The Talk

Dear Planet Earth,

He’s been coming to my cell for the past couple mornings. My father. My dad. I don’t know what to call him. He didn’t stick around long enough when I was a kid for me to give him one of those common labels. I don’t even know his first name. Maybe I’ll ask him next time — if I don’t try to punch him in the face.

He told me that they worked on recruiting him even before I was born. The homies — he chuckled over my new nickname for them. He said that they told him about the coming invasion, of the mole people, the true inheritors of the upper crust. He chuckled when he used the word “mole people,” too. To him and his fellow homeless minions, they were and always will be the “Inheritors.”

They ruled over all levels of the Earth for thousands of years until we homo sapiens revolted and drove them underground. This was eventually seen as a truce by the Inheritors. They could tolerate our dominion over the inferior crust so long as we maintained peace and the fragile ecosystem affecting all of the layers. But humans screwed it up. We destroyed our planet beyond repair and the Inheritors saw invasion as their only option to protect the Earth.

He said he’d understand if I couldn’t forgive him for abandoning me and Mom. He said he tried to save us from the same fate as the others, using his considerable pull to keep us away from the fighting before it began.

I sat silent for much of this, turning this new information over and over in my mind, seething. He left me a book to read — the same one that convinced him to leave us all those years ago.

I should have punched him in the face.

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