came out of the bathroom, the woman was waiting on her. She led her to the nearest room, a bedroom. The covers were turned back on the bed and were being held up now, letting her know she should crawl inside. After she was in and covered, the woman left the room, closing the door.
Laresn could hardly believe her good luck, but there was no way that she was going to sleep in this place. Besides, she had slept all night long and felt rested after eating and taking the bath. She was hoping that her clothes would be returned to her soon.
She started calling for Zook, her imaginary twin, wondering where she was keeping herself. Just like that, Zook was beside her. “As soon as the woman brings my clothes back, we’ll sneak out and leave,” she told her.
“I think we should stay for a while and see what happens here,” Zook spoke up.
“No, I don’t have any idea of what they’ll do with me.”
“Well, when we find out what they plan to do, then we can leave.”
“There’ll be no way to know what they plan since I don’t understand them.”
“Maybe there’ll be some kind of clue if you watch them,” Zook told her.
“I just don’t know what to do.”
“That’s because you’re not listening to me.”
“Zook, you think you know everything.”
“Not really, but some things are pretty simple.”
She got out of bed and saw a brush on the dresser. She brushed through her hair and put the brush down. She had never done much with her hair, remembering how her roommates had laughed at her when she had cut it herself. They had told her that she should let them style it. They could even dye it for her because it was such a strange color. She didn’t understand what they meant about that. It had always been this reddish-black shade and she always just pulled it back and put a barrette in it.
Now she looked out the window. The man was getting in his drone and leaving. “Look, Zook. Isn’t that a dog that’s getting in with him? Remember those pictures of the animals in one of the books that Rayceen had back home. Remember, the black one that was in the bottom of the drawer under his bed. I think that’s a dog. He’s so big though.”
“Maybe he’s a pony,” Zook told her. “Remember the ponies in that book. They were that brownish color.”
“I don’t know, Zook. I don’t think it could be a pony.”
“What do you think it is then?”
“Maybe we’ll find out later. I think I’ll open the door and see if I can tell what’s going on downstairs.”
She turned the knob quietly and not seeing or hearing anyone, she stepped out of the room. She took a few steps and listened again. Then she walked to the top step and quietly sat down.
“I’m just going to sit here and listen,” she told Zook.
After a few minutes, she heard a phone buzz, which made her jump as though she had been shocked. At least I didn’t yell out, she thought. The woman answered it right away. Laresn could hear her voice. She thought she almost recognized a word or two, but couldn’t really make it out. After the woman hung up and went back to another room, Laresn kept sitting on the step.
Gradually she began slipping down a step or two at a time. Before she knew it, she was at the bottom of the stairs. She stood up and looked around. There was a room to her right that was open and no one was in there, so she slipped in.
She looked around and really became excited. “Zook,” she said, “there are books everywhere in this room. Look at them. They look really old.”
“Laresn, we better go back upstairs. You know they’re not yours. You shouldn’t mess with them. You’ll get yourself into trouble.”
“Look, here’s one about the universe. Oh my goodness, I can read some of these words. Look at this, Zook. They’re our kind of words.” There were so many pictures and drawings, that they just took her breath away.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before. Rayceen’s books were so plain and didn’t have pretty pictures,” she told Zook. She sat down on the floor with the book on her lap.
“I think you should put it up, Laresn. And we should go back upstairs.”
“I will, I will,” she told Zook. “Later.”
An hour or so later, she heard the drone come back.
She didn’t move, hoping that the man would not look in there.