Once upon a time, in an older model car to the one that you and your family own, a young boy named Jared Stower was buckled up firmly in the middle back seat, attempting to figure out how he was going to get through the next seven hours. His parents, Mr and Mrs Stower, were going to visit Jared’s uncle (who apparently lived in a town so far away, it may as well have been an alien planet) and, instead of leaving him at home with his grandmother like he had requested, Jared’s parents decided it best to put him in the backseat, cramped between as many suitcases and pillows as a young boy could handle. Jared had noticed that this decision was made without a second thought for how the drive was going to affect him. It would become clear, however, that Jared also had no idea just how much this journey was going to affect him, either.
After saying their goodbyes to Jared’s Grandmother and with Mrs Stower comfortably sitting in her roomy front seat, Jared took his first book out and started to read the first chapter. Mr Stower pulled their car out of their stone driveway, switched gears and revved the engine. However, instead of driving off when it would felt right to do so, Jared’s father turned to look at Jared and said, “Son, we are in grave danger. The evil intergalactic overlord, Lord Gravitron, has uncovered our location and we need to move in a hurry. There’s no more time to explain now, but I need you to trust me, OK?”
Jared’s eyes widened as he breathed rapidly through his nose. He clenched his teeth and quickly nodded four times to show his father that he understood. Mr Stower turned back around, put his hands on the wheel and provided instructions to Mrs Stower.
“Engines at full capacity?” Mrs Stower opened the glove compartment of the car revealing a hidden series of dials, buttons and displays.
“Windows up and car pressurized?”
”Then, engage the wings.”
Mrs Stower pushed the red button in the glove compartment and Jared sat up to get a better view of the outside of the car. He watched in awe as two brown wings unfolded from both sides of their car and, as the reality of what was about to happen set in, Mr Stower adjusted his mirrors and instructed Jared to hold on tight. Jared gripped the seat belt crossing his chest as his father pushed down on the accelerator, sending the three of them flying at a tremendous speed up and over the houses, through the clouds and out into the far reaches of outer space, where, in only a matter of seconds, the whole of Earth now looked no bigger than the size of a tennis ball.
As things calmed down, Jared took a moment to enjoy the spectacular views around him. He noticed that the stars didn’t look all that different despite the fact that the family car was now travelling through space. Mr Stower adjusted some more of the dials in the glove compartment before turning to Jared. “Jared,” he began, “We are not humans. You were born on the planet Xavior several years ago and your mother and I were forced to leave after your Grand…”
A laser beam suddenly shot passed the family car, narrowly missing the side view mirrors. Mr and Mrs Stower jumped back into action and, just as his mother was about to hit the big red button again, a laser beam managed to hit the left wing of the car. Jared’s father called out to him, “Son! Under the blankets, you’ll find a laser beam gun. Grab it quickly!”
Jared rushed to search under the blankets, pulling out a weapon much tinier than he had imagined a laser gun to be. “Your mother and I have to navigate this ship to safety so you will have to fight back!” Jared took off his seatbelt, placed the small laser gun between his hands and tried to wind down the rickety, old windows. After three or four slow turns of the handle, Jared stuck his head out of the window and saw a spaceship the size of a football field shooting laser beams towards them. Jared lined the miniature gun up with the spaceship behind them and shot a single laser beam in their direction. It was a direct hit, sending the craft spiralling out of control into the depths of space. “I told you he would be a natural!” Mr Stower boasted to his wife.
After an extremely bumpy descent, and with the help of the exceptional navigation skills of Mr and Mrs Stower, the family car finally made it back into Earth’s atmosphere. Mr Stower promptly deployed the parachute, bringing them to land precisely two miles from Jared’s Uncle’s house. Once they had landed safely and had made the car look like a car again, Jared’s dad turned to him and said. “You cannot speak about this to anyone. Do you understand? In time, you will know the truth.” Jared nodded four times.
Jared’s uncle was there to greet them as they pulled into the driveway. “How was your trip? Nothing too dramatic I hope,” he commented as he looked at Jared’s dad, giving him a wink.
Mr and Mrs Stower turned their attention to Jared to see how he would respond.
“It wasn’t too bad, I guess,” Jared said. “I’m looking forward to the drive home, actually.”
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