ShortStories: Yes, I write too

Below are some of my shorts...
For The Sake Of My Brother

"Will it hurt?"

The level of trust in her question made Roiyig’s amphibious chest swell, but sorrow sucked the air right out of those chambers as he filled them.  Sarah’s brown eyes rimmed with white when her gaze swept up to meet his.  The Niyex lacked the tear ducts his human slave possessed and his face itched at the sight of swelling around her eyelids and puffy cheeks.  Underneath the companionship with which she regarded him, he sensed she clung to the vain idea he might not go through with it. Determination curled into his four, purple fists.  He would not be persuaded to treason by human tears—not even for the sake of his twin brother’s fondness for the little slave.  She should have known him better by now.

Such a fickle species, the humans were. This planet held a wealth of untouched resources the Niyex coveted, but the indigenous species refused a Niyex annexation.  The ensuing war brought refugees under enslavement in army camps—properly aiding the planet’s conquerors to quell and cull the rebellious population.  His thoughts brushed over the macro events leading to the quaking girl’s capture, landing on her current predicament.

"No,” His words filtered through a translating device worn on the neck guard of his uniform, necessitating a minute delay as it barked the English equivalent.  “It will be quick. I promise. You'll just… you won't even know it happened.”

It would hurt like the Demon Wraiths were devouring her mortal soul—but only for a few seconds while her senses shut down. If he aimed true, the pulses carrying pain signals over nerve relays never reached the brain. Because it wasn't there to reach. Rampant imagination supplanted her lithe little form over hundreds of headless bodies jerking through death spasms in his memory.  It took a few minutes for internal functions to shutdown and succumb to eventuality.  He shrugged to cover the shudder creeping up his spine.  Showing hesitation rips a whole in resolve and leads to dangerous second thoughts. 

He shifted his weight from one foot to the other, broad purple shoulders shrugging against the burden of a ceremonial spear gun slung across his back.  The temperature in the killing room was warmer than anywhere else—not too warm for his coldblooded body, but the human’s skin shimmered moist and pale, her cheeks flushed dark.  Warmbloods no longer tolerated the climate of this planet as well as his own species due to something they called Global Warming.  Today, it might not be the heat.  Four green eyes focused on the floor; four long arms dangled at his sides.

This execution held no fun for him, but if he left it to anyone else… well… the other Niyex dragged it out. They dismembered humans first, to hear their screams, and shot holes in non-lethal places before they finally ended the game.  His twin, Rellick, delighted in the shrill wails of his victims.  He, personally, enjoyed the flailing and wild expressions on their terrified faces, but not this time.  This time it was personal—it was unnecessary…it was his fault.  At least, this time, the human slave wouldn't suffer.

But hne would.  And Rellick even more.

"I can't believe—I mean I still can't believe that Commander Grungger would think I'm so much of a threat, just because I talk to your brother." Long, brown locks flirted with the stagnant air while her head swept side to side.  Wide human eyes stared at the floor.  Stared at the drain in the middle of the room.  Her elbows flexed when she tugged at the restraints on her wrists.

They stood in the aptly nicknamed "slaughter house," a large, square building with sloping floors and a grate covered hole to catch the fluids spilled by terminating human slaves. Along with the occasional Niyex miscreant.  Stain resistant tiles lined both walls and floor, which made cleaning as easy as spraying it down with a hose.  The Niyex killed with efficient expertise.

"Can you…" her feet shuffled in place.  The grubby one-suit rustled as she peered at him through drifting tufts of runaway hair. He waited, both pairs of green eyes fixed on the fidgeting the human.  She bit her bottom lip.  Roiyig watched a red tongue slipped along the edges of her mouth, before her teeth reclaimed their territory.  Breath shuddered in.  "Can you do me a favor, then?"  Her jaw clamped tight as teeth began to chatter.

Wasn't he already? He narrowed all four eyes. He was the reason she wouldn’t be tortured for sport before she died, wasn't this favor enough? But then, he was also the reason for her execution. Rellick used the human, as a support in much the same way her own twin brother did.  He huffed warm air through the slits along his neck, "Maybe."

"If—I mean, when—I'm gone, there won't be anybody to watch out for Mikey. He doesn't have friends. You know, because of how he is."

"You want me to take care of your brother?" Because watching out for his own twin wasn't enough? What was she thinking?  Now she wanted him to add her twin brother to his long list of problems? Maybe it was better she would die now; she obviously thought they had some kind of friendship between them.

He squeezed both sets of eyes shut.  Maybe if his face could leak saline the way hers did it would relieve the ache in his temples or the burn behind his eyes.  Her impending death owed to his desiring a companion for his challenging brother.  her teeth began to chatter.adrespblance.  ault.quired respect another Her compassionate and understanding nature eased Rellick’s tortuous mind and gave the mentally ill twin a shelter through his internal storms.  It helped—took some of the pressure off Roiyig. Even now, he could feel his brother calling out for her across their twin bond, searching for that grounding presence to soothe his roiling mania.

"I don't have anyone else to ask," she said.

His breath caught at the defeat woven into her tone set to the quiver of her lower lip.  He looked away when her eyes exploded in a saltwater gush and her pale face twisted into deep, downward lines.

His mind’s eye viewed himself in her place and begging on Rellick’s behalf.  The Niyex army wanted the psychopath well maintained, but from a safe distance.  Commander Grungger prized their most lethal killer as long as he remained useful.  Which left responsibility for Rellick’s care with Roiyig.  Roiyig calmed him during the worst of his fits after battle. Through their twin bond, Roiyig served as the lifeline keeping his brother from suicide. Roiyig offered Rellick's one, tenuous link to the sanity denied him directly. Roiyig brought him the girl.

Together, Roiyig and Sarah shouldered the responsibility for Rellick’s needs and found sympathetic solace in each other’s burden.  He huffed through his slits once more; reluctance gave way to resignation.

"Alright.  I'll do what I can." He owed her this much.  Reaching behind his shoulder, he pulled the spear gun from its mount and charged it. His gaze leapt away from her like the wrong end of two magnets. "Anything else?" The weapon held four green eyes captive.

"Tell Mikey I love him, and I'm sorry I had to go away." Her voice held a quavering squeak.  The coldblood nodded, of course, she'd want platitudes given to her twin. "And tell Rellick goodbye for me."

He looked up, surprised etched in his rounded eyes and slack jaw. Rellick, in one of his more lucid moments, listened across their twin bond.  Puzzlement from his brother leeched into Roiyig’s mind. Why was she saying good bye, the unspoken question. Where was she going?

Shook his head to clear it of the pressure from his brother’s mental intrusion.

"Yeah," his voice dropped into a croak reminiscent of his frog-like ancestors.  With a hard swallow to clear his throat, he tried for a more even tone. "Okay."

"Well, I guess I'm ready, then." The little, fleshy lump at the front of her neck bobbed in a wild spasm.  Brown hair spilled over her cheeks as her head dropped.  Human eyes bled a river down both sides of her face.  "When you are."

Roiyig busied himself checking over his weapon.  A piercing scream ripped through the twin bond.  Rellick plead with his brother.  Their minds crashed together, a spiraling, icy, panic.  One dragged the other down an abyss of terrified grief.

Don’t take the girl from me.  I need her.

Desperate shock raced along every nerve path in both twins.

She is mine.

Spinning, sinking, screaming.  Nails raked across naked flesh.

I can’t survive without her too.

Dark, alone, lost.  Abandoned.  Forsaken.  Save her, SAVE SARAH.

And through the protest tsunami, Roiyig felt distant fists buried in walls, a chair shattered a window, and sleeping berths systematically demolished.  He pulled his mind into a focused center and lifted the gun.  Breath slowed, the bridge of Sarah’s nose fell into place on the targeting lock.

“Orders, Rellick.”

NOOOOOO!

 




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