Science Fiction Short Story
The year is 2051.
“I know you can run very fast. When I say go, run until you reach that beige house,” Clara tells her six-year-old daughter and ten-year-old son. “I’m right behind you. Just don’t stop.”
As she says Go, they run, and she follows them. A bullet misses her ear. She hears the whooshing sound, and when she is about ten feet away from the house, another one hits the ground near her right foot. Whoever is shooting at them is not a professional. Or it is the smog in the air that makes it hard to target them.
Fortunately, the house is not locked, and Adam, her son, has opened the door for Jill and her.
She is panting, and her heart is hammering in her ears. She has never run with flying bullets chasing her. She sits down, hugging and touching their faces with hers. Their faces are red after all the effort.
“How long do we have to keep running, Mom?” Jill whispers. “I’m tired.”
“We have to go seventy more kilometers. Am I right, Mom?” Adam says.
“Yes, we’ve come thirty kilometers but we’ve to go seventy more,” her mobile is warning about the low battery. Even worse, the internet signals are still very weak. A beam of sunlight enters the window and makes a hazy spot on the floor near them. She places her mobile on the floor, face down, in that spot. Its backside is all photocells to charge it.
The children are unwilling to accept that their father was shot back at their place. They had barely escaped their home. When they left the house, she had her mobile with her. They only had time to grab their masks.
“When will we reach our ship?” Adam asks. The spaceship is scheduled to liftoff on Thursday, and it’s Tuesday today.
“Will Dad be there? I miss him,” Jill says.
“Say, we travel five kilometers in an hour, rest for an hour, and then move again. If we do that and sleep for seven hours at night, we can reach the Dustjar Port in thirty-three hours. So, we’ll be there twelve hours before the launch,” she has been calculating the time in her head.
“If we could only move away from these nasty snipers,” she fears they can come at any time, and…