Caradorynee: Kin #9

Post date: Sep 26, 2017 12:41:16 PM


Kin #9

How long she’d been shackled to the post-like object, naked and sweating profusely, Star had no idea. The vegetation so thick that she couldn’t tell whether it was night or day. Not that she knew what night or day comprised of on this foreign planet.

What she did know was that her arms and legs ached fiercely from trying unsuccessfully to pull, twist, kick, jump, and any number of other moves in an effort to free herself.

The shackles were unlike the Shegata confines she’d seen on Caradorynee nor were they like handcuffs. She couldn’t quite describe them as some form of rope or vine although the twisting nature of the shackles did suggest that they were constructed of a fibrous material.

Star’s jaw throbbed and her gums felt raw, not to mention the tenderness of her tongue and the soreness of her teeth from her attempts to gnaw her way through the shackles. Although small chunks of the shackle did come away, not nearly enough for her to slip her wrists out.

Star sighed and rested her forehead on her drawn up bare knees. Sweat continued to trickle freely from her hairline and down over her shoulders. Star shivered.

“Think, think, think,” she repeated, striving for a mediative state where she could come up with yet another idea of how to extract herself from her current situation.

It was obvious that she was on her own. No hope of rescue. No wispy orange mass to come and sweep her off to safety. No human brigade, guns blazing and combat boots echoing through the thick vegetation surrounding her.

Star’s eyes began to itch. Tears gathered in the corners but Star forced them back. She couldn’t afford to lose a drop more of water.

She hadn’t been given anything to drink or eat and she hadn’t peed in several hours. She was light-headed and her abdomen had recently begun to cramp.

Star knew she was dangerously close to the dehydration point but there wasn’t anything she could do about it. No one, no creature, nothing had come since she’d been shackled. And despite the high humidity in the air no droplets of moisture clung to the gold leafy plant just beyond her reach.


The one word burst through her mind’s fussiness.

What had Lark said to her? She had his blood, she would survive.

Was her human blood the answer? After all she had dissolved that hideous beast back in the cave by placing her bloody hand against it.

Could her blood act in the same manner in this new and foreign place? Could she dissolve the shackles?

Star snapped her head up and even though she disliked pain she eagerly raised her wrist to her mouth and bite the fleshy part of her hand at the base of her left thumb. Star cried out but sank her teeth in deeper trying to open up a gash that was tiny but big enough to allow the free flow of blood.

When she finally tasted blood she withdrew her hand and was satisfied to see blood oozing down the heel of her hand to her wrist. But before Star could dip her right index finger into the blood so she could rub it over the shackles the wound closed.

Quickly scooping up the small amount of blood that was still on the heel of her hand Star was amazed when the smear of blood enlarged. Hurriedly Star rubbed the growing mass frantically over the base of the shackle and around each of her wrists. The shackles melted away before her eyes.

Jumping to her feet Star’s survival instincts took over. She dashed for the thick vegetation.

Lark’s throat was scratchy and dry. His voice a raspy whisper yet he continued to speak.

He and the tiny creature, who he’d named Newt, had been travelling for hours. Their progress through the thick vegetation of the planet laborious at times since the creature was small and unable to traverse some of the rough terrain.

It wasn’t until Lark had convinced Newt that they would travel faster if the creature perched itself on Lark’s shoulder that the two had made any real gains.

Still what little of the sky that could be seen had darkened and even with Lark’s heightened sight he was having difficulty in seeing where he was going.

Newt’s grasp of the english language had expanded as fast as Lark could speak. With each new word Lark spoke, Newt reassembled the vocabulary list, almost as if the creature had a computer/dictionary like brain, and then spit out intelligent and more importantly coherent sentences.

By now the creature had also mastered the sound of those words as well.

“It is time we stop,” Newt said into Lark’s ear. “You are clumsy.”

Lark nodded. He was also tried and hungry.

“What passes for shelter? And what can I eat without poisoning myself?”

Newt answered immediately. “There is much to eat. Whether poisoning to you, I can no tell you.”

“Is there anywhere dry that I can sleep?”

“Newt sleep under rocks.”

Lark chuckled. “I doubt I would fit under the rocks with you.”

“Can you climb?”

“If need be. Is there a source of water nearby?”

Newt scrambled off Lark’s shoulder and sprung to a tall tree-like plant. Then scurried down to the base and disappeared into a patch of low bushes.

The tiny creature reappeared moments later and gestured once more in the same fashion it had earlier. “This way.”

Lark followed, pushing aside the bristle soft spikes of the bush. When he emerged on the other side after a few minutes walk he was relieved to see a small brook winding its way down a gradual slope.

Lark knelt and dipped his hand into the water. It was warm which was surprising since the temperature surrounding him was cool despite the high humidity.

Activating his Dueanian senses Lark lifted his hand to watch the moisture on the tips of his fingers bead and then expand as the mass hovered above Lark’s fingers. Tentatively he tasted the bead with the tip of his tongue. The water tasted salty and smelled slightly of sulfur although Lark could only detect the tiniest trace of the substance. With satisfaction that the water was safe to drink Lark cupped his hand and dipped it into the steady flow of the brook.

When he had drank enough to satisfy his thirst, he sat down on a nearby rock and looked around.

He wondered with much despair if he’d even find Star again.

©Human in Inhuman Worlds by Janet Merritt