My world is, well boring. I don’t know how else to describe it. Nothing happens here. It’s not like the old earth. My Dad would tell my brother and I stories of old earth. How it was so worn out and depleted of anything useful, that they had to start salvaging space junk just to build the ships to get us to this world. Stories of war and how there was always someone trying to control everyone. He told us of stories people made up, of aliens from other worlds coming to save the world. It never happened, but people wanted it so bad.
My Dad wasn’t born on the old earth, not even his dad was, but the stories were handed down over and over until we got here to this world. I was born here, like my brother and lots of others. Our parents did the best they could to make this our home and it’s ok, just boring. We have shelter and land to grow things to eat. There is even fish in the waters we can eat but they aren’t very tasty. The root greens we grow taste better. Mom says we need to eat the fish so we can grow strong enough to carry on and future generations can survive. I am so tired of this place, I want an adventure. I wish I had been old enough to go with my father and the other men who left over a year ago. They had built a ship and set out on the waters to explore. I bet they are having adventures and loving it.
My brother and I do chores each day and then stand by the water’s edge and watch to when the ship returns. I want to hear my father tell the stories again. Even our elders say it is time for them to return.
“Kenya, come inside. The rains will fall soon and you will get cold.” My mother calls to me.
“It is my turn to watch. I will come as soon as the rains start to fall.” I do not want to miss seeing the ship, if I am the first to see it, it will be my story to tell. Everyone will know it was me who saw it first.
“You won’t even be able to see it through the clouds. You are being silly. Come in and stay warm and dry.”
“Ok, ok. I am coming but as soon as the rains stop it is still my turn.” I say as I climb off the landing. Father called it a dock but I do not know why. It doesn’t do anything like our elder we call Doc. He is very smart and knows how to take care of us and fix our wounds. Not that we need him very often. Mostly just cuts and scrapes but once, when they were building the boat, a piece of metal fell down onto a man. The metal cut into his shoulder. That was Michael and he never did get the use of his arm back. Doc said his shoulder was too damaged. Michael is still a good worker and he helps with our lessons. That was the most that has ever happened in my life time.
Just as mother and I get inside the, rains start to tap on our roof. “We timed that just right, didn’t we?”
I shrug my shoulders and say, “I guess so.” Even getting wet in the rains would have been something.
Mother ruffles my hair and goes passed me to the food prep she was doing.
“Here come help me, you need to learn to do this for your family when you pair up and have little ones of your own.” She smiles and motions me to join her.
“Ugh, please don’t talk about that. I am too young still. I do not want to be paired up, let alone have children.” I take an herb leaf and hold it to my nose, breathing in the wonderful smell.
“It will happen soon enough. We need to grow our population. For all we know we are the only ship that made it here and there are no other humans alive. So it is up to us to have more children and grow our numbers.” I think my mother says this everyday just to make sure I know it is my duty. She would have had more children if she could, but after my brother she could not have any more. She nearly died then and thinking about it scares me. I was too young to remember any of it, but I have heard the story many times.
The rains did not stop until the next day. So we did our chores and ate our meals and finally it was time to watch from the dock. As I watch I think of what they could have found. I worry that someone may not return. Our numbers are only a few hundred and we need everyone, so my mother keeps telling us. I don’t like the thought of someone not coming back. I keep looking out over the water. Trying to see anything that might be out there heading our way. Today has to be the day, I keep telling myself, each and every day.
“Kenya, do you see anything?” My brother asks me again for the millionth time.
“London, I see what you see. Water, sky and no more.” I sigh and brush my hair from my eyes and as my hand shields my eyes briefly I see something. “Wait, look there.” I point in the direction and try shielding my eyes again.
“I don’t see anything, what is it?” London tries shielding his own eyes trying to see.
“I’m not sure but I thought I saw something.” I keep looking, refusing to believe I had imagined it. I am sure there was something, a shadow, something on the horizon.
“Your telling fibs, there’s nothing there.”
“I am sure I saw…look there it is again. A dark spot at the horizon line.” I point again and my voice is strong and getting louder. “I see something! Call the elders, I see something!”
“I don’t see it.” London whines. “I wanna see it.”
“Go get the elders. It will get closer soon enough, you’ll see it then, but run!”
London turned and ran calling out for mother and then to anyone who might listen, “Something is coming!, Kenya sees something. Come and see!”
By the time people heard and started to gather at the dock I could see the shape more clearly. I wasn’t sure if it was ours or something else but it grew larger with each minute that passed. By the time an hour had passed everyone was able to see the ship on the horizon, and everyone knew it was I who had spotted it first. It was my story to tell.
A fire was built on the shore too help direct the ship and
I stood on the dock looking at the ship, hoping it was my father’s. It was closer now but still hard to see any detail. Suddenly my mother was at my side looking out at the ship too.
“You did good Kenya, but it will still be a while before they get here. Come inside for a meal. Nothing will happen till then.” She put her hand to my cheek, “There will not be any story to tell if you die of hunger.” She smiled and I turned to go with her.
“Do you think it is them? I am worried it isn’t or that they aren’t all on the ship.”
Mother took my hand as we walked, “You worry too much. We will know all about it later. Your energy is wasted on worry.”
“I can’t help it. The stories dad told make me think of things that could have happened.”
“Stop thinking of those stories and think of what you will tell your father when he returns. You have your own story to tell now.”
We ate our meal and mother did her best to keep us occupied. She made us wash the dishes and she tried to keep us from dashing back out but we had no patients for it. She gave up and let us go back to the dock.
“Can you tell if it is them?” London asked as soon as we got to the dock. The daylight had faded and it was harder to see the ship in any detail but it was much closer now.
“I can’t tell, we will just have to keep watching.” I looked around to see who else was watching and waiting. Michael was tending the fire, keeping it fed. He must have felt me watching because he suddenly looked up and met my gaze.
“Did you hear? The elders are sure it is our people. Our family members will be home tonight.” He said with a big smile.
“That is wonderful.”
“Yahoo!” yelled London and he turned and ran back to our home to tell mother.
Michael, laughed lightly as he watched London run off. “Yes, before the light started to fade they all agreed they could see clear enough to know it was them.”
“I am so glad. Thank you for telling me.” He nodded and turned back to the fire.
It was very dark by the time the ship was close enough for the men come ashore. Everyone was talking excitedly and calling out to family. Mother, London and I waited to see father. We greeted others happily as they came off the ship, but we saw no sign of him. We saw faces we didn’t recognize. I started to worry he wasn’t there and looked around to see if anyone might know something.
“Daddy!” Landon yelled and ran to the water’s edge just as I saw a figure coming out of the water slowly. London was in his arms, laughing and chattering.
“Oh thank goodness.” Mother had been worried like I was. “Someone had to be last off the ship I suppose.” She looked at me and I could see tears forming in her eyes.
We were soon together in a huddle trying to all hug him at once.
“Was it a great adventure?” I asked when we pulled back and I could see his face.
“You know how you say this planet is boring?”
“Yes” I said worried he was about to tell me they found nothing.
“Well, I think it will stop being boring soon. There is another boat a couple of days behind us, full of people just like us. They didn’t land in as good an area when they arrived and so they are coming to join us. Soon we will nearly double in population and have a great many new stories to hear and tell.” He was smiling as he spoke and I could tell he was very tired but the twinkle in his eye told me he was itching to tell us more.
That night father stayed up with us until he could no longer keep his eyes open. He told of the long journey and how they had found the other colony in a state of hunger and despair. It was a miracle they found them. The reason they took so long in coming back was because they had to help build a ship big enough to carry everyone coming. There had in fact been a handful of people on our ship and we had not even realised it until we were introduced to them.
The next day we all began building the shelters we knew would be the top priority. Everyone was talking and asking questions about those to come. There wasn’t time to be bored anymore. Our world was expanding into so much more and it was my story to tell.
About the author
Life is an adventure and sometimes the adventure is figuring out who you are and why you have learned so many odd skills years before. I think it is time to share my adventures in stories my imagination has been aching to create.