The Trip

Written by Danielle E. Pasqua

Copyright © May 11, 2018

 

 

About 5:00 in the morning I was already dressed, a t-shirt and a pair of basketball shorts.  It was hard for me to keep awake, though my excitement for the day was obvious.  I grabbed my suitcase and opened my door into the darkness of the hallway.  But as I dragged my luggage down the stairs, a memory from last night, triggered the “Unfolded Truths” that “The Trip” I was going on, had more meaning than I thought.

“Dad, what else do I need to bring on our vacation?” I asked opening the basement door, where he kept some of the secret projects he had been working on.  Such as testing “The Globe,” a replica of the earth and a collection of balls that represented asteroids, that surrounded our home planet.

            But when I reached the bottom stairs, I saw him tossing the balls up in the air, like a juggling act a clown would do at the circus, but my father was no clown, inside and out.  Instead he was a lizard, who could morph into a human, disguising the true being he was.

            “Dad, what are you doing with those balls?”  I asked when I reached the bottom stair.

            “Testing their gravity, Noah,” my father answered.  Then I watched him open a metal suitcase, that had six empty spaces.  He lightly touched the six balls, that gravitated in the air.  After that the six balls fell one by one, as if they were disappearing into a black hole, never to be seen again.  He then closed the suitcase and locked it with a key he had in his pocket.

            “Are you bringing those with us? Why?” I asked, amazed at this magic, my father had carried to earth.

            “Yes,” my father picked up the suitcase, that had lied on a table next to “The Globe.”  He then smiled,” You’ll see what they’re for.  Right now, if I were you, I would rest up for our trip.  It’ll be an early morning.”

            It was then that I realized our vacation had begun, as the wheels of my suitcase bounced down the stairs, forcing me out of last night’s memory.  When I reached the bottom stairs, my mother was there waiting, and she asked,” Noah, don’t forget to bring your compass.”

“It’s up in my room,” I said,” I almost forgot.”

“That was the first thing I told you to bring,” my mother reprimanded me,” Besides your clothes, shampoo and toothbrush.”

But I ran upstairs, knocking my suitcase face down.  I met my sister Lacey at the top of the stairs, but she only smiled, though blurry eyed like me.

I brushed pass my sister and opened my bedroom door.  I turned the light on only to find my compass on my dresser.  It was lying next to a picture of me as a toddler at the beach.  The photo was a time before, when developed pictures were fading out and technology was the only way to keep memories.  But as I studied the caption, I could’ve sworn I saw a tail of some sort, green and scaled, on the back of my bathing suit.  The picture reminded me of the adventure, when my father took us on “The Tour” of his company and how with an unintended direction we ended up in the stars.  It was there on the ship, that I saw a reflection of myself as a lizard.

I held my compass in my hand as if it was priceless gold.  Then it started to vibrate into different shades of yellow, in which I didn’t know the reason why.    My mother had given it me on the last day of school.  She said it would come in handy if I should ever get a chance to sail on the water.  But as I turned the light out “The Invitation,” a computer-like object that lied on my dresser and contained information on my birth, began to light up.  I looked up at the ceiling and saw my reflection, part human and part lizard.  I just stared, amazed at just who I was on this earth, until I heard my parents call that it was time to leave.

My father had already backed the truck out of the garage.  Xavier and Ian, my best friends had just walked over wheeling their suitcases.  We all climbed in the truck, while my father laid the last suitcase inside the cap area.   Just as my father turned on the ignition my mother announced,” We are going to a special beach. Only few are invited to.”

I thought that was kind of eerie.  My friends who sat on either side of me, Xavier at my right and Ian at my left gave me this “agreement stare.”  Lacey who sat in the middle between my parents, only turned back to look at me, but her clever smile that I always predicted she’d give, surprised me, because now it was a frown and an expression of concern.

The road to the beach we were going to, led us on the direction to “The Bridge.”  The sun had started to rise, a partial white-yellowish circle, creeping above the horizon.  Faint stars and distant planets began to sink low, as the scattered blue light that the sun created naturally began to spread across the sky, chasing what was left of the clouds, from the haze of the day before.

When my father reached the entrance of “The Bridge,” he swiped his clearance card and a large door began to open, as if were entering a world that was harbored from the rest of society, which that it was.  My father drove on the docks, though it was tough as steel and sealed together, to beat the pressure of any vehicle regardless of any size.  But what surprised me, were the many boats, like “The Drawing” of the boat my mother helped me build at my science fair in school.  She said they had been working on it before the long-term project was instated.

“Step out of the car, kids,” my father unlocked the doors. He took his seat belt off and turned around and said,” Noah, we are going on a boat.  It is the mother ship of your science project.  It will take us to the beach.”

When I closed the door to the car, I could feel the summer heat rising from the ground. But the water that lied below, welcomed something refreshing, cool and yet so mysterious, as if we were on another planet other than earth.  The sun had now evolved into the bright circular disk rising higher in the sky and darkness had disappeared.  It was as if we had gone on a journey, that took us hours into the future, within a short time frame.

I jumped into the boat first, as Xavier, Ian and Lacey followed.  My parents handed us the suitcases and ordered us to put our life jackets on.  Once our luggage was locked in the cabins, everyone took their seats.  My mother got behind the wheel of the boat.  I asked her,” Why isn’t Dad driving?”

“This boat was my idea,” my mother explained as she started it up,” I know it well enough. I am the captain of this ship.”

My father unanchored the boat, as my mother shifted gears on her designed craft.  She then sped out into the ocean, where there was nothing but water, just the unknown, that would someday show its’ face to the world.

 

I had believed, there would soon be land before us, but instead there just the heavenly sky blending with the turquoise water, that created an image I had only seen in my dreams.  This ride aboard my mother’s ship was both enjoyable and scenic.

“Mom, what were the docks made of?” I asked my mother, holding on to the side of the boat, as it bounced on the waves, “You never told us.”

“They are a material that can turn invisible,” my mother explained,” That way our enemies can’t trace the shore we are on.   At least that was the plan.”

“Do the government officials know about ‘The Bridge?’” I asked.

“They do,” my mother’s disclosure was obvious.

“How?” I asked.  There were knots in my stomach.

“Because their boat docked at ‘The Bridge,’” my mother’s voice trembled,” We thought it was our own nation’s ship. But we were fooled.”

“Then what did you do?”

“We built another boat such as this. Your science project,” my mother continued her story,” Your father didn’t put the company logo on it.  Instead there was a small design of the American flag.  At the back of the boat, above the right propeller. We are hoping that the government officials will believe that this boat belongs to earth, not us.”

“Why are you building all these boats?” Ian asked.

“Our planet has more water than earth.  I created other seafaring vessels that I helped design for travel on our planet,” my mother explained,” Unlike earth, that has one moon.  We have many more, which causes frequent higher tides.  One of our goals was to build boats for our planet.  We used earth as a practice course.  But our prestigious goal is ‘the long-term project’ which will help us fly home. Then we will be able to operate the boats.”

But my focus on my mother’s story began to fade, when I saw Lacey step out of the cabin.  I was surprised she was invited to attend, after her mishap holding the secret of “The Drawing” by keeping it in a time capsule for our school.  But she made serious eyes contact with me and sat beside me.

“Noah, I wasn’t punished for taking ‘The Drawing.’ Or even ‘The Heirloom’ that I brought to the beach,” my sister said,” You had our family’s secrets revealed, by unfolded layers.  Mine was more of a head on shock.”

“What?’ I asked.  My friends reached over to listen in. While my mother remained silent on the drive.  My father was at the front of the boat, keeping guard of the skies. But I didn’t know why.

“When I was about six-years-old I got sick at school,” Lacey began her story,” It was an illness not found on earth.”

“How did they know that?” Xavier asked.

“They called our parents.  My vomit was neon yellow,” Lacey explained, taking a swallow, protecting herself from not gagging,” There were also tiny worms in my throw up. The teachers and the school nurse didn’t know what to think.  They called Mom and Dad.  Mom got me and took me to their company.  It was there I learned a lot.”

“Like what?” I asked, hoping for more answers about with my family.

“They flat out told me we were not of earth,” Lacey answered,” That the illness I had was extraterrestrial.”

“What about ‘The Heirloom’ and ‘The Drawing?’ How did you get- “I cried.

“Someone gave them to me,” Lacey explained,” I was so young then. Not knowing right from wrong.  So I held on to them, as a secret.  Mom and Dad never knew.”

“Who gave them to you?” I demanded.

“I believe it was ‘The Official,’” Lacey answered,” Though I wasn’t sure.”

After listening to my sister’s confession, I was in total shock.  But those words were lost when we hit some rough waves. My mother slowed the boat down as we held on.  She began to speak again,” In case you’re wondering where we are, it is nowhere near the Sound.  In fact, we don’t live on the Sound.  That’s why you don’t hear any planes or above or see boats in the water.   We live on an island.  An island where boats circle around it.”

“How can that be?” I asked and pouted,” All this time I was being fooled.”

“It’s your story, Noah,” my mother kept a watchful eye on the water.  An island lied ahead of us.

“What’s that?” Ian asked.

“An island that makes ‘The Heirlooms,’” my mother explained as she slowed the ship down,” It is the right corner reference point of the invisible triangle.   In comparison our residential island is the left corner.”

The word triangle echoed in my ears

“What about the top point?” Ian asked.

“It’s a porthole being developed.  A way to get back to our planet,” my mother explained.

Then above me lied a dark mass in the sky.  The compass I had that lied on my seat began to blink rapidly like a neutron star, hiding the fact that it was a navigator for the earth’s seas.  My mother began to tell us more about “The Heirloom” island we were headed to, until a round object, black and shiny hit her head. She fell forward hitting the wheel.  Knocked out cold, her eyes closed, with a bruise on her head, the rock open and began to talk as if it was a radio sent from the skies,” You are doomed.”

 

But my father didn’t let his watch hesitate him, from taking over the control of the boat. He leaped from the front of the boat to the wheel.  He snapped this barbaric stone shut and then cracked with his foot, as sparks of electricity shot out only to melt into hot liquid.  He then threw it into the sea.

“What was that?” Ian asked.

“Heirlooms made by our enemies,” my father explained studying the sky as the dark mass continued to circle around like the eye of a storm,” They are stealing our ideas.  Turning them into artillery. This heirloom tracked where we were.  I bet they’ve been to the island.  To try to gather our product.  To see what our plans are.”

“What are we going to do with Mom?” I asked.

“We are going to have her rest in the cabin,” my father explained as he put his hand on my mother’s forehead,” She is unconscious.”

“Dad, we have no aid for help,” Lacey mentioned,” How can we take care of her?”

“There’s a first aid kit in the cabin.  There’s also some ice,” my father picked my mother up, while levitating her head, to not swell her bruise anymore,” Lacey take, care of your mother.  Boys you will stay with me, as I take the wheel of the ship.  Right now, I have it on autopilot to get to the island.”

When my father returned from the cabin, leaving my sister as the boat’s assigned nurse, he put the ship back in manual mode.  He then ordered,” Noah, I want you to keep guard at the front of the boat. Use the compass your mother gave you to help me navigate the waters.  Now is the time for it to come in handy.  Xavier stays at the right side and Ian on the left.  If you look under your seats, you both should also have a compass.  Remember keep a good circumference view around you.  That way I know which way to steer the ship.”

After my friends and I reached our positions, I was weary about having faith in this compass of mine, being that it had brightened without my control.  (My mother had once told me it was made of the same of the same parts as “The Heirloom.”)   But my father had turned a lever that made the tinted windows of the ship rise.  He called out that it was a shield on the boat, developed to protect them from debris of falling asteroids on their planet, but this time it was ‘The Heirlooms,’ acted like cosmic grenades ready to shatter any living being on the planet.

“I’m looking at the radar boys,” my father said,” ‘The Heirlooms’ seem to be following the boat’s rotation.  We need to get to the island soon.  It looks like there is a circular ship above us spitting out these heirlooms.”

“The Heirlooms” began hitting my mother’s boat but shattered every time they managed to hit.  The shield developed for the boat, I believed was one of a kind, unique that it could defeat the power of our enemies.

It appeared that our foes began to give up, since my mother’s boat was intolerable to this intended destruction.  We reached the island, but my father moved the boat to the east side, where he said had plenty of narrow water passageways, that might’ve been dark and covered with trees, but at least we could be discreet from the government officials.

Since I had the bird’s eye view from the ship, at the end of the lagoon, there lied a building with many windows surrounded by trees, but I couldn’t see inside. I figured they must’ve been tinted so I asked my father,” Is this the factory?”

“Yes, but it is dark.  The workers are hiding,” my father explained,” The factory was probably invaded by the government officials.  They must’ve found a landing site on our island.”

“Noah,” I heard my mother cry.

“Noah, go to the cabin and see what your mother has to say,” my father ordered as he pulled the boat to shore,” Give me your compass.  I will turn it off and charge it up again for “The Trip” home.  That is when the day comes.”

Inside the cabin was my mother and my sister Lacey.  My mother lifted her head from the bench she had lied on,” Noah help your father.  I’ll stay here and rest for now.  Lacey will be with me.”

“Let’s go boys,” my father called as I climbed the steps of the cabin, “We need to save this island.  At least our people.  Including ‘The Heirlooms’ because they controlled the destiny on this planet.”

“But we have no weapons,” Ian mentioned.

Then my father opened the floor of the boat, below the wheel.  He unlatched the suitcase.  He took out three balls, circled them around us, that created a shield of invisible matter.  He then took out three more, a shield for my sister and mother.  Then he formed one for himself.

“Hopefully, nothing should happen now,” my father promised, but his voice rose with pride, “We must go while the sun is out.  There is a chance of rain in the forecast.  A thunderstorm.  Where there is lightning, there is energy for our people to utilize.”

 

I was fearful to leave my sister and mother behind, but I knew my father had done the right thing for everybody.  We tracked through the shallow waters of the lagoon.  Rain began to pour creating a mist that blinded us “Heirloom” hunters.  Then we a took a stone path that lead to the building hidden behind the jungle.

“I will proceed with your mother’s speech.  Before she was hit,” my father began to say in a low tone, but enough so my friends and I could hear,” ‘The Heirloom’ parts are designed on our planet.  But some are manufactured here on earth to make it adaptable to earth.  Yet some have been designed to use them as a GPS to get back to our planet.”

“But the government officials don’t want us to,” I mentioned.

“That is right,” my father agreed, but acknowledged the current project of his company High Tech Star Gateway Machinery, “The first test will be with “The EXIT’ ships.  If you remember they are the EXpress Interstellar Traveling Ship,” my father explained,” We will be testing them with robots. That’s in case they are destroyed by cosmic debris, we don’t risk any lives.”

“How far are you into this?” Xavier asked.

“It’s been halted apparently.  The government officials’ invasion didn’t help,” my father explained bitterly when reached the end of the path.  We began to climb a set of stairs.  He then turned around and put his hand up for us to stop, as he warned us,” If we don’t save the rest of ‘The Heirlooms’ here things will perish.  Such as our nation on our planet, our company and ‘The Heirlooms’ themselves.”

“That’s scary,” Ian mentioned as the fear of the circled him like a premonition.

“But on the bright side, ‘The Heirloom’ is a positive invention,” my father started to move ahead, and my friends and I followed along.  He used his work ID to open the door to the factory and said.”  We are hoping ‘The Heirlooms’ will make space travel efficient.  A smooth sail across the cosmos.”

Inside the plant there were robots, lizards and humanoids hiding underneath the desks and equipment.  We were told by the plant’s leaders some of their employees,  seek shelter downstairs, a place created in case of the government officials planned attack.  But my father said he was there to help him. He then said to my friends and I,” Come along, I want to see if my plan worked or not.”

“What plan?” I asked.

My father opened a door, where enormous machines blinking feverishly.  A computer possibly for creating these heirlooms.  We then walked to the end of the narrow hallway where two doors had lied.  He then smiled at the both of us,” I created an illusion.  As you can see here there are two doors.  Just like a funhouse found at amusement parks here on earth.  It was constructed by a humanoid and I, our idea so that the enemies would gravitate to one door.  It was a controlling factor.   The door that they picked had heirlooms, but they were really balls with water or you can say water balloons.”

My father opened the door and squeezed one of the balls.  There were only a few lefts.   Then he opened another door.  There were “The Heirlooms” shining like candles at a lantern show.

“You see ‘The Heirlooms’ are something else that the government officials caught,” my father explained closing the door,” We had to trick them.”

“But aren’t they full of water?” Ian asked,” You can travel with that.”

“There’s not enough in those heirlooms,” my father said,” That is to reach out outside the earth’s solar system.  Unless they used a planet’s gravity.  I doubt that though.”

“So all is good?” I asked.  But I saw a tiny opening in the door on the bottom of where “The Heirlooms” were stored. I wondered if my father had also seen the hole in the door.

“For now,” my father said,” Just let me tell the workers of this island we are through.  Team effort between the magic of our people and our other planet’s allies had paid off.  Our enemies won’t be fooled for a long time, since they believed they captured the real jewel of our planet.”

 

Now that the rain was gone from yesterday Xavier, Ian, Lacey and I could enjoy the beach.  Golden sands just as bright at the current sun that warmed our day.  We built an enormous sandcastle that spread over twelve feet and stood six feet tall.  My mother though still bruised, rested on a blanked underneath an umbrella.  She asked,” What is that supposed to be for?”

“It’s the fortress for “Heirloom Island,” I explained proud of my earthly masterpiece,” There’s now peace on the sands.”

“What’s Lacey doing?” my mother asked.

“She’s looking for white seashells,” I explained,” We’ll use them as flags on the sandcastle.”

“I’ll have to take a picture,” Ian mentioned, but as he did my father shook his head.  Ian questioned,” What? My phone is not working.”

“Communication is cut off from the island,” my father explained,” That way the government officials can’t interfere.”

But up in the sky here was a round object.  It was too small to be a spacecraft.

“Is it a hot air balloon? Just like ‘The Ride’”? Ian guessed.

“No,” I began to differ.

“’The Globe?’” Ian guessed again.

But I said no to that one too.

Then I took out my binoculars.

My father did too.

We both followed the path of this object.

“It must be a ‘The Heirloom’ taking off,” I predicted.

“They are either still fools or we are,” my father made a hypothetical guess.

“Where is it going?” I asked,” I don’t see any spacecraft.”

My compass began to glow. It was the third time in the last two days.

Then a circular object, fifty times bigger than “The Heirloom” came rotating down counterclockwise.

It grabbed “The Heirloom.”

There was a laugh.

Then a microphone came on.

“Noah, your stories aren’t working,” the voice of “The Official” spoke, “We tracked you with that compass.  And a crack in the door?  How could your father be so silly?  Isn’t that what funhouses are for? To make you laugh.  You sure made our people laugh. So much for artificial gravity.”

Then the ship took off.

I began to kick the sand around.  I knocked the sandcastle down.

My sister cried.

I put my face in the sand.

My friends came to my side.

“For now, we must monitor all we are capable of handling,” my father comforted me.  He then lifted my head out of the sand.

“Some things are out of our hands,” my father pointed to the sky,” Noah, we must learn to fight.  Just like a writer must for their creativity, you must fight to get us back to our planet. You are the fabricator of the twisted plots of these tales.”

I watched “The Official’s” ship disappear into the sky, like “The Rock” going against the laws of gravity.   Then I spoke aloud, as my island companions listened on in,” ‘Unfolded Truths.’ My heritage.  A nation in the stars that I may never get to see.”’