“Emily,” her father’s voice was deep, an edge of worry echoing in their dining room. The hardwood floor was smooth under Emily’s feet. She ran her toes back and forth during the pause her father let hang in the air between them. “Do you know where Skylar went? Or where they came from?”
Emily froze her feet while trying keep the rest of her from tensing up. Why is he asking now? What does he know? What does he suspect?
“It is rude to stay silent Emily.” He said, his fingers tapping their way across the table towards her. Right now, it was a gentle chide, but Emily knew what was coming next. Large hands enveloping hers, pleads following. If it was serious enough, she’d even get a proper scolding about her silence.
So… how long could she say silent? The pleading had started, please dear, now honey I’m not mad just worried, Emily won’t you speak to me?
“I don’t know where they went.” Emily’s words slurred together. It was the truth. Or mostly the truth. She had a name, of some far off planet, which humans hadn’t even discovered yet. So, what was a name worth, without directions? Without the means to get there? Without the means to send messages there? It was ask she didn’t know anything about where Skylar had come from.
As if Skylar had just fell out of the sky and kept sealed lips, or beak, about their history. Because the information she had, Qwortar, was pretty useless.
“See, that wasn’t hard.” Her father squeezed her hands. Emily nodded and did her best not to hang her head. The relief in his voice made guilt bubble up inside her stomach. She swallowed the acid back down.
The less he knows the better. Skylar’s gone and Earth isn’t in danger. Don’t break. John’s kept his mouth shut, you can too.
Emily excused herself and went to her room. She couldn’t sit there in her guilt with her hands swallowed by his.
Word count: 336