Life on planet Bubbles wasn't easy. I remember when we first landed. Our problems started when we were trying to land for the first time. We could not find a place to land. The whole planet was covered with bubbles. That's how the planet got its name.We were afraid the bubbles would be hazardous if we tried to land on them, so we went into orbit around the planet while we figured out what to do. In frustration our mechanic threw a wrench at the bubbles. Where the bubbles had been an enormous black hole opened up. The black hole swept us in like a vacuum cleaner. We were moved through the hole at very high speeds. We were going so fast that everything turned into bursts of color.
Then we came to a rapid stop. Flower-covered valleys, rolling hills, gleaming lakes, sparkling rivers, and majestic mountains all around us. Under a cluster of daffodils we found the wrench the mechanic had thrown.
One day, Joan, our sport's heroine, came running up to me yelling, "Come quickly. Humans have been spotted."
"Wait, Joan," I said. "Let me find the rest of the crew. I'm sure they'd like to see the humans too."
"They're waiting for you, sir." said Joan.
I grabbed my coat and ran, ran as fast as I could, not watching for obstacles in my path, finally arriving at the canyon where Joan had spotted the humans. No one was visible anywhere.
"Joan, this isn't funny," I said.
"But it's true," she pleaded. "I swear to God it's true."
We decided to split up into search parties. Joan went North, I went South, Ben and Al headed East, and Esther followed the West trail.
I found an interesting flower that had huge orange petals. A strange silver ball fell out of the flower. I picked it up and put it in my bag with the rest of my stuff. I walked about a quarter of a mile picking up things of value, such as fruit on the ground and water from a spring. Still, I saw no sign of humans.
Esther and I met up three minutes later. She showed me some fruit she'd picked. We sat down on a stone to take a rest. We were both very tired. It occurred to me that it was not like Esther to be so weary. She's usually quite energetic. I knew something was wrong. She started to breathe hard. Sometimes she plays jokes, but this time she wasn't playing. She rolled off the stone and just lay there on the ground. Then she pushed her long black hair up with her hand.
"What could be wrong?" I wondered. I didn't know what to do. I checked to see if her heart was still beating. It was beating faster than ever. I gave her my water. She couldn't swallow.
Then I said, "Esther, did you eat or drink anything unusual?"
"Yes." She was speaking so slowly. "Yes, I picked a fruit and ate it."
I figured it was the fruit that had made her sick. There was only one kind of fruit on the planet, a fruit that grows on the ground. Someone must have poisoned it.
There was no hope for Esther. She died two minutes later. I picked her up and laid her in a hole. Then I covered her with dirt I dug up with my bare hands. I placed the flower with the orange petals and the silver ball on the grave. Then I knelt, said a prayer and headed toward our shelter in the mountains.
Meanwhile Joan, Ben and Al had met up. They were looking for Esther and me when they came across the grave with the orange flower.
Joan asked about Esther. I told her what had happened. She ran into the shelter and cried. Ben and Al tried to comfort her.
Movement in the trees. I thought it was an animal. So I picked up a spear and sneaked behind the trees.
Turns out, it wasn't an animal. It was a human. He was holding a poison fruit. I raised my spear.
Then I heard my mother yell, "Suppertime."
I told my friend Robert, "Bye."
We did not have time to finish playing our space game.