“Aunt Abby! You have to finish the story,” Ellie said. “We need to go rescue Bruce and Jude.”
“Yes, we need to rescue me,” Bruce said.
“I guess you’re right. It wouldn’t do to leave Bruce and Jude captured by the Flies.”
“No it wouldn’t,” said Jude.
“Okay, are you ready?”
“Yes!!” screamed eight cousins not using their inside voices one bit.
“Once upon a time . . .”
Once upon a time, the brave crew of the Texas rescued a group of settlers from the clutches of the evil Flies. But! Bruce and Jude were captured. Now, Constance must lead a rescue mission.
“Everyone gear up,” Constance said reloading her umbrella cannon.
“We’re going to save them, right?” Jules said.
“Of course we are,” Joshua said handing her a gun. “We are right?”
“We wouldn’t leave them to the likes of the Flies,” Rook said checking to make sure his potato cannon was loaded and he had plenty of potatoes.
“Everyone ready?” Constance said.
With grim faces, they all nodded.
“Aunt Abby,” whispered Imogene, “what’s a grim face.”
“It means they’re serious, not smiling.”
“Why aren’t they smiling?” asked Jules.
“Cause they’re worried about Bruce and Jude and fighting the Flies.”
“We are too,” said Ellie. “See,” she pointed at her face, “no smile. I’m grim.”
“You folks stay here and guard the ship. We’ll be back shortly,” Constance said to the settlers they rescued before she jumped on their four-wheeler. Joshua jumped up beside her and cranked it to life. Rook, Jules, Imogene, and Ellie piled in behind them. Imogene pulled on an oversized pair of goggles and held on.
Joshua drove out onto the planet in the direction of the Flies. The four-wheeler kicked up a great cloud of dirt as he drove faster and faster. Constance held up her hand and Joshua pushed the break. The four-wheeler stopped.
“What is it?” whispered Ellie. “The Flies?”
“Yes, everyone out,” Constance ordered.
They tumbled out of the four-wheeler and slithered on their tummies up a little hill. When they reached the top, they peeked at the swarm of Flies. In the middle of them sat Bruce and Jude all tied up and blind-folded.
Jules pressed her hand to her mouth and Rook patted her back. “Don’t worry, we’ll get them back.”
“Listen up,” Constance whispered. “Jules and Imogene, you go back to the four-wheeler and you keep it safe. If the Flies take it, we’ll have to walk all the way back to the ship with them chasing us.”
The girls nodded and slithered back.
“Rook, you and Ellie take the left side, keeping your aim high so you don’t hit Bruce and Jude. Me and Joshua will take the other side. As soon as we reach Bruce and Jude, we run. We’re not here to fight the whole swarm, just to get our cousins back.”
Splitting apart, they stood up and yelled. All the Flies turned to them. Constance led the charge around to the right with Joshua right beside her. Constance fired her Umbrella cannon over and over into the swarm while Joshua used his Dragon’s Breath Flame Thrower on the Flies. Rook and Ellie charged the other direction firing the potato cannon and Lego guns. They caught the Flies completely off-guard. Flies fell this way and that way from the flying bullets, fire, and potatoes. In just a few seconds, Joshua, Constance, Rook, and Ellie reached Bruce and Jude.
“About time,” Jude said as Ellie took his blindfold off and cut the ropes around his wrists and feet.
“Let’s get off this planet,” Bruce said.
While the others freed Bruce and Jude, Imogene and Jules guarded the four-wheeler.
“What if some Flies come?” Jules said.
“We’ll shoot them.”
“Are you sure we can?”
“Of course,” said Imogene. “Their big and ugly Flies.”
Just as she said this, a small group of angry Flies flew right up over the hill and straight for them. Jules’ raised her gun. Imogene copied her. The Flies came closer. Jules fired and missed. She fired again and one Fly dropped from the swarm. Imogene closed her eyes, smiled, and fired five more shots. When she opened her eyes, the flies were dead.
“How’d you do that?” Jules asked.
“Practice,” Imogene said. “No power in the ‘verse can stop me.”
Aunt Abby stopped and giggled to herself.
“What’s funny?” Rook said.
“Nothing,” Aunt Abby said. “I’ll tell all y’all when you’re older.”
“Are we older now?” asked Jules.
“I am,” said Bruce.
“Not old enough yet,” Aunt Abby said.
Bruce, Jude, Constance, Joshua, Rook, and Ellie came charging over the hill. Behind them came an angry swarm of Flies.
“Go, go, go,” yelled Bruce.
The girls jumped on the four-wheeler and Imogene pulled on her goggles. Everyone else piled on and Joshua roared back towards the ship.
“Shoot them!” Bruce said.
Everyone, but Joshua, turned and fired at the following swarm. Flies dropped left and right as umbrella and potato cannons tore through them. Flies littered the ground as Lego guns fired.
“There’s the Texas!” said Joshua.
“We can make it,” said Jules.
The raced across the planet with the black swarm behind them. Without slowing down, Joshua plowed right onto the ship. The settlers they rescued dove out of the way. Bruce took a flying leap off the four-wheeler and hit the button to close the ramp and the doors.
“Get us out of here,” Bruce said.
Joshua rushed up to the bridge and cranked the Texas to life. Three Flies darted past the closing doors into the ship. Imogene fired one, two, three. The Flies died.
“Good shot,” said Constance.
“Thanks.” Imogene smiled.
The Texas rose in the air leaving the Flies behind on the dusty planet. They returned the settlers to their ship and made sure they were safe and well on their way before heading back out into space.
“The end,” Aunt Abby said.
“Wow, I’m glad I was rescued,” Bruce said.
“Yeah, I don’t like flies,” said Jude.
“Imogene,” Jules said. “You’re a good shot.”
“Okay, everyone go play, story time is over. Aunt Abby needs some coffee.”
“Let’s go play we’re Space Cowboys,” Constance said scooping up her frog umbrella.
“We need some Lego guns,” said Rook running towards the Lego boxes.
“And a space ship,” said Ellie said.
“I get to fly it!” Joshua hurried off after everyone else.
“I need a gun and goggles,” Imogene yelled.
Aunt Abby smiled, watching the cousins run off to play in a small world she’d opened to them. Grammie put her arm around her shoulders.
“Starting them young, don’t you think?”