General Fiction posted December 3, 2023

This work has reached the exceptional level
A Tale of Love In the Space Age


by jim vecchio

The first time I met Zara, she asked me to marry her. At the time I was six and she was four, but it still kind of gave me the shakes.

The next time I saw Zara, I asked her to marry me. I was fourteen and she was twelve. She giggled and said, "No."

She stumbled into my life again when she was seventeen. I was in my second year of college. When I saw her prancing around with her new boyfriend, I felt a pang of jealousy.

Home for the Thanksgiving holiday, I yearned to know more about her, so I asked very plainly, "How's Zara?"

"You're kind of late to be thinking about her," mom said, "she's got a steady boyfriend now."

"Oh, yes," mom continued, "She's in the next group to go to the Andromedins."

Since our planet had normalized relationship with Andromeda, there had been a regular infusion of citizens to that faraway world. They required female DNA to revive a slowly dying race.

That night, I had visions of the most desirable girl I had ever known being manhandled by crablike monstrous space beings.

The next shipload from earth was due to depart from White Sands Saturday, promptly at three. If I hurried, I knew I could make it on time.

The drive was a blur. All I knew is, there was precious little time and a precious woman to save.

As I arrived at the launch site, a large queue had formed, leading into the Andromedin vehicle. I looked into the sea of faces, each having its individual emotion stamped upon it, each with a different reason for this flight. Then, I saw her.

I grabbed her arm and pulled her from the line. She let out a shriek of surprise. "What are you doing?" she screamed.

"Doing what your boyfriend should be doing-saving your 'skin!"

"But you never showed an interest in me before!"

"Don't you remember my proposal?" I asked.

"That was when we were kids!" she returned.

"I don't have much time now!" I blurted, "I love you! Come with me!"

As I attempted to pull her along, a pincer armed with a blast ray poked its way out of the ship, aiming at me and hitting its target. As I went into blackness, the last sight I saw was Zara being lifted into the ship.

I woke up weeks later in a hospital bed, by a window that looked up into a starry sky. "Zara is out there," I thought.

I lapsed into unconsciousness once more.

"I've got a surprise for you," said the nurse, "someone who's been lingering around here for you"

The door opened, and Zara walked in.

I strained with all my voice to say, "Zara."

"You're wondering what I'm doing here," she said, "The Andromedins allowed me to return. You may not believe it but, despite their appearance, they are very sentimental at heart!"

I strained to ask her, "Will you marry me?"

-499 words


Club entry for the "Love Overcomes Fear" event in "Flash Fiction/Nonfiction".  Locate a writing club.
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