“Ooh, Ryan!” Mabel said sternly, giving her grandson a cup of tea as he sat on the sofa in the living room. “What’ve you done?”
“Don’t worry, son.” George said, taking a sip out of his cup as he sat in his armchair. “You’ve done nowt wrong.”
“Nowt wrong? Nowt wrong, George Green?” Mabel fumed. “It was all your fault. If you ‘adn’t gone knockin’ on next door, I’d have been ‘ere when our Ryan came in and I could’ve stopped him getting to Dawn.”
“Nan, calm down. Sit down and have a drink.” Ryan said, “And have a custard cream as well.”
“I only went to tell ‘im about his security light, Mabel.” George said.
“Oh no you didn’t, George. You went to phone the police. I knew what you were thinkin’ when I saw you standin’ at their gate.”
“Mabel, I said I wouldn’t and I wouldn’t. They might have a camera on the back which caught her going into the shed. I was going to see if they did.”
“Into the shed? Nan… Grandad, what’s going on?” Ryan was very confused. He took another sip of tea when a thought struck him. “Wait. Auntie She told me to tell you they’re looking. Are they looking for Dawn?”
“Looking? Oh George. What are we going to do?” Mabel looked down to the living room carpet for inspiration. “George! Do they ‘ave a camera? Next door?”
“They do, as it happens,” George answered, “but it’s not working. Like the lights. The whole system was damaged in that lightning strike last month, and they’ve not got round to fixing it. He says he’s going to get a new one next month.”
“Did you tell them about Dawn?”
“Tell ‘im about a winged alien? Mabel, he’ll think I’m off me rocker. He thinks that anyway, from the way he looks at me sometimes.”
“A winged alien?” Ryan asked. “Are you two OK?”
“You didn’t see ‘er wings, our Ryan?” Mabel asked. “What were you lookin’ at? Oh, never mind. Don’t answer. I know what you young lads are like.”
“Nan!” Ryan felt his cheeks burn. “I wasn’t. I just saw her on the bed and wondered what she were doing! I didn’t have time to look to see if she had wings, or anything else for that matter. I’d only just got there and shook her when you came in. I’ll go up and have a look now.”
“You’ll do no such thing, Ryan Green!” Mabel’s stern tone returned. “You’ll sit there and help us work out what to do. We can’t ‘ave anyone knockin’ on our door, searchin’ the place and finding Dawn.”
“Dawn’s a funny name for an alien.” Ryan pondered.
“It’s Dawnstar, Ryan.” George said. “Your Nan’s called her Dawn.”
“Who would be lookin’ for ‘er?” Mabel asked. “I can’t see the police having an alien department.”
“Maybe there’s a space police.” Ryan answered. “Or maybe it’s the scientists. They’ll probably want to experiment on her.”
“They’ll do nothing of the sort!” Mabel took another sip of tea. “She’s a lovely little thing. If only she didn’t ‘ave them wings. We could put her in some of my clothes and pass ‘er off as your girlfriend, our Ryan.”
“Nan, no offence, but your clothes wouldn’t go on…”
“What’s wrong with me clothes?” Mabel sounded shocked.
“Nothing Nan, they’re just a bit old-fashioned for someone of my age.”
“Old-fashioned? So that’s how you see your Nan, Ryan, is it?”
“No, Nan, no. Your clothes look good on you, you always look nice. It’s just… Grandad, you know what I mean?”
“Don’t bring me into this, Ryan. You’ll never win.”
“’Ang on… Ryan… do you still see that girl you used to see?” Mabel decided she’d made Ryan squirm enough. “The one who wanted to be a, now, what was it, a metalfillyfist? You said she went to uni to study metaliffalissally.”
“Do you mean Kate?” Ryan smiled. “Not seen her for years. She moved to Devon. It was a metaphysicist she wanted to be, not what you said.” He laughed. “I doubt she’ll speak to me now, though.”
“You were as thick as thieves, you two.” Mabel prompted. “She’ll probably know what they’ll be looking for.”
“I doubt she’ll have the same number.” Ryan looked over at his Nan who looked back with an expectant yet pleading expression on her face. “OK. I’ll try and phone her.”
Mabel continued to look at Ryan without speaking. George too looked over in anticipation now, also without saying a word.
“Now? You want me to phone her right now?” Ryan sounded a little shocked.
“No time like the present, son.” George said.
“Go on, Ry, for me. And fer Dawn.” Mabel’s voice became very soft.
Ryan reached into his jeans pocket and took out his mobile phone. He looked through the contacts, tapping the phone’s screen when he found the entry he was looking for. He looked at his Nan as he tapped the screen again. “It’s engaged.” He said.
“Ryan, try again.” Mabel said, losing some of her soft tones. “Keep trying.”
He called the number again. He nodded toward Mabel and smiled. “It’s ringing.”
“Oh, George. I hope she can help.” Mabel whispered.
“Shush, love. It’ll be fine.” George tapped his wife’s arm.
“Hi. Kate?” Ryan spoke into the phone. “Kate? How are you doin’? Long time no speak.” Ryan glanced over to Mabel. “It’s Ry. Ryan Green! Yeesss!” He laughed. “I know this is a bit out of the blue, but I need your help. Well, me Nan and Grandad do. This is going to sound really odd, but…” Mabel rolled her right hand in an attempt to hurry Ryan along. “They’re fine. Exactly the same as when you saw them last. Yes!” He laughed again, “Still the same.” He listened intently, his expression changing to a broad smile. “OK, then. Bye!”
“Ryan! You didn’t…” Mabel sat back in her chair.
“She’s coming round.” Ryan smiled. “She’s up here!”
This is the seventh instalment of my fan fiction tale based on the DC Comics character Dawnstar. The first part can be found here, the second here, and the third here. The fourth part is here, and the fifth here. The sixth part is here. Dawnstar was created by Paul Levitz and Mike Grell. All other characters are of my own creation.