Part 2: The Dueanian Cycle #2

Post date: Mar 4, 2017 1:26:48 PM

Part 2: The Dueanian Cycle


Fisher followed Baylee at a much slower pace than her friend as they made their way up the beach and onto more solid ground.

She still hadn’t a clue at what was going on and it disturbed her that she was about to encounter a total stranger out in the middle of nowhere.

She halted several yards from where a man and a horse were coming to a stop.

Fisher had never seen a horse before, only in picture books or in old movies. She hadn’t realized that the animal was so big. Or that there were any left since most farm animals had been left for dead years ago from lack of feed.

Some people even believed it was the consumption of animals that was the culprit behind mankind’s inability to reproduce. Which in Fisher’s mind was a load of crap, since Baylee’s parents both were big meat eaters.

Still there were people in authoritative positions that had demeaned it unsavoury to consume any animal byproducts, including eggs, milk, or cheese, so Fisher was a little unnerved to be meeting someone who may actually raise cattle for slaughter.

Was Baylee friends with someone who so blatantly disregarded the rules of society?

The man gathered the horse’s reins in one hand and dismounted.

“Fishy, meet, Lark.”

“The horse or the man?” Fisher found herself blurting before she could stop the words from spilling out of her mouth.

The left corner of the man’s lips twitched. He wrapped the reins around a spindly, leaf-budding tree and gave the horse a gentle pat.

When he turned to face them he didn’t offer a hand or any other form of greeting.

“I often wonder that myself,” he said, “since I spend all my time in the saddle, but the horse’s name is Rarity.”


“Yes,” he stated.

“You’re wearing a baseball cap.”

The man glanced briefly to Baylee, who simply smiled and shrugged.

“It gets cold out here.”

Fisher ignored his comment. “Shouldn’t you be wearing a cowboy hat?”

“Do you have one handy?”

Fisher frowned. “No.”

“Then I guess you’re stuck with me wearing the cap.”

He raised an eyebrow and waited for a moment. When Fisher didn’t reply to his retort, he looked toward Baylee again.

“Did you bring any food?” He asked, tossing Fisher a fleeting glance before walking over to Baylee to drape an arm over her shoulder. “I could sure sink my sweet tooth into one of those cinnamon twists thingies, like you’d brought last time. Or maybe one of those calf liver pasties.”

Baylee laughed and Fisher bristled at the familiarity the man was showing her best friend as if the two of them were bossombuddies.

Fisher’s frown and the suspicion in her eyes as she tracked Lark’s every move while he gathered rocks, twigs, and a few bigger pieces of driftwood to build a fire, had Baylee sighing.

Fisher’s first impression of Lark didn’t appear to be favourable and Lark wasn’t doing anything to ingratiate himself to her best friend either.

Baylee sighed again.

So much for her matchmaking abilities. She’d been eager to test out her theory that mankind, if allowed to choose their own mate, with an added spark of attraction, would start reproducing again.

From Fisher’s hostile attitude and Lark’s indifference, it didn't’t look like her two friends were going to participate in the procreation ritual anytime soon.

Oh, well, there was always…

“Bay says you’re some kind of translator.”

Lark didn't so much as pause as he cleared a small area of dried brush and began arranging the rocks he’d gathered into a circle.

“That's one way of putting it.”

“So you do translate for this Dewey thing?”

Baylee saw Lark clench his jaw. He kept his head down and his hands busy. His voice was low and measured when he finally spoke. “Dewey is not a ‘thing’.”

The underlined anger in his tone was unmistakable.

“Lark,” Baylee began softly, “she doesn't understand. I never told her….”

Lark cocked his head so that he could stare at Baylee. “That was not wise.”

Baylee ducked her head and murmured. “I was afraid that if I told her she wouldn't come.”

Baylee’s confession had Lark looking toward Fisher. It was hard to miss the crestfallen expression on her friend's features.

“You underestimate your friend.”

Fisher pressed her lips together and rose.

Lark watched as the young woman turned her back on the two of them and headed back down to the beach. Lark resumed his task.

“Shouldn't you go after her?”

“To what end?

Baylee shrugged.

“If you want me to try and make her feel better, I cannot. Your friend has every right to not trust me.”

“But you’re a good man, Lark.”

“In your estimation, not hers.”

Lark crumpled some weathered paper he’d found amongst the debris littering the area and positioned several twigs around the crumpled mass.

©Human in Inhuman Worlds by Janet Merritt