It was 8 o clock. I should have asleep by now. Instead I chose to stay up and stare at my ceiling. I saw the shiny stickers of planets, dad put them on my ceiling to encourage my imagination. He said they are a part of something that is called the Milky Way Galaxy. It is probably very far from where we live since I had never heard of a place with that name in Kepler.
From a very young age, I remember my mom reading me stories about a place called Earth. She would say that Kepler is very different from Earth.
“Alec, did you know that Kepler is much closer to the sun than Earth and that it would take 20 years to go from Earth to Kepler.”
“No, mom I don’t know. I’ve never there remember, just heard about it from you.”
My father had never been to Earth either, since he grew up in Kepler.
I could hear my mom coming inside from the backyard.
“Alec?” I heard my mom call with a questioning voice from downstairs.
“He should be asleep by now.” My father replied, as he watched cosmos with my older brother, Ethan.
“Are you asleep yet?”
I did not reply. I just stayed quiet so she wouldn’t have to come upstairs to check.
“Alec?” She called again as her gentle footsteps came up the stairs.
I quickly covered myself with my blanket and pretended to be asleep as she began to open my door. I could feel her eyes staring at me from the foot of the door and knowing that I was not asleep.
“I know you are not asleep. You can’t fool me this time.”
I stayed still and didn't reply.
“Okay, fine if you're really asleep then I guess I will go back downstairs.” She closed the door.
I didn’t hear anything so I decided to come out from under my sheet. To my surprise, she was standing right next to my bed with her arms crossed. My mother had the face expression of a smile and smark combined together.
“So, I see, you’re not asleep. Alec, your five, you should be asleep by now.”
I started laughing because I knew my plan of staying up would not work anymore.
“I was thinking about when you told me the stories about Earth and all the cool things that happened out there.”
“Ah, yes the stories I told you many times about Earth. I’m guessing you want to hear another one”
I gave her a big smile and moved over so she could sit on my bed.
“Anything specific?” She asked.
I looked at the sticker of Earth on my ceiling. “Mom I know you grew up on Earth and that it must have been very fascinating for you. But you never told me why you came to Kepler or how you are connected to it. I do not know, you have always told me these stories so I kind of want to just see it for myself and know everything about it.”
“Well, then I guess its time to reintroduce your grandfather in to our lives.”
I listened carefully as my mother started to tell the story. I had a feeling that I would soon end up falling asleep, since I tend to do that when I hear stories like this.
My mother looked out my window into the dark night sky and began her story. “Your grandfather, was someone that studied the formation of things around Earth. He had always wanted to go to other planets, which was why he decided to looking into time machines or machines that could teleport you from one place to another. He would take me along to work and I would get to see the amazing picture of other planets like Earth or similar to it. I was never the child who was so well behaved like you. I would mess around my dads lab and find cool things to interact with. That curiosity of mine was good but it also got me into a big trouble. One day, I was walking around your grandfather’s lab when this beam of shiny light began to hit me in to the face. I looked around and saw that it was coming from a door that was slightly open. The perfect amount of sunlight was shining through it. I walked in and saw that there were these big machines. And then there was this one that looked a lot like a hamster ball with a chair inside. Remember I told you about hamsters and their toys”
She looked at me and I nodded in agreement. She continued.
“I looked around and saw a picture of outer space. On the image, something that looked like Earth was circled, labeled Kepler and its coordinates were written besides it. I didn’t know what to do so I decided to come back the next day to check it out. The next day, I left my dad a note saying that I had found out about Kepler and wanted to learn more. I went to the same room and inspected the machines a little more. I looked at the hamster thing really closely and then ended up walking in. As soon as I did I noticed everything turn on, I didn’t know or think that it was that touch sensitive. Inside, it had a huge keyboard and big screens. There were numbers on the screen, numbers that matched the numbers of Kepler's coordinate. There was also a chair, so I went and sat on it. I was startled when I heard a little voice greeting me with the words ‘greetings master’. I was so frightened that my arm mistakenly hit a button. I had no clue what that button was for but then the machine started to move so I kind of figured that I activated something. Looking through its visible screen, I could see it was getting loose from the joints that it was originally tied to. I closed my eyes because I got scared and next thing I knew, I did not know if I was still on Earth or not.”
“So that must have been the first time you arrived to Kepler?” I asked curiously.
My mother was quick to respond. “Yes, at the time I did not know it was Kepler. I had thought maybe I just changed the screen of the machine but when I stepped outside I knew I was not on Earth. At first, I did not see any signs of living creatures or see anything that looked similar to my daily life on Earth. The place seemed to lack in water so I was getting very dehydrated. As days went by I become more weak. I ended up fainting one day. I woke up as I felt the touch of a wet substance on my lips. I opened my eyes and saw a floating leave that carried red liquid. I drank it and supposed that was their water. Around the leave was a shimmering figure that was very difficult to see. I looked closely and saw that shimmery figure had a face that looked a lot like the face of a male human. As years went by I became really close to him, although I could not see him completely, I liked the fact of having him near.”
I was began to get sleep but I still wanted to know more “How did grandpa feel? Did you know?” I asked.
My mothers face lost a little of its shine. “I never really found out how my father felt after I left. By now he had probably read the letter and is very upset with my actions. Who knows.”
My mother glanced over to the clock to see and the time, I glanced over after her and then looked back at her to smile about how late it had been.
“Mom, it’s about two hours past my bed time.”
“Yes, I know. This is what happens when you get me into story telling. Anyways, go to sleep and I’ll see you in the morning.”
My mom slowly walked out the room and closed the door behind her.
Five Years Ago On Earth:
For the past few years Alec’s grandfather had been working on a new plan that would allow him to send out a message to other plants, and hopefully he will get a message in return. The first planet on his list was Kepler since his daughter had gone there five years ago. He never thought his creation would lead his family into harm. He wished everyday for his daughter to be safe. He didn’t collaborated with anyone or told anyone, he did not want this message to get into the wrong hands.
It was the year 1995 on Earth. The grandfather knew it was time for him to finally sent out the message, to finds his missing daughter. He went to a lab that was in his basement, since that’s where he worked on his project so that it would remain hidden. The message is somewhat like a signal or sound wave that continuously echos and repeats the same thing. The message is “We are from Earth and we are looking to interact with other living creatures.
Fifteen years later on Kepler:
I was peacefully sleeping when I suddenly felt the touch of water on my forehead. I quickly move from under the aim of the water. I saw that it was my younger sister trying to pour water all over me as I layed on my bed.
She looked at me with a huge smile on her face. “Wake up, Alec. Wake up. You are going to be late for your first day at the Laboratory.” She hopped on my bed and started jumping.
I smiled at her and said “You know that is so not true. With my speed I can never be late.” I got out of bed and walked into my dark bathroom. There I stared at myself, to see myself more clearly. All I saw was a shimmering figure I didn’t look like my mother or sister. They both seemed to be solid as I seemed to be in liquid form.
“ALEC!! Hurry up!” My mother yelled from downstair. “I don’t like rushing you everytime. Hurry...” Before she could get to her last word I was already standing in front of her, all ready to go.
“I love you, mom. See you, when I get home.” I said as I sped past her.
Once I got to the lab, I went to do some research about a messages being sent from one planet to another. My mom was recently telling me about a message being sent to outer space from a planet. She, herself, did some research to find out about how life may be on Earth and found out that my grandfather was the one that actually sent out the message, in search for her. I did some research and found out that a message or something to come to Kepler from Earth would take about 20 years.
The day went by pretty quick which was good because I went home right after. My mother was no where to be seen so I had to do a whole house search. I later found her in the basement near a Journal and a box. My mother looked up from the journal as I got closer.
“Oh, hey, I did not even hear or see you come in.” My mother said.
I nodded and looked every curiously at what she was doing. She was trying to cover up the journal because she saw me glancing over it.
“What’s that?” I asked as I placed my hand out to grab the book but instead she moved my hand and the book way. “Is it really that personal that I cannot know?” I went to grab a chair as my mother began to ponder the thought.
“Well, then I guess I could tell you since you are going to annoy me about it later on. In the journal are daily progress notes of my life on Kepler, everything that happens or has happened is written down in this book and my other journals. In the box is the key to where the machine is. I haven’t opened the box or even touched the key in ages. I wanted to come down now and look at it because I remember the conversation me and you had a few years ago about the machine that brought me here. I guess that you didn’t know that is was under our basement this whole time.”
I was shocked to hear that the machine had been in the basement this whole time and she was just now telling me, when I wanted to know everything about Earth and her childhood that night when I asked. She saw that I was upset about not knowing about this earlier. She tried to explain.
“I didn’t tell you this before or when you were younger, obviously because you were younger. I wanted to wait till you were older and till I found out about the message that was sent to outer space from Earth.”
“Mom, I would have really appreciate it if you told me earlier. I guess that dad already knew about this.”
“Well, yeah, he is your dad.”
I did not want to tell my mother that I was planing to use it and so I could go to Earth myself. My mother didn’t show me the machine so I decided to come back later to check it out.
It was ten o clock. By now everyone was already asleep. I could easily get away with things. I walked to the basement and got the key from the box and went to look around. I didn’t know what I was exactly looking for, instead that its big and looks like a hamster ball. I saw a picture of my sister on a shelf with nothing else on it, so I went to pick it up when suddenly the floor under me started to fall. It was as if I was in a box. On the side was a place that said insert key. I placed the key in and the wall in front of me opened half and there it was the machine was sitting right under our house and basement. I walked through the open doors of the machine and activated.
“Greetings Master.” said the voice.
It greeted me just like it had once greeted my mother. I saw many different buttons. There was a button that was labeled return. I had a feeling that, that would take me back to Earth so I went ahead and pressed it. The machine didn’t shake the ground like my mother had said. Around the machine everything became dark and then it became bright and everything turned off. I stepped out the machine thinking that I was still in Kepler but to my surprise I was not because the sky was much brighter and the water was not red but clear. I must have been on Earth. I started walked around but then ended up seeing two solid figures talking to eachother. I walked over towards them in curiosity but they didn’t seem to notice me. I figured they were just too busy talking to each other to notice me. I saw another group and walked up to them as well but nothing happened. I tried again and again no one said anything. I couldn’t understand what happened until, I got to a tall glass building and saw that I could barely see myself. I had forgotten that Kepler was much darker than Earth, which is why everyone could see each other much better. My mother never told me this would happen.
I was getting pretty hungry, so I had to find myself some food. I saw a place with many people sitting around and talking so I decided to walk in and hopefully find something. Nothing seemed like food I was familiar with. I decided to get anything and walked out. I never thought I would feel this much out of place. I guess this is how my mother felt when she arrived to Kepler. I decided to go back to the machine. At my arriving I saw something flashing on the screen, that said open. I pressed enter on the keyboard and the words “We are from Earth and we are looking to interact with other living creatures,” came from the machine. I figured that was the message that was sent out to outer space.
It would have been really interesting to meet my grandfather and say that his daughter is in good hand but what if he reacts to me and is completely frightened. Thinking of all the bad things that could happen made me think of going back to Kepler, a place where I would fit in without complication. I decided to go back and pretend as if nothing ever happened.
At my arrival my mom was surprised to find out that I went to Earth. However, she later understood when I explained everything. For most parts Earth was interesting but overall, I don’t think Earth is for me.