The red planet

The red planet

Zion never believed his friends. Half of them didn’t know anything about space, let alone the history of a faraway planet. He wanted to know the real story, not sci-fi fiction.
By

Zion was a child but his imagination knew no bounds. Unlike other children of his age who loved to play games like hide n seek or Tag, the young Zion treasured looking up in the sky through his father’s telescope. He loved exploring the stars and listening to the stories of space.

Among the many fables and legends of the universe, the tale of the red planet was his favourite. Although he was much younger when he first heard the story, he remembered the details vividly. His father used to tell him that soon humanity will land on the red planet and turn it into a paradise. “That could be our home one day,” his father would say.

“But how come our planet has all the people, animals, and ocean but that planet is all dust,” Zion would often ask his dad. The young boy had a curious mind after all. Strangely, his father never answered him. He would sigh, embrace him and say, “That’s what happens when you don’t make your bed and litter.” Zion knew his father was not telling the truth. What does a bed have to do with a planet covered in the sand anyway?

One day, Zion went to his father’s study room when no one was home. He was looking for the book his father used to tell the stories from.

What his father did tell him was about its polar caps that were once covered in the thick sheets of ice and high-tech rovers sent to the red planet to navigate its surface and study its atmosphere. The red planet was inhabitable but it wasn’t always like this. From his friends, he had heard that aliens used to live there a long time ago, creatures just like us, only slow and unintelligent. But they were their own worst enemies that led to their extinction.

Zion never believed his friends. Half of them didn’t know anything about space, let alone the history of a faraway planet. He wanted to know the real story, not sci-fi fiction.

One day, Zion went to his father’s study room when no one was home. He was looking for the book his father used to tell the stories from. The book had a black jacket for the cover and a red planet drawn over it. After an hour of looking around, he finally found the book.

He looked at it with his big, brown eyes, hoping to see The red planet written in bold on the cover as he had imagined. Instead, he saw words he had never heard before. Earth and its demise.

 

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