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Lost in Space
Tara, Age 9, Western Australia

If you have to read about the tragedy of my life, read on.

Dad and I are Space-Lovers, what my older sis Aideen calls,"Alien Planet Freaks." But we grew up with it. Space posters, space mags and books, space walls and clothes. Even an iPod shaped like Mars, Phobos and Deimos. I loved it--a little too much. You see, after all my childhood research and space stuff, I decided to be an astronaut, like my grandad. My dad, well, he's a guy who works in an observatory, looking for new planets, moons and that sorta stuff. An astronomer thing. So, after Aideen moved out with her boyfriend, I went up into space.

The first time, Dad came with me. Then I went up on my own. On my thirteenth time, Dad came with me again. We boarded the shuttle, then we heard the countdown: "10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5! 4! 3! 2! 1! 0!! BLAST OFF!!"

As we hurtled through space and light years, past planets, stars, moons and black holes, Dad and I were having a good old chat. "Why are you so interested in space?" Dad asked.

"I don't know. It's just....interesting. Fun. Exciting." I struggled.

"You don't exactly look excited now..." Dad answered.

"That so?"

"Mmm-hmm."

"Well...."

"What?" Dad said.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!" I screamed. The shuttle suddenly lurched forward, but my old man didn't seem to notice. So I used it to my advantage. Then, we heard a voice.

"Commander X, please report to Shuttle Repair. Prepare for landing. We are landing on one of the many moons of Jupiter, Io. Prepare for landing. Commander X, report to Shuttle Repair."

"Huh?" I said. "Shuttle Repair? Commander X? Cool!"

"Yeah Kiddo, I gotta get outside. We almost hit a black hole."

"Woah..." I felt bewildered, amazed.

"See ya," we said in unison.

So Dad clambered outside with his safety gear. After an hour of banging and clanging, I heard a voice. A yell. A plea for help. It belonged to the person I love the most. Dad.

Dad! I screamed in my head. I couldn't get the words. Dad pleaded, "Please, help meeeeeeeeee....Look after...Look after...Look after...Jake."

Dad! "NO!" I rushed to the room next door. Everyone was running with equipment." What's happened?" I asked, even though I didn't want to know.

"Your father's been sucked into a black hole. I'm sorry, Jacob."

I'm still in space, travelling to find Dad. I'm forty-three now, old, but still looking for him and a way back to my family. I'm lost in space, too.

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