This story is by KC Dassi and was part of our 2017 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the Spring Writing Contest stories here.
CHASING ANTENNA MAN: VOYAGE IN SPACE
Ron and Soni’s first adventure
On a beautiful summer day two children were playing in the park with their new puppy Fluffy. The kids and their parents were waiting for their family friends to arrive at the BBQ that they had organized. Soni was a slightly plump girl with brown wavy hair, beautiful black eyes and beautiful smile that dug deep dimples in her chubby cheeks. Her younger brother Ron was short, thin, bespectacled boy with mischievous blue eyes, dimpled chin, who often got teased at school for his height. After more than a year of pleading, his parents had finally got Fluffy from a local shelter just earlier that day.
While playing, Fluffy’ s collar came lose and pick pocket pouch fell out. As Ron kept the pouch in his jacket pocket, he noticed a rainbow – an odd tunnel shaped one. It seemed to end behind a redwood grove near the dog play area.
Ron watched the rainbow vanish as he threw the ball. Fluffy chased it – disappearing into the bushes behind the redwood trees.
The children ran after him and when they got closer, they noticed a strange man wearing a skin-hugging silver body suit. Stranger than his suit, were the two golden antennas – one on each side of his head, just above his pointy ears. When he saw them approach, he quickly pressed some buttons on a device. Then he picked up Fluffy with one hand and touched his antenna with his other. Both the antennas started glowing and buzzing.
“Let go of our dog” Ron ran towards Fluffy.
“Ron, STOP”, Soni cried. Her heart was racing.
Suddenly the sky went dark, and a tunnel-shaped rainbow appeared again – with one end above Antenna-man – pulling him & Fluffy in. Ron grabbed his paw, but couldn’t handle the force – Soni, tried to pull him out, but got sucked in too.
They barely managed to hold on to each other as everything whirled around. When the spinning stopped, the children found themselves slowly floating down to rainbow colored icy smooth surface. Ahead of them, the Antenna-man glided down very gracefully and breezed past them holding Fluffy.
“Is he wearing skates?” asked Ron as he tried in vain to grasp Antenna-man’s hand, but he barely touched it as Antenna-man zoomed past them in the opposite direction.
Ron followed in hot pursuit, but couldn’t keep pace and thought they were going to lose Antenna-man and Fluffy.
As he dejectedly looked towards Antenna-man and Fluffy getting further and further away, he noticed a vending machine for skates. He tried to hack it to get two pairs and something inside went haywire and it started spitting out all kinds of things.
“We should fix it”, said Soni, “No Time” said Ron as he grabbed the first two pairs of skates that came out. The skates conformed to their feet and fitted as if they were custom-made for them.
They were expert skaters and soon caught up, but just when they got close enough to grab Fluffy, Antenna-man made a sharp turn and zipped through a gate that opened for him.
Ron was so close he zoomed right behind him just before the gate closed. By the time Soni reached, the gate had closed. It was too tall to climb on.
Ron turned back and he was not happy about that. Soni gasped as she saw Ron fiddling with some wires in the gate’s control hub. She couldn’t see what he did, but soon the gate was open.
She noticed signs that said “No skate zone ahead – Caution Skates will revert back to skate stands”. As she crossed the sign, she realized that their skates came off and disappeared.
She wanted to close it, but it wasn’t easy and Ron was already chasing Antenna-man and she didn’t want to lose him. So, she followed him inside into an inter-galactic space station. It was like nothing she had ever seen before. It was huge – bigger than all the largest airports and train stations put together. There were spaceships, there were high speed trains, there even seemed to be flying motorcycles and flying saucer-like things zooming in the air. There were aliens of different shapes, sizes and colors hurrying about. A multitude of languages. But they all seem to be wearing some type of fancy collar, which was helping them translate and communicate. Interestingly the signs seemed to flash in multiple languages including English.
She ran as hard and was panting by the time she caught up to Ron.
“Ron, wait! RON!”
Ron chased Antenna-man to an elevator, but doors closed on him. He mentally noted where the elevator was headed and was trying to find another when Soni reached.
He spotted a saucer car and hopped on it.
“We can’t just take someone’s vehicle”, she protested
“Hurry, we’ll lose them. We’ll bring it back here”
“Can you drive?”
She barely managed to get on as the saucer car throttled up full speed.
“Watch out! “she yelled as he almost ran into a wall. He was struggling to navigate his way around other flying vehicles and skyways.
She spotted Antenna-man carrying Fluffy over a skyway and Ron speeded in their direction.
“Almost there,” Ron beamed.
But suddenly the saucer lost its throttle. He tried hard, but couldn’t get it to move forward. It hovered for a minute or two and then crashed into a skyway parallel to the one they wanted to get to. Luckily the children didn’t get hurt as the safety mechanism worked fine, but the saucer literally broke into 2 pieces.
“Oh no! We broke someone’s vehicle.”
“Quick – look there’s a bridge connecting the two skyways – we need to get on before the gate closes.” Ron ran ahead leaving Soni with no choice, but to follow.
He chased Antenna-man to the space-train platform as an announcement blared “Last train to the space shuttle. All with ticket to space-shuttle 2.1.5 to planet Aterna are advised to take the train. This is the last call.”
He watched in dismay as Antenna-man & Fluffy got in a space-train just before the doors shut.
He ran alongside the train to see if he could find a way to get in, but all the doors had closed.
Through one of the windows, he saw Fluffy’ s sad face as the space-train left the station.
“Fluffy, do not worry, I’ll save you”, Ron shouted
He looked around and saw some parked motorcycles. The one he found easiest to unlock was the one that had a carrier basket. He started it and hit the accelerator. It zoomed forward and he barely managed to keep holding on to the handles. He braked to avoid hitting another flying vehicle. They were so powerful that instead of slowing down, it came to a sudden halt and he almost got thrown off. He managed to stay on and chase the speeding train. He made it very close and got next to the window – Fluffy yelped when he saw him.
“I’ll follow them to the next station, get Fluffy and go back”, he smiled to himself. But his confidence came crashing down along with him as his motorcycle hit some invisible wall. He was thrown off and the motorcycle came tumbling down. The back-carrier portion broke from it and fell on Ron trapping him inside like an animal in a cage.
An alien, stronger than he looked, effortlessly picked up the motorcycle carrier to free Ron.
Soni, who’d just reached, thanked the plum, short alien, whose face was like a Squirrel.
“You hit force field. No hover-bikes allowed on train tracks.”, explained his companion with a long neck and face like a Giraffe.
The Squirrel-faced one whispered, “Federation officers” as he and his companion scurried away.
“Are you ok Ron?”, Soni was concerned as Ron hadn’t yet gotten up.
“I’m fine,” he got up gingerly. He limped a little as his right ankle was a bit sore, but other than that and a few scratches, he seemed fine.
“Why did you take off without me?”, Soni demanded.
“I was –”
“You are under arrest!”, a tall strong stern looking alien, in a white crisp uniform said to Ron. Another alien got down from his fancy police vehicle and joined them. He held up a small phone like device which crackled, “Violation of code 52-132 – 2 years, code 34-176 – 5 years, code… 7 years…..10 years…-”
“Officers, he didn’t mean to cause any problems. Someone stole our dog. We are just –“
“You are under arrest as an accomplice”, the officer gave her a stern look.
“Please hear us out”
“We don’t like trouble.” He said and placed both of them inside the police vehicle.
“Why did you have to chase the Antenna-man?”
“Because I’m a good friend & if it weren’t for you I would have got my puppy back.”
“First of all Fluffy is our puppy –“
“No he’s mine and if you weren’t SLOW, he would be with me now”
Soni’s cheeks turned red, “You are impulsive and immature ¬¬– and you have got us in a hole”
“Do NOT TALK to –”
“SHUT UP”, an officer bellowed.
“Can we get a lawyer?”, Soni asked.
“We need to talk to our parents.” She persisted.
“No court, parents, lawyers for illegal aliens. Just jail.”
The children’s cheeks turned white with fear and there was pin-drop silence for a while.
Then Soni asked Ron for some gum. He raised an eyebrow. She never ate gum after she’d gagged on it once and threw up the second time. She asked again and took the entire packet. Pretty soon, she was gagging and the officers had no choice, but to stop. She threw up on one of the officers, who’d kindly offered her a paper bag and a bottled water. The other officer got out of the vehicle to avoid being the next victim.
She spat the gum on the other officer stammered she was sorry, then slammed the door shut and cried, “Let’s GO!”. Ron had caught on to the plan when she asked for gum, so he had already scrambled to the driver’s seat and started the vehicle.
The officers watched in disbelief as their vehicle sped away. Soni drank some water to sooth herself.
“We can’t blindly chase aliens or be chased – we need a plan.”
“Spaceship! We need to – “
They heard a siren blaring – an officer on space-bike was on their tail.
Ron took a very dangerous turn in a tunnel and barely managed to scrape past a bullet-fast train going towards them.
“They might be waiting for us outside the tunnel.” Her wide fearful eyes scanned the surroundings and she noticed Giraffe-man waving towards them. After a little hesitation and debate they let him in.
“I’ve a proposition for you – if you want to escape jail you’ve to fly away – you need spaceship – I give you spaceship, you give me this police vehicle.”
Soni wasn’t sure she liked the sound of it. This alien was surely not a law-abiding citizen.
But they didn’t have much of a choice. They certainly were scared of jail. They wanted to find Fluffy and go home and they agreed that the only way out was to find a spaceship.
Giraffe-man took them through a series of secret passages – to a portion of the space-station that seemed to be not in use. Giraffe-man got out next to a room. He opened the door to reveal a spaceship.
“Wow!” Ron’s wide curious eyes glowed with joy.
Soni smiled, “We can find Fluffy and go home!”