Five days since touchdown and watching the Earth rise in the distance framed by Phobos and Deimos still amazes her.
At the beginning of the journey there was quick hugs and tears as her parents pushed her into the last transport off the planet.
The asteroid was coming and there was not going to be time to save everyone. Somehow she was one of the lucky few.
Ryleigh found herself in a part of the woods she had never seen before.
She had been skipping along the creek chasing a bullfrog who was winning the race when she’d tripped on her untied shoelace. Brushing the dirt and leaves from her already scabbed knees, she noticed a hole about her size in brambles that formed a perimeter around the creek.
The frog long gone, and having gotten bored with the game anyways, she ducked through the portal and followed it into the woods.
As she moved deeper into the passage, it got progressively darker as the thorns weaved between each other, nearly blocking out the sun. She never got scared, or at least admitted it to herself, because she could see the light at the end of the tunnel ahead of her. Even though it was a constant beacon, it felt like it never grew closer until she found herself stumbling out into the cool afternoon sunlight filtering through a thousand leaves above her.