Part Six- based on Picture 7 (used to prompt to mean “home”)
Word Count: 569
I sat there and stared as my jaw dropped. The man smiled his soft smile and didn’t react, didn’t push. I broke eventually and started to talk, to question, to demand, to talk in a constant stream on chat until he put a hand up in an imprecation to stop me. It was clear he had caught little, if anything of what I had said.
There was a long silence as I caught my breath, and he poured himself another drink. Then, as the silence grew, he said, “single thing.”
I caught my breath, and caught what he was asking. “Where am I?” I said, my fingers trembling as I picked up the miracle cup and sipped the liquid to steady my voice.”
“Here. You are here,” he said. That wasn’t very useful.
“This is not my home.” I said. I wanted to ask about the suns, but what would I say? Where did the extra sun came from? It was obvious that the extra sun belonged to this world as surely as I did not. “I am not from here.”
The man nodded and smiled. Evidently whatever I had said made more sense than I realised. “Where is your here?”
“I don’t know.” I said, watching him closely. Something wasn’t right.
“Talk about your here.” His mouth seemed wrong, and for a moment I couldn’t quite work it out. “Talk. Please.” Then I saw it. It was like the jokes Almp used to play on me, standing behind a chewing Gi’obi and pretending to be the voice of the dumb beast. This was like that. The man’s mouth was moving a lot more than his simple words were saying, out of time with the movements. It made my skin creep and I didn’t understand what was happening. Was I descending into madness after all? Was this some dream – why would this man know my language? It made no sense at all.
I must have showed my panic, because he turned and pointed to the blue ball and said something but it just came out in his language. He pointed to the ball, then to his mouth, then leaned across and touched my ears, and I understood; as much as I could, at least. The blue ball was somehow translating what he said. I didn’t like it, it seemed too much like magic to me.
“Talk.” He said again, and hesitatingly, because it felt stupid to be talking in my own tongue not knowing if I was being heard or not, I told the man of my home – my ‘here’ as he called it. How the land was flat, and the sky hung huge over the land. How the land was covered with water for the most part. How the mists of the seasons changed with the weather, but never really went away. How the Odlera birds came each ebb and stayed to fish and raise their families in our fields, helping to fertilise the ground. I spoke of Almp and the years we’d been working together, and how I missed him. There were tears in my eyes when I finished with the news about the one sun, as the loss of my home hit me hard after days and days of repression. He sat and watched me and his eyes were like the heavens, fathomless and he seemed less kindly than he had after I finished speaking.
TBC© Copyright 2005 Erastes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Erastes