My new friend Namo
This is an entry in Junior Dispatch’s alien short story contest. The effort earns the writer a free book from the York Emporium and a chance to win a $50 movie gift card and a $50 gift certificate from The York Emporium. The submission deadline was Aug. 1.
By Asha Mir-Young
Age 10, York
Hi, you wouldn’t believe what happened. I’m writing this on the way to Louisiana!!! Okay, so this is what happened …
“Come on mom, I don’t need new shoes!”
“No, you come on! YOU’RE the one who scuffed up your old shoes. Now get out of that car now and hurry.”
“Fine,” I shouted.
When we got to the store Mom had to go buy something for work, so I had free time to head over to the arcade area. When I got there I saw my BFF Lizzy.
“What’s up Liz?” I said.
“Not much Em. But come over here, there’s a new video about to be installed. If we hurry, we can be the first ones in line!” Liz shouted over the racket of the arcade.
“Then lets get moving!” I shouted.
Liz was right, we were the first ones in line. It was a 2-player game called Dance World. Me and Liz stepped up and I pushed the play button and nothing happened, so Liz tried the same thing, still nothing.
“Well this stinks,” I muttered. But Liz wasn’t listening, she was running away. “Wait up Liz,” I shouted.
By the time I caught up with her we were in the Gap.
“Where are you going?” I asked Liz.
“I overheard the people at the counter say the video game techies are in the basement and I thought we could go and tell ‘em what’s up with the game,” said Liz determinedly.
“Okay” I said, “how are we going to get to the basement?”
“I heard you can get to the basement through the `staff only’ door near the bathrooms.”
“Hey, wait a second you said staff only, we are not staff,” I said.
“Well no, not exactly, but my Aunt works here so we’re close enough, come on, here’s the way to the basement,” said Liz.
“Fine,” I mumbled, “don’t listen to me.”
The moment I stepped in the staff only door I fell down into a black tunnel and I felt Liz fall beside me. We were both screaming. Thud! Me and Liz had landed on our butts on the ground.
“Ouch,” I said.
Liz said, “What happened?”
“I have no clue,” I replied. All I could see was grassy hills forever.
“Where are we?”
“Not the basement,” said Liz.
“Well, you’re wrong about that,” said a voice from behind us.
I screamed at the top of my lungs; Liz did too. Standing behind us was what a spider plant looks like when it’s a baby. Its long stringy leaves came out of what looked like its abdomen. It also had a head that looked like a cross between a human head and a spider head, that’s the best I can explain it. To sum it up, it looked like a spider that’s green and white with no pinchers and can talk. Freaky right, it wasn’t gross, just freaky. I wasn’t scared either, I just had a feeling that she wasn’t going to hurt us. I’m guessing Liz felt the same. “Who are you and more importantly where are we?” Liz asked.
“The mall’s basement” the spider replied.
The spider sat down next to us and said, “First of all I’m not going to hurt you. I know you have lots of questions, so I’m going to sit right here and try to answer your questions as well as I can.”
“Cool,” said Liz, “in most books people just say something like all will become clear in time. This is much better.”
“Yeah,” I replied. Liz and I both sat down next to her. “Okay” I said, “pretty much tell us everything you know about this place and we’ll be all set.”
The spider chuckled and said, “I live on a planet named Plaps. There are many different species on the planet, such as the sunflower species or the daisy species. I’m a spider plant. My people and me are the smallest species. We all depend on Namo to survive. Namo is the big spider plant that has the long leaves and has her babies attached to her with what look like brown string,” she said and pointed to a brown stringy thingy that came out of her back. “Namo drinks water and then sends some of the water through the brown strings so that her babies can drink, I am one of her children, there are hundreds of us.”
“Cool,” said Liz.
“Totally,” I replied.
“On our planet there was a shortage of water so the smaller species were sadly kicked off the planet. My species decided to come to earth and try to survive. So far it has worked out. We charmed the basement to make it bigger than it looks, but humans can’t see us. It’s confusing, so I won’t try to explain it. We breathe air and the water is good, but there is one problem. There is a restaurant above us and we connected a little pipe to the pipe that brings in water so we have all the water we need. But the restaurant is closing and the Gap is expanding into the extra room which means the pipe that brings in water won’t be used anymore. The Gap doesn’t need any more water. And me and my people have used up almost all our magic that the bigger species gave us for our trip.”
She took a big breath and said, “Before I keep going, are there any questions?”
“Well just one thing,” asked Liz, “why don’t you want people to see you?”
“Yeah and why are we here?” I asked.
“Good questions, I can’t tell you everything but I can say that if people saw us there would a big commotion and maybe a riot. Me and my people like peace and quiet. We also don’t want to be put in zoos like tigers. Namo herself will answer your other question. Anything else?” she asked.
“No,” I said, “I think I am good.”
“Same here,” said Liz.
“I’ll be right back Liz and Em, I am just going to take a walk and let you guys think.” Then she walked away.
“She even knows our names,” said Liz. “I feel bad for her and her kind.”
“Same here,” I replied.
After that, me and Liz didn’t talk much, just thought about everything. A little while later the spider person came back.
“Okay, now we are going to go see Namo.”
“Great,” I said, “I can’t wait to see this Namo person.”
“I need you to climb up on my back,” the spider said. She was pretty big and strong looking, her body wasn’t very long but me and Liz fit. “Hold on tight,” she said.
Then the brown string attached to her started to pull her backwards. At first, it went kinda slow but it started to pick up speed. Before I knew it, me and Liz were flying along and hanging on for dear life. About 5 minutes later we slowly stopped.
“Whoa, that was so totally awesome … did you…” but before Liz could finish her sentence she turned around to see Namo.
Namo looked like the first spider person but with more — lots more — brown strings and did I forget to mention she’s about 95 feet tall!!!!! Oh yeah, the ceiling looks like a sky that goes up forever. It also looks like there is a real sun, cool right?
“Hello, I am Namo the ruler of the spider plants. I summoned you to help us find the solution to our problem. We must move fast. We have a tiny bit of magic left we just discovered, but not a lot. We have just enough magic to move to one other spot on this earth. We need your help to find this spot. The location has to have not a lot of humans at all but it has to have a steady source of water. I know you need time to think, so your guide Samo will help you find a place to rest. Oh and we are flexible to any weather.”
“Wait,” I said, “I already have an idea – Atchafalaya Swamp, located in south central Louisiana.”
“Perfect, there’s lots of water and hardly any people, it’s great!” said Liz.
“Amazing,” said Namo. “I trust you that this place is good. Now all you have to do is go to these swamps with me and Samo to see if it is perfect for me and my family. I trust you that it is, but you know, better safe than sorry.”
“Go To Louisiana!?!” Liz and I shouted in unison!!!
Sorry Diary, got to go …
The end of diary number 1