Lost in Space

“Begin transmission number 2943. Year Eight, Day Seventy-nine. This is Madigan Finnegan, signing in.”

Somehow her voice was steady, even. But then, after eight years of making these transmissions out into the void of space her nightly ritual — she’d only ever missed a night to go trick-or-treating on Spooky Day, or to spend the evening with her family on Snowflake Day, or that awful week during fifth grade when she’d been down with Itchy Plumbob, and those other rare occurrences when her mother deemed her too sniffly to be “out in the cold” after dark — it was simply practiced habit at this point.

She took a deep breath and exhaled, watching her displaced carbon dioxide fog up the cold, spring evening air. Her glasses clinked against the eyepiece of her telescope as she stared out at the little gold-and-blue binary system that looked like a single star right at the end of Cakey the Cowplant’s tongue, Salivaneli Alpha and Beta. She believed that dual-star system contained intelligent life as deeply as she believed that it rained far too often in Riverview.

“So, tonight’s transmission is going to be a bit different,” she spoke into the microphone connected to her transmission equipment. “Usually I tell you all about Earth, but, tonight I’m going to tell you about me.”

She took a deep breath of the cold evening air before continuing. “I have never been what earthlings would consider a ‘typical child.’ Most kids go cause mischief with the kid that lives next door. I hardly ever left my room, and caused mischief with my chemistry set instead.” A faint smile pulled at the corners of her mouth from old memories of exactly what sorts of mischief, as she continued to watch the gold-and-blue light from far off in the blackness of space stare back at her.

“My best friends were books. Especially Science Fiction. I couldn’t get enough of tales of daring time travelers or heroes traveling to new, exciting planets in their trusty rocket ships, becoming best friends with their onboard A.I. and befriending aliens and fighting off space pirates. I always wanted to be part of those stories. I always thought, ‘How can these just be fiction? The ideas had to come from somewhere, right?’

“While most kids spent their time playing games online, I was on websites researching aliens. I joined forums for people that had experienced abductions, or had seen UFOs. I wanted to know everything I could!

“When Spooky Day came around…” there was a ruffling sound as she went through her notes, “Check transmission number 304 for more information on the human tradition of ‘Spooky Day,’ but every year was always the same. I only ever wanted to dress up as an alien. And even the Earth traditions of only wearing the costume on the holiday didn’t stop me. I would dress up in it all the time!” A faint laugh filled the recording, as she recalled sneaking up on her father once, right after he’d come home from work, dressed in that alien costume. “Some days, my mother would just give up trying to get it off me.

“And then, on my eighth birthday, I got this telescope and transmitter. Of course I’ve made improvements to both over the years, but… I’ve never stopped looking at the skies since. I’ve never stopped sending out these messages since. Because you are out there, right? You are listening, right? I’ve always told myself that. I’ve always believed that.”

There was a shaky pause.

“Have I mentioned before that I have two older siblings? I think I have… An older sister, Quinn, and an older brother, Sloan. You know, looking back on my childhood… to be honest, I never really spent much time with them.

“Whenever Quinn invited me to go swimming with her, I’d always turn her down, preferring to spend my afternoon scanning the skies for alien activity up in my treehouse.

“Whenever Sloan wanted to play video games together, I’d choose to read a book by myself instead. But now…” Her voice seemed to choke up on the recording. “I really regret it, you know?

“Because four nights ago, Quinn went missing. My mother has been completely heartbroken. My father has become obsessed with his police work as a result. And Sloan turned terribly withdrawn.

But people… Don’t just disappear, right? You guys came, didn’t you? You were here. I know it! You had to…” Her voice shook slightly. “You had to have come. But you took the wrong person!” Now there was a hint of anger, frustration. “You were supposed to take me! Not Quinn! Me!” She let out a muffled sob. “Now yesterday, Sloan has disappeared, too! The cops are saying all sorts of terrible things. I can’t stand it…”

The image of the twin-stars seemed to fog up and blur on the other end of the telescope. “Suddenly, all I can think about are those moments I did manage to spend with my sister and brother. Playing hopscotch with Quinn in the backyard, even though she was so clumsy and awful at it…

“Or the sound of Sloan’s guitar music filling the whole house whenever he got in the mood for a jam session.

“Even… even when Quinn and Sloan would just fight with each other at the dining table when we tried to eat our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a Saturday afternoon! Why should that even be a fond memory? Why?”

She could no longer see Salivaneli Alpha and Salivaneli Beta glistening through the other end of the telescope, as the tears running down her face filled up her glasses. “I’m sorry I didn’t spend more time with them when I had the chance, just… Please bring them home. Or take me to your planet. Just… don’t leave me here alone anymore.”

The rest of the transmission was filled with her sobs, as she finally allowed all her pent-up grief to come to the surface. She didn’t even bother to say her traditional “This is Madigan Finnegan, signing out,” before she cut the recording.

“Who am I kidding?” she said bitterly as she packed up her transmission equipment and headed back to the house. “No one is out there listening. No one ever has been.”

Goodbye Quinn, goodbye, Sloan, she said to herself as she crawled into bed, fresh tears still running down her face. She had no idea where her missing siblings had gone, but somehow she knew, deep down… it wasn’t aliens.

This was written for the November Monthly Short Story Challenge from the Sims forums, which tasked folks to write a story in 500-1500 words using 1-12 screencaps using the theme “Lost.” Though it is meant to work as a stand-alone piece, it features side characters from The Yandere Diaries, and can fit in as a side story to The Yandere Diaries after Entry 32.

Very few custom poses were used in this story, but the few that were used mainly came from NariSims I’m Here For You Pose Pack and chasmchronicle’s Depression Pose Pack. Also, I tried several mods to try to get the alien abduction footage, but none of them worked, except for Nraas DebugEnabler. So if you are looking for a way to force that into happening, that is the mod for you!


About Mastress Alita

I'm a fulltime librarian, a chronic migraineur, a tea addict, and an avid Simmer that writes SimLit and maintains the Stories and Legacies Index, a link directory of SimLit on Wordpress. Though I obviously love cats, I actually don't own one! (Blame my apartment lease for that!) I do have a charming old cockatiel, Kali, that has been my companion for the last seventeen years!
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13 Responses to Lost in Space

  1. medleymisty says:

    Oh, I knew I would like your stuff! This is very emotional and well-done. I will have to read the rest of your stuff when I can. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thanks MedleyMisty. I’ll admit, my older stuff is not very good, but everyone has to start somewhere, right? I just look back on it as lots of room for improvement. ^_^ As I’ve mentioned in your lovely Art of Storytelling thread, lately I’ve been attempting to be a little more wordy and up my quality lately, inspired by so many of the lovely works I’ve enjoyed reading out in the community!

      Liked by 1 person

      • medleymisty says:

        Oh, I’ve improved a LOT over the years. No one starts out perfect.

        This was great quality! And I don’t say that lightly – I am very particular about writing and I only say true things. :)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. raerei says:

    Aw – this reminds me of my childhood. I knew if I could just believe in aliens, they’d be real. But I couldn’t take that last step forward. And I love the second to last shot! Ha!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The most difficult shot to get, but so worth it. She finally decides to grow up and give up her belief, and… they were listening all along? Poor Madi, maybe they just wanted to give her a hug. T_T


      • raerei says:

        …I can’t imagine! That would be a tough one.

        Yeah – it’s tough to keep believing when everyone disagrees with you. I wonder if in the future she’ll get some kind of new sign to rekindle her belief. *hopes*

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely imagination this young child has but am sorry that her siblings went missing. That’s why it’s important to treasure memories with family as you never know when they will no longer be made due to circumstances beyond our control. Great update, Maetress.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. cathytea says:

    Hmmm…. First, I really, really enjoyed this! Second, she’s wrong, right? Quinn and Sloan have to be with the aliens, right? And once she’s old enough, they’ll fetch her? *crossingfingers*

    Liked by 1 person

    • What has happened to them actually is revealed in my other story, The Yandere Diaries. But it isn’t a very happy tale. Madi is definitely better off believing aliens are behind it. ^_~ Hopefully they are stubborn aliens and will try back so she can become a right and proper space ranger after all. She’ll have fun getting that Brave hair under a space helmet, heheheheh.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. rinellie says:

    I love that last line. It really makes me feel what she feels. And the fact that she was thinking fondly of her siblings fighting–that’s so perfect. These are exactly the kinds of thoughts I think I’d go through if I were in her position. (Except for maybe the alien stuff :P)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ThatOneSimmer says:

    so well wrote! compared to the story as it’s progressed so far, this side update was so poignant and important to see how cora’s behaviors and actions are impacting those around her. i think when people write horror / darker themes, they sometimes forget how the murder / disappearance of certain characters can impact others and broke my heart on behalf of madigan.

    in particular, my favorite part is that she was doing something she had previously loved (the transmissions) and showed such genuine human emotion. fingers crossed an alien swings by to cheer her up a bit! <3

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ya, when the theme “Lost” came up for Short Story Challenge that month, it seemed a natural fit to get to show things from one of the other YD character’s PoV, and I really enjoyed that. I hope to get to do that more in the future!

      Liked by 1 person

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