The Last Passengers (A-Z Story)

At the rise of dawn, my mother awoke me in a quick hurry. By the edge of my bed, my brother sat folding his clothes into a large suitcase stuffed to the brim with other items, not all of which belonged to him.

“Calliope, we have to go, please, Honey, please hurry,” my mother said, pulling my blanket off of me.

“Dad-- where’s Dad, Mom?” I said, crawling out of bed and anxiously onto the floor to where I gathered all of my most precious items.

“Even if he were here now, there wouldn’t be enough time,” she said, and I sensed a changed tone in her voice, something more severe. For only a couple of seconds did I have time to gather my things before my mother rushed us out the door, leaving behind the only home we ever knew. Gray, cloudy skies loomed above us as we made our way across the street, hurrying as raindrops pittered from the sky and onto our tired heads.

“Hurry,” my mother said again, grabbing both my brother and my hand as she guided us down a narrow alley and into an open field where a car stood with a man waiting for us. In the car, the man jolted the ignition and took off without saying another word, as if he was nothing more than a machine that had been programmed to do this very thing hundreds of times a day, with people just like us. Justification could never justify us leaving behind our father, no matter the circumstances of the world, no matter the fact that if we didn’t go now, we’d surely perish with the rest of the population that failed to find a way out in time.

“Kids, let’s go,” my mother said as the car came to a halt in front of an airplane runway where hundreds of people were gathered in a clustered, chaotic crowd. Loud engines burred off in the distance, and I winced as the air struck my cheeks like a knife. My mother took our hands as a 200-foot plane landed on the runway and let out a loud alarm like a siren cry. Never had I been so scared in my life as people bustled from all around, hollering and screaming as the doors to the plane began to open. On the sides of the plane, there were rockets, for its destination didn’t exist anywhere on Earth. People began rushing into the open doors and shoving each other aside, their humility gone as a sense of survival took over.

“Quick!” my mother said, forcefully pushing us along onto the plane, vigorously shoving people aside for us. Right as we entered, the doors closed, and I looked out the window as the helpless people who hadn’t made it began to cry, a few falling to their knees in despair. Some people on the plane started to smile, while others appeared heartbroken and tired. Together, I hugged my mom and my brother, staying away from the claustrophobia that irked me from the hundreds of people squished together. Under us, I saw the people down below turn to tiny ants as the plane ascended further into the sky until the ground was no longer visible and the world beyond Earth awaited our arrival.

Very quickly, the plane rose further into the sky into a direct vertical position where it jolted out of the Earth’s atmosphere into space. We were given suits and masks that would allow us to breathe for at least a small amount of time if we ever had to exit the ship. Xylophonic notes rang out which was followed by a woman’s voice over the loudspeaker, “You have made it on the last ship to Planet B, where you will all be safe. You must remain calm as we reach our destination in approximately 5 days, 6 hours, and 43 minutes.” Zapping through the gaping abyss of space, I could think nothing of the place we left behind, but only where we were going as it would be not only my new home but the entire future of humanity.

Written by Mariah

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