14 April, 2012

A to Z Challenge: M is for Midborn

I guess M stumped everyone this week. I have no room to talk - once I realized I'd have to come up with something on my own, I dragged my feet...and you can see I'm barely getting it in on time to count for today.

(Apologies for that and for not being very active this week - I've had a lot of other things on my mind.)

But all's well that ends well and since my ego's not big enough to brag on myself and implore you to read my blog, enjoy today's flash fiction. ;)

Copyright © 2012 by Jessica Marcarelli and Visions of Other Worlds

“Think she’ll remember me?” Gace asked.

Lyn looked up from his holo-pad, where a three-dimensional game hovered. “Why wouldn’t she?”

Gace shrugged. “She was two when I left.”

“But you’ve sent holo-pictures.”


“She'll remember.” Lyn went back to his game.

Gace frowned at the porthole. He was just paranoid. Of course Yarit would remember him. He was the only family she had left.

Of course, if he and Yarit hadn’t been separated, this wouldn’t be a problem. The last day he had seen her was still emblazoned in his mind. They had been playing under the big oak outside the family home. It was summer and too hot to play so they were looking at clouds instead. Yarit was almost asleep, her head pillowed in a bed of yellow pansies.

Gace saw the transport first. He stood and covered his eyes with one hand.


He looked to see his mother running towards him. He pointed at the approaching silver tube. “Look!”

“I know.” She gathered Yarit into her arms. “Come quickly.”

He trotted after her, keeping his eyes on the transport. “Are they coming here?”


“Because they must.”

“Why, Mother?”

“Gace, do not ask questions!” Her tone was short, strained. Even at six, Gace could hear it. It worried him. His mother had never talked to him like that.

They went inside, where his mother cleaned he and Yarit and dressed them in their best clothes. She cried, wiped the tears away, and told Gace to go the front room. He did. His father was talking with two uniformed men.

“Gace, this is Captain Bennett and Lieutenant Jackson,” his father said.

Gace saluted the way he had been taught. “You’re real soldiers?”

Captain Bennett smiled. “We are.”

Gace grinned at his father. He did not smile back. “What’s wrong, Father?”

His father knelt. “You and Yarit are going to go with these men, son.”


His mother walked in with Yarit, her eyes red.

“The Marauders have attacked again. You’ll be safer in space.”

Gace frowned. “What about you?”

“We have to fight them. When we’re done, we’ll send for you and your sister. Do you understand?”

Gace nodded but he didn’t. Not really. Why should they have to go with strange men? Couldn’t the captain fight the aliens? He kept his mouth shut and tried hard not to ask. His mother didn’t want him asking.

His father hugged him. “I love you.”

The hugging was too tight. It hurt and Gace wiggled away from it. “I love you, too, Father.”

His mother kissed him then handed his sister to the lieutenant. Gace thought she held on to Yarit too long. Then the captain took his hand and they were walking to the transport. His father held his mother. She was crying again, and shaking.

Gace had not seen his parents since that day. He and Yarit had been separated as soon as the transport docked with its ship. Yarit was too young to go with him, the captain said. She couldn't learn to fight the Marauders yet. But he could. He was midborn and old enough to be admitted to the training.

Gace swallowed. It had been seven years since he and his sister had been taken from one another. Next week, he would graduate from midborn to warrior. Then he would fight Marauders. But not before he finished his training on Yarit's academy vessel.

"But what if she doesn't remember me?" Gace whispered to the stars. They didn't answer.


Next Saturday is the letter S. Give me good ideas anytime this week and up until 11:59 PM on Friday! Rules are HERE.


  1. Not bad. (Although I could swear that the photo is from EVE...)

  2. I really enjoyed this poignant piece, Jessica...
    I have a suggestion for the S-post on Saturday - SERENDIPITY.
    I love the sound of the word...

    1. I'm glad! And thanks for the suggestion - I'll add it to my list for this Saturday.

  3. I like this story, even if it's very sad. It reminds me of Ender's Game (which I just finished reading!).

    1. I'm so happy you liked it!

      Ohhh, tell me - did you like it? :)

    2. I'm still not sure what I thought of It... I read it late at night and found it a little odd. But it's still stuck with me - I keep thinking about the characters - so that's good. :)

      I want to read another book in the series before I form a solid opinion. I think Speaker for the Dead is the next book, right?

    3. Speaker for the Dead is without a doubt my favorite Card book - I read it in my teens and I still remember it very clearly.

    4. Lauren: definitely good! Maybe subsequent readings will have you latching on to it a bit more. Speaker for the Dead is the "next" book chronologically but it's written somewhat differently than Ender's Game. If you want the "rest" of Ender's story, go for it. However, if you want some more clarity into the events of Ender's Game, try Ender's Shadow. Same story, different character.

      Adam: I liked it. I won't say anymore so as not to spoil it for Lauren, but it wasn't my fave.


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