Today’s Thursday Tale is brought to you by pinkbob, a young science fiction fan who rose to my challenge to collaborate on a story. We spent a while coming up with the basic plot and ideas, and then I began typing. She didn’t seem that into it until I finished the first paragraph. She then grabbed my computer and began hammering away at it for a couple hours, taking breaks to dictate to me when she got tired of typing. I think it’s safe to say she got into it. Aside from the first paragraph and minor editing for punctuation, spelling, and grammar, pinkbob wrote this entire story. The anti-gravity scooter, the races, the sadness: all her. It veered wildly from our original plan, but for a small kid who came up with the end result on the fly, I think it’s not bad for a first science fiction effort. She would like to write more Thursday Tales, so maybe we have ourselves an up and coming scribbler here. She’s looking forward to feedback, and I’m looking forward to her face when she has some comments.
Tilly sipped from her steaming mug, enjoying the taste of the coffee. Susan dipped her head, trying to meet her friend’s eyes. Tilly avoided her.
“That was a great play, wasn’t it? I’d love to go see one with you again.” Susan’s voice trailed off, sadly.
“I know,” said Tilly. “I just feel like this isn’t my place in the world.”
Susan frowned. “The world is big, and you haven’t even seen a tiny piece of it. Where will you go when you leave?” She nibbled on her donut trying not to think of her sorrow.
“That I will figure out when I leave this planet. I will miss you.” She looked at Susan’s boyfriend and smiled at him but he could see the sadness in her eyes. “You too, Joe.”
Joe said to Tilly, “I’ll miss you very much Tilly. It’s not like you to answer questions like that. Well look at the time. I have to take you to the spaceport on time.” Joe tried to look happy but he didn’t do a good job of it that’s for sure.
At the spaceport Susan looked sad, trying to look happy like Joe, but did a bad job of it.
Tilly said to them in a loud voice, “BYE!!!”
In the spacecraft Tilly thought, I can look for a job here! From the cries of little kids to the snoring of the old, she loved every bit. This was her place, but her scooter was broken. A little girl came up to her and asked politely, “Are you Miss Tilly?”
She said to her, “Yes milady, why do you ask? Who are you?”
The young girl said, “Because you’re popular in the babysitting world. Not enough to get rich, but popular.” She looked at the scooter. “Oh, I see that your scooter is broken. I know a guy that can fix it. His name is Jake Jones, and he’s a racer! Girls think he’s cute.”
Tilly blushed. “Oh dear, I haven’t got anything to say now.”
“You should meet him at his shop. It’s at our next stop. He has black
hair with fiery red streaks in it and he’s very muscular. Imagine that.”
Tilly’s face turned rose-red. “Umm, t-thanks kid”
At the ship’s next stop on the planet LP, she saw the shop. It looked horrid with blood stains. It looked like a war. A man said, “Hey you’ll get cold out there. Come in! Sorry ’bout the paint, it looks like blood”
Tilly brought her scooter into the shop, turning a bright shade of magenta. “Can you please fix my scooter for me? They threw it into the ship when I got on, and now it’s broken.”
“It’s very expensive to get the anti-gravity drive for this model because they make them on Earth. How ’bout this? How about I take some time off and see if we can’t find that anti-gravity drive for you. We can check the scrapyard.” He smiled at her. “We have a lot of scrapyards on this planet.”
“Oh, sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Jake.” He looked at her like he’d just read her mind. “I’m sure someone’s told you about me.”
“A little girl told me. How did you know?”
“Did you meet her on the spacecraft?”
“Yes,” she said.
“That was my little sister. She’s always trying to get me a date. She never gives up.” He smiled and shook his head.
Tilly told Jake, “Maybe she just wants you to be happy.”
“I’m pretty happy with my racing. That’s what I want to do. All my life I’ve dreamed of that, and that’s what I’m doing.”
Tilly met Jake a few days later at the scrapyard he suggested. They went through parts of old machines, broken space crap, alien poo, and just regular old junk. Tilly was looking through a big pile of scraps when Jake hollered, “I found one that I think will fit. Let’s go back to my shop and put it into your scooter.”
At the shop, Jake said, “Your scooter needs a little touch-up. Let me go get some paint.”
“I’m sorry, I have to go to work now. I can’t wait to see it tomorrow!”
As Tilly was walking to the door, Jake said “Wait!”
She stopped and turned around.
“Would you like to come see me race in a few days?” He was nervous.
Tilly looked excited that he asked. “Sure, I would love to!”
She came back the next day. “The scooter is finished,” Jake told her. He took her into the garage to show her.
“Oh Jake, it’s beautiful,” Tilly exclaimed, looking at the rainbow colors. It looked better than before, once it was all fixed up. “Thank you. I think I’ll go ride it right now.”
“Before you leave, this is for you.” Jake handed her a ticket.
Tilly took the ticket and said, “Thank you again! See you at the races. Good luck.”
The racing arena was crowded. It was loud with shouts and cheers for the different racers. In the last race, there were only two racers left and one was Jake. She was a little worried because they were racing fast through the dangerous track. Jake passed the other racer by an inch, and won. Tilly jumped out of her seat and cheered, then ran through the crowd to meet him.
“Jake, you won, you won! I’m so happy for you!”
“I’m busy right now, but tomorrow, umm lunch I guess?”
She said, “It’s A DATE, hurray!”
“My sister wins after all.”
THE END BY pinkbob