The prompt I’m using in this 502 word post is: A relationship becomes complicated.
Another wracking cough tore through Chem. Near the tent’s entrance, Sen stirred in her sleep, trying to catch the wisp of a breeze. While he was huddled in the far corner, trying to keep dust out of increasingly frail lungs.
“Don’t take her. Even if they ask.”
Uninvited, the memory of her last words tickled his Chem’s ears. Her pleading look, before her eyes closed for the final time had been more than he could bear. He stormed out of the birthing chamber, ignoring the baby the nurses were examining, the first mixed child of their two worlds.
Charging out of the room, the reality that he was still trapped on the thing she called a ship, their ship, hovering in the Roudeli Mountain chain, came rushing back at him. He did what any human male would do; he punched the Ulimum metal of the hallway and a cut appeared down the length of his palm. The appearance of blood, human blood, sent the Ulimumite nurses to a new level of panic. This kept the guards at bay waiting to take Chem before the council of elders.
Twenty minutes and a few bandages later, however, he was on the council floor. If one could call it that; their technology had fashioned a clear hard, substance that allowed him to both stand on it while displaying the icy peaks of mountains he had only heard of in fireside tales. He couldn’t look down, his vision swam before his eyes; looking up at the tall ones was equally dizzying.
“We apologize for our daughter,” a tall one was saying, his brown eyes meeting Chem’s blue ones.
He spoke first so he must have been their leader, Chem reasoned.
The other four hissed in disagreement.
“Why do we apologize to this thing that doesn’t know what we’re saying,” one to the left of the leader said. Chem couldn’t take his eyes off her hair, the color of the sun as it set, the hue of blood.
“I understand,” Chem managed. The accent sounded heavy in his ears. There was a stir among the five tall ones.
“He speaks,” the first tall one said.
“She taught me your words,” Chem replied.
The tall leader came down from the raised bench as the others hissed in the background. He crouched, putting him at Chem’s eye level; brown eyes in a rounded setting to Chem’s protruding forehead. This among the many differences he noticed when the girl had first come to his tent were mirrored in her people.
“My daughter has had a baby,” the tall one was saying. “And we cannot keep her.”
Chem knew this already. The tall ones moved out of his way when he came on board the ship.
“I will take her,” he said. “She is mine.”
The leader of the tall ones put out his hand. Chem prepared to flatten himself onto all fours where he could use his head as a weapon. But the vine-like fingers merely pressed his shoulder in agreement.
Good second installment. The clear substance he’s standing on reminds me of a visit to the CN tower in Canada – at the very top is a thick plexiglass floor one can stand on and look down. Fabulous if you enjoy heights!
Intriguing! I read the second before the first; I like the way the scenes continue into each other.
I read the first post too. An intriguing world. Now you’ve added more aliens to an already alien environment. I like it. I like an unfolding mystery. And the characters are vivid and engaging.
I just read both Part 1 and 2–your writing is so lovely. Both the two “worlds” that have come into conflict in Sen are fascinating.
Nicely done! I’m really curious to understand the differences between Chem and the tall ones. 🙂
You’ve got me going on this. Look forward to more world-building!
Nice bit of atmosphere here. Looking forward to the next episode!
I’m curious about these aliens and their physical appearance. Intriguing.