Student Submission: An Excerpt From “Starlandica”

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“Come now, dear!”

Darlene heard the voice of her dad calling out from the back yard and she sluggishly pushed herself out of bed. “Coming, daddy.”

She slid off her bed and slinked down the steps. Instinctively grabbing the little toy robot on the stand near the door. Rubbing the little sleepy boogers from her eyes.

“That’s a good girl.” Justyn, her dad, said as he bent down and she trotted into his outstretched arms. He pats her auburn hair back down into a clean state and picks her up. “There was something I wanted to tell you…”

Before Justyn could finish, a big ol’ ball spaceship descended from the sky, the roar of the engine and the air pressure blowing their hair in every which way. The pod landed in their lawn which crushed part of Darlene’s flowers. A swish sound pierced from the pod and the door opened, acting as a ladder into the pod itself. There was one seat inside.

“Daddy, what is that?” Darlene asked as she tried not to look at her crushed garden.

“Listen to me.” He sat the young girl down and got on one knee, looking into
her eyes.

“You’re gonna be going away for a few days.”

He picks her up and walks over to the pod. She tries to struggle but his calm hands keep her still. With tears in her eyes, Justyn places her into the pod. With one step off the door-ladder, it closes and the swish noise returns. The pod ascended and Darlene presses her face against the door.

“Daddy!” She screamed at the top of her lungs as the pile of parts, gears, and othergadgets and gizmos erupted around her. She struggled to breath as if she just ran a marathon, with a cold sweat to boot. But no, she wasn’t back home. She laid back down in the pile of gadgets. She is back in her garage on Planet DXL-151: Starlandica.

“BZWEEP. Good morning, Master Darlene.” Squib’s electronic voice buzzed from another stack of cans and other gizmos. He stiffly stood up and attempts to go walk over to Dalene, but his charging cord tugged him back, causing him to fall on his robotic butt.

“You’re still plugged in there old-chap.” Darlene adjusted her welding goggles in the chipped mirror and fixed her auburn hair into a messy bun. She slid on her boots
as well.

“Oh, wow, would you look at that! Good show, Master Darlene!” Squibs pulled out his cord from the wall and it is pulled back into his back via a pully inside. “What is on the agenda SRWRP?”

“I am glad you asked, my posh compatriot.” Darlene cleaned her face but the two grease streaks on her cheeks persisted, like always. She picked up her toolbox, a tiny rusty box overflowing with just as rusty tools and flings it over her shoulder like it were a purse. “Like Romeo waiting for his Juliet, I will be waiting for my birthday till the

Squib looked confused as Darlene strutted past him. The visible computing stress of his artificial brain caused smoke to seep from his ears and cooling ducts.

“We will work today, because tomorrow is my birthday.”

“Why didn’t you just start with that!” Squib jumped into the large pile of scrap as if it were a swimming pool. “Where should we start, Master?”

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Christian Ellington is a digital media writing major.

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