Runner-up, KidPub October 2012 Writing Contest
The plucky Mars Rover Curiosity stumbles upon a message. In a bottle. Curiosity picked up the bottle with his metal clawed hand. He tried to squeeze one of his three metal fingers into the bottle so he could get the message out. After a couple of seconds he produced a small brown piece of paper from the bottle. A small compartment of his mechanical body abruptly opened. Then Curiosity gently put the piece of paper in the compartment. Immediately, the compartment shut.
“Reading message…”, uttered Curiosity in a robotic voice, “Dear Elsa my darling daughter I write this letter to you to say that I am not dead, at least not yet. I hope you get this message. I hope you get this bottle really. I know this bottle will probably float around space for ever. But just writing this gives me courage. My location is JLUNK ….. ”.
Soft light filtered through a pair of aqua blue curtains. Patches of light slowly appeared on the floor and cupboard of a small room. Elsa slowly sat up tossing back her long black curly hair. She rubbed her eyes sleepily. Then she got out of bed and slipped on a pair of navy blue slippers with N.A.S.A. printed on the front of them. Out of the blue a small radio at the end of Elsa’s room made a loud crackling noise.
Swiftly, she padded over to the other end of the room and sat down on a small wooden stool. In a twinkling of an eye a slightly faded voice began to come out of the radio. “Elsa I think I may not make it” cried the voice coming out of the radio.
Elsa picked up a small square metal device and spoke into it. “Do you mean you will not make it in time for Christmas” said Elsa.
“No I mean I might die! There is a pack of asteroids not far from us, we can’t turn back, not now. I will send you a message in a bottle for you Elsie. But, then the message may not make it, like I won’t …..” The voice faded into silence.
Elsa looked down at her slippers. They had been her dad’s slippers, her dear dad’s. Unexpectedly, Elsa crumpled to the floor and began to whimper. Tears gushed down her face like buckets of rain. “Dad don’t die” she sobbed. She cried and cried but no one heard. No one was there to hear her sobs. No one would ever care.
As Elsa got ready for school she wished that a UFO would land in her back yard and whisk her away to another planet. Indeed a UFO did land in her back yard. At precisely 7.30 am. It landed smack bang right in the middle of her back yard. It landed with an almighty thump. When she heard this thump she looked out of the kitchen window and was so bewildered that she jumped 50 cm off the floor. As soon as she recovered from shock she rushed out side to inspect the UFO.
The UFO was of a rounded shape. A small hatch was set into the front of the UFO. Beside the hatch was a small green button. She slowly lent over and pressed the button. Suddenly, the hatch opened and a small set of stairs slid out of the UFO. Curiously, she walked up the stairs and through the hatch. With a loud beeping sound the door closed and an eerie green light came on. “What the heck” cried Elsa. Before she could say another word a loud voice interrupted her. “Lift off in five, four, three, two, one….”. Then with a loud roaring sound the UFO lifted off the ground and shot into space.
Elsa’s stomach lurched. “Ahhhh” she screamed. Without warning the UFO floor tilted to the side making Elsa lose her footing. Speedily, she made her way across the floor to the driving seat. Out of the blue, she was lifted up into the air. She grabbed the seat belt of the driving seat and pulled her self back down to earth and strapped her self in. She grabbed the joy stick. She could hardly see out of the UFO’s window but she managed to steer it towards what looked like Mars.
Slowly she pulled the joy stick back. All of a sudden she was plummeting towards Mars. Quickly, she grabbed the joy stick and moved it back and forth until the UFO was nose down ready to land. Steadily, she let the joy stick back. With a deafening “Clunk” the space craft landed. Elsa attached a small loop of expanding string to her waist. She had found it in a small compartment of the UFO. Cautiously, she opened the door and walked down the steps or at least she tried to walk, but really she floated. Unexpectedly she noticed a small Mars rover coming towards her.
“You Elsa?” cried the Mars rover in a slightly robotic voice. “Yes” answered Elsa. “This is for you” said the Mars rover. Handing her a small piece of brown paper.
Elsa carefully took the piece of paper from the Mars rover. As she took it she noticed a small name plate stuck onto the Mars rover.
“Is your name Curiosity”? She asked.
“Yes but aren’t you going to read the letter?” questioned Curiosity. Elsa quickly scanned the letter. It filled her with joy to know that her father was not dead. But something caught her eye. The last word at the end of the page said JLUNK. “What was JLUNK’? She thought.
“Curiosity, what is JLUNK”? asked Elsa.
“JLUNK is a planet where all ruined mechanical things or crashed space shuttles end up. It is a land of sadness. It is where Sleith my creator and your father have ended up” cried Curiosity solemnly. Elsa quickly swam through the open air around her. “Come on Curiosity, what are we waiting for? Let’s go!” she yelled.
Curiosity followed her into the UFO. Then he immediately took the joy stick in his robotic hands. Suddenly, they were gliding through the universe at terrifying speed. Without warning the UFO began to spin around and around. Then it flung itself to the ground. The force was so great that Curiosity was flung off the driver’s seat. Slowly the engine died and Curiosity and Elsa got out of the UFO.
Above them the sky was an ash grey colour. Broken space shuttles and Mars rovers were scattered across the ground. There didn’t seem to be any life on JLUNK apart from a few absurd looking rats. Though Elsa’s love for her father was too great for her to give up. She foraged around among the piles of junk, Then she noticed a small pit cleared from junk.
Elsa ran over to the pit. There, lying in the pit, was her father. Her father looked up and stared at her for a few seconds.
“You got my message in a bottle?” he cried.
“I did a little Mars rover gave it to me” answered Elsa.
Unexpectedly, Curiosity began to make a high pitched piercing screech. It sounded like someone was dragging their finger nails down a black board. Elsa turned around to see Curiosity. A small hole was pierced into his body. A red substance dripped from the hole. Fire licked his metal body. Beside him was an abandoned miniature rocket. Without warning a man with a mess of curly black hair flung a bucket of water over Curiosity. The fire went out and strangely Curiosity began to shrink until he was about 31cm high.
“Sleith, Sleith, Sleith” the now 31cm high Curiosity cried. Curiosity flung himself through the air and attached himself to the man with the curly black hair.
“Hi my name is Sleith Cwink. Thank you for bringing Curiosity back to me” cried Sleith.
As Elsa and her father walked towards the UFO a tear slipped down Elsa’s cheek. Even though she had only known Curiosity for a brief time she would still miss him. Out of the blue she could hear the sound of something creeping up on her. She didn’t need to turn around to know who it was.
“Curiosity, you know I have to go, but fine, I will say good bye. Though first you will need to get off my back” sighed Elsa.
Elsa turned around to see Curiosity a tear glistening in his electronic eye.
“I will miss you Curiosity” cried Elsa.
“I’ll miss you too” sobbed Curiosity.
Elsa and her father sat on the back porch watching the stars.
“Look, a shooting star” yelled Elsa.
“That is not a shooting star. By the look of it its Sleith and Curiosity” declared her father.
She noticed that her father was no longer sitting next to her but looking through a telescope. She rushed over to have a look for her self. There in front of her eyes was Sleith and Curiosity. Curiosity was cuddled up in Sleith’s arms. She smiled.
“We will meet again some day, some time”.