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24th September
2011
posted by amber

Variation II

My daughter went missing on her high school geology trip. Apparently the transport broke down and solar activity was so high that they were unable to radio for help. The teacher decided they should walk out and try to reach a nearby settlement before their oxygen ran out.

And most of them made it. One boy succumbed before they got there and two others had to be dragged into the settlement after passing out just outside the airlock. But my daughter wasn’t with them.

The teacher hadn’t noticed she’d gone missing. Trent, her boyfriend, said she’d argued with him for the first kilometre, saying they should be headed for the much nearer penal colony instead of the settlement. When he pointed out that no one was allowed inside the penal colony other than the prisoners and that it would be dangerous to go there, she claimed that she’d been there a few times and met some very nice people.

And that sounds so much like my Corey. She’s a strong-headed girl, and – it’s true – I have taken her there to meet some selected patients of mine. But there’s many there I would never allow within two metres of my daughter. She met Ollie Ringold, Mars’ first prime minister, charged with embezzling and influence peddling. And she met John Donald Craft, Earth’s biggest Ponzi artist, who would have been lynched a hundred times over if they hadn’t got him off-planet.

She didn’t meet Alvin Buchanan, a.k.a. the Woodcutter, charged with raping and murdering four girls and suspected of a dozen more. He claims he’s innocent. I was inclined to consider considering this claim – he told me the name of the man who framed him and Alvin sure didn’t seem like the type.

The solar activity has died down now and Alvin’s pod read-out reveals he has unauthorized company. I haven’t triggered the alarm yet, so I’ll be there before anyone else.

If he has my Corey, I swear I’ll kill him.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

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1 Comment

  1. Perry Hayward
    25/09/2011

    a.k.a. – the “Woodcutter” – very clever! Any more variations?

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