Blind to the Obvious

I’m having too much fun writing about Trodlar and Shanmias.  I love the way they interact.  This story was inspired by a phrase prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth: the public will believe anything.

“How can they not notice?” Jennifer said, as they walked among the costumed crowd.  When Trey shrugged, she scowled.  “You’ve got three eyes, Trey.  No one’s even… bothered by the third eye in your forehead.”

“They believe that it’s part of a costume,” Trey said, shrugging.  He grinned and waved at a young woman.  “I like your tail,” he said.

“Thanks,” she said, shaking her backside to make the tail sway.  “Your eye is great!”  Then, she meandered away from them.

Trey nodded after her.  “Thank you,” he said, all three of his eyes squeezing closed in pleasure.  Then, he looked at Jennifer.  “It’s easy for them to see what they want.  As a whole, people will believe nearly anything, given an explanation they can comprehend.”

“It’s Halloween, so that must be a costume,” Jennifer said, frowning.  “Even though it blinks and tracks them as they walk by you?”

Shrugging again, Trey said, “Easier to believe that than for them to believe that I’m a real alien.  Right?”

“Works to our advantage, anyway,” Shawn said, scowling.  He glanced at Trey.  “Do you sense anything?”

Nodding, Trey pointed off to the left.  “This way,” he said.

What’s the Purpose?

This little scene was inspired by both a picture from the WriYe DreamWidth and my own experience with something called a “Pumpkin Walk”.

**

46-84f0f70264Jennifer wasn’t sure why she’d invited Trey and Shawn with her to see the carved pumpkins.  However, now that they were there, she was glad she’d done it.

“Some of them look… happy,” Trey said.  He waved a particularly manic looking pumpkin and said, “Is that a spider in its eye?”

“I can’t tell,” Jennifer admitted, shrugging.  She pointed to another.  “That’s a witch flying across the moon.  Really well done, too!”

“What’s the point in carving faces into pumpkins?” Shawn asked, sounding confused and annoyed.  “What is this… Halloween?”

“It’s just for fun at this point,” Jennifer said, waving his words away.  She frowned at Shawn when he made a scoffing sound.  “Don’t your people do anything just for fun?”

“No,” Shawn said, his voice soft.

Trey chuckled and nodded.  “Yes, we do,” he said, poking his companion in the arm.  “The light shows.”

“That’s exercising our – our gifts,” Shawn said, shaking his head quickly.

Trey chuckled.  “Right,” he said.  Then, he looked at Jennifer and shook his head.  “Mostly, though, it’s just for fun.”

“Well, the pumpkin carving gets sort of competitive,” Jennifer said, shrugging.  “People try to outdo each other – carve more and more intricate designs.”

“That I can understand,” Shawn said.  He waved at a particularly intricate pumpkin and said, “This one exceeds the others by far.  I would say that its carver won.”

“That’s the spirit,” Jennifer said, as she moved ahead.  Pointing further out, she said, “What about that one?”  Soon, it seemed that both of her new friends were enjoying themselves and really, wasn’t that the whole point?

One Step Behind

This little scene was inspired by the phrase prompt, “I have seen the future.” from the WriYe DreamWidth.

**

Jennifer settled down at the table with a cup of coffee.  Her two strange guests had tea instead.  Shawn was convinced that coffee couldn’t possibly be good for them.  Jennifer had to wonder if tea was any better.  “So,” she said, looking from one to the other, “Shawn’s an investigator.  That explains why they sent him.  Why send you with him?”

“Well,” Trey said, flushing.  He glanced over at Shawn and then turned back to Jennifer with a shrug.  “I have some kind of connection with the person we’re pursuing.”

“He sees the killer in his dreams,” Shawn said, his voice faint.  When Trey winced, he added, “Actually, he sees the attacks – but through the killer’s eyes.”

“You saw him attack me?” Jennifer said, her eyes going wide.  She leaned closer to him and shook her head.  “I don’t remember the attack…”

“…which isn’t uncommon with head injuries such as you suffered.”

Nodding, Jennifer said, “If you saw it happen…” She stopped when Shawn shook his head quickly.

“No good,” the taciturn man murmured.

“The problem is… I see if through his eyes, so I don’t know what he looks like,” Trey said, shrugging.  He sipped his tea and then sighed.  “It’s also… silent, so I don’t know why you let him near you, so that he could shove you down the stairs.  I just saw it before it happened, so we were on our way here.”

“This is the first time we’re reached a scene where the victim was still alive, though,” Shawn added.  “The only reason we could this time was that I recognized the place he was describing.”  In a softer voice, he added, “I’ve been here before.”

“Here… as in Earth?” Jennifer said, blinking.

Shawn grimaced and shook his head.  “Here… as in this town – this house,” he said.  In a voice that was so soft Jennifer could barely make out the words, he added, “I had a human wife, once… a long time ago.  She died.”

“I’m sorry,” Jennifer said, her voice soft.  She chewed at her lip.  The house where she currently lived had been in her family for a long time.  She’d grown up there, as had her father.  It made her wonder just how old Shawn was and… could she possibly be related to him?  Was something like that even possible?  Shaking the thought away, she said, “So… you see the future, but not far enough ahead to do much good.”

“Not so much,” Trey said, nodding.  “We’re always just one step behind the man we’re pursuing.”  In a faint voice, he added, “It’s been… frustrating.”

“To say the least,” Shawn grumbled.

Swirling Colors

This story was inspired by a picture prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth and the idea that alien beings are… well, alien in appearance.

**

53-dd9beb8c36“I have to ask,” Jennifer said, her voice soft.  She glanced over at Shawn and then back at Trey.  “You look like normal people.  I mean… you look human.”

“We’re using these forms for the sake of convenience,” Trey said, nodding.  He tilted his head and glanced over at mirror.  “I don’t know how you can stand such… boring forms, though.”

Jennifer blinked and then shook her head.  “I guess it’s what we’re used to,” she said, shrugging.  “I’ve never thought of my appearance as boring and… I think you both are fairly handsome.”

“Humans find beauty in symmetry,” Trey said, shrugging.  He grinned at her and then cast a quick glance at Shawn before leaning in close to whisper, “Did you want to see what I really look like, Jennifer?”

A sly smile split Jennifer’s features and she nodded.  They were from another world, so she knew they would be… well, alien.  However, she didn’t really know what to expect.  She watched eagerly as Trey closed his eyes and mist swirled around him.  When it cleared, her eyes widened and she knew why he’d called the human form boring.  All that her mind could hold onto was the swirling colors around Trey’s head.  Her mind wanted to call it hair, but that didn’t seem quite accurate.  A moment later, Trey stood before her in his human form again.

Nodding, Jennifer said, “I can see why you took our form for… convenience.  It might get messy if you walked around here looking like that.”

“Messy?” Shawn said, scowling.  “How would it get messy?”

Jennifer shook her head.  “My mind is blown,” she replied shaking her head.  Standing, she headed for the kitchen.  “I need some coffee.”

I Don’t Want to Hear it

This little scene was inspired by a phrase prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth: Do not speak of your happiness.

It outlines how Jennifer meets the two aliens…

**

“Dead?” Shanmias asked, not bothering to hide his dismay at coming to yet another scene too late to be of any help.

Biting his lip, Trodlar reached out and touched the too-still form.  “Not yet,” he said, his eyes widening.  He grinned brightly as he looked up at his partner.  “She’s alive, Shan!”

“Great,” Shanmias said, crossing his arms over his chest.  “Do your thing, so she stays that way?”

Nodding briskly, Trodlar settled the girl on her back, being careful not to jar her in any way.  Their research showed that these people were delicate where their nerves were concerned.  If one was cut or torn, there was little chance of repairing it.

Once he had her laid out properly, Trodler drew his medical device out of his jacket and ran the attachment above her from head to toe.  After a moment, her eyes fluttered and opened.  Trodler grinned at her.  “Hello, human girl,” he said.

“Um… hello?” the girl said, blinking.

Chuckling softly, Trodlar helped her to a seated position.  “You had a very nasty fall, but you’re better now,” he explained.  “I’m Trodlar Brall.  My companion is Commander Shanmias Nook.”

“Jennifer Williams,” she said, looking from one to the other and back.  Grimacing, she shook her head.  “You… aren’t from around here.  Are you?”

Trodlar blinked.  “Why do you say that?” he asked, tilting his head to one side.

Jennifer moved shakily to her feet and looked from Shanmias to Trodlar again.  “Strange names… stranger clothes and… um, you’ve got tails,” she said.  “People don’t have tails.”

“No wonder you fell down the stairs,” Shanmias quipped.

Both Jennifer and Trodlar stared at him for a moment.  Then, Jennifer said, “I guess I’m lucky that you showed up when you did otherwise, who knows what might have happened to me.”

“We don’t… speak of things like that,” Trodlar said.  When Jennifer frowned in confusion, he added, “Speaking of things that make us happy… is bad luck.”

Jennifer looked thoughtful for a moment and then nodded.  “I’ll keep that in mind,” she said, her voice soft.

Just a Splash of Ink

This little scene was inspired by the last picture post from the month of September from over at the WriYe DreamWidth.  I’ve finally got names for all my new characters, so I’m going to put them here and add them to the other posts, as well.

**

52-7f78e075baJennifer heard a snap and looked up from the vegetables that she was chopping.  One of her house guests had snapped a pen in two.  She watched as Trey physically recoiled from the spilled ink.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, tilting her head to one side.  She smiled and added, “Worried about getting it on your nice clean uniform?”

Trey’s brows furrowed and he looked down at his uniform.  The tunic was already stained with all manner of things.  Turning back to her, he smiled.  “You were teasing?” he said, tilting his head to one side.

“Yeah,” Jennifer said, nodding.  She grabbed a sponge from the sink and wet it down.  Then, she blotted at the ink, until she had most of it up.  She rinsed the sponge and returned to wipe down the table.  “It’s just ink, Trey.  It won’t hurt you.”

“Trodlar,” Shawn said, his voice low.  When both of them frowned at him, he rolled his eyes.  “His name is Trodlar and mine is Shanmias, not that ridiculous thing you keep calling me, girl.”

“My name’s Jennifer,” she said, shrugging.  “Stop calling me ‘girl’ and I’ll consider calling you by your proper name.”

“I don’t mind that you call me Trey,” the other replied, his voice faint.  His brows furrowed.  “Ink?  It looks like… our blood is like that.”

“Our blood is red,” Jennifer said, shaking her head firmly.  “This is just… ink.  We use it to write.  You broke the pen, Trey.  That’s going to make the ink come out.”

“I’ll be more careful with your… pens,” Trey said, giving her a wry smile.  “Breaking them is disconcerting.”

“Maybe you could write with a different color,” Jennifer said, chuckling.  “Would blue be better?  I’ve also got green.”  She chuckled when Trey’s eyes widened in excitement.  At least one of them was easy to please.

Nothing is Certain

The same group as before… obviously, they are trying to stop a killer.  I really wish they’d tell me who they are.  This was inspired by a word prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth: Except death and taxes.

**

His brows furrowed in concern as he looked at the pale, slender legs that rested on the dirt and leaves under the structure.  It was too rough to be called a shelter.  It certainly didn’t provide any protection for its sole occupant.

“She’s dead,” his companion said, his voice strained, “Isn’t she?”

Grimacing, he stepped around the smaller man and crouched to peer into the structure at the woman.  Nodding, he said, “Yup, dead as nails.”

The woman with them heaved a sigh.  “We’ll catch him one day, right?” she said, turning to him for reassurance.

He grimaced, wishing that he could so easily give her what she wanted – what they all needed.  “We’ll try,” he said, shrugging.  The only thing that he could say for certain was that, if they failed, he would kill again.

By a Moonlit Sea

This little story is set in the same universe as before.  This is the healer and the woman.  She’s obviously from earth.  I know her companions aren’t.  This was inspired by a picture prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth.

**

51-607e676289They sat together on the shore staring up at the moon.  It was a quiet, peaceful night, which was a rare pleasure.  The moon seemed unreal, hidden as it was behind the clouds.  There weren’t even any stars in the sky, just the impossibly large moon.

Her brows furrowed as she noticed that she could see seas and landmasses on the surface of the moon.  Were they like the ones on the moon back home?  Somehow, these seem more… real.  Glancing at her companion, she said, “It’s a moon, right?”

“Well,” he said, frowning, “in a way, both it and us are moons.  We orbit around a common point – an anomaly.”

“It’s beautiful,” she murmured, resting her head on his shoulder.  He made a soft sound of agreement and wrapped an arm around her shoulder.  She smiled faintly as she set her hand on his chest.

The Truth

This story is set in the same universe as the previous one.  (These characters still haven’t told me their names).  The word prompt came from the WriYe DreamWidth: Truth is the only safe ground to stand upon.

**

He could feel them watching him, even though he couldn’t see them.  A shudder shook him and he bit his lip.  He wanted to pretend that it was the cold that made him shiver.  Dressed as he was, the lie would be an easy one to believe.  However, it was a lie and the watchers would know that.

He strained at the bindings on his wrists and squinted to the darkness.  “You’ve got me,” he said, his voice strained.  He let his eyes closed and rested his head on his arms.  In a soft voice, he spoke the truth.  “I’m scared,” he said.

It was as if a switch had been thrown.  The room brightened and he could hear voices – familiar voices.  They were calling to him.  His friends were searching for him.  Shivering again, half-expecting someone to try to silence him, he called, “I’m in here!”

A familiar face appeared in the doorway on the far side of the room.  She smiled faintly.  “We didn’t think we’d find you,” she said, rushing to his side.  She cut the bindings on his wrists and then wrapped a cloak around his shoulders.

He let himself relax against her as they checked him over.  “I’m not hurt,” he said, his voice soft.  “I was just… badly shaken.”

“Not like you to admit to something like that,” the healer said, frowning.

A wry chuckle shook him and he sighed.  “Sometimes… the truth is all you’ve got.”

The Earth From….

I don’t know who these characters are.  They won’t tell me. ^_^  Anyway, this scene was inspired by a picture prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth.

**

50-ae4ea605ebIt was strange, looking down at the world from so far away.  He’d heard it said that such a view reminded one of a marble, but he’d never imagined that might be the truth.  Now, though… yes, it looked very much like a marble.

However, it wasn’t a marble on inky blackness.  There were stars!  Millions of stars surrounded the marble-like world.  Not only that, but the world itself seemed to glow with a faint light.

“It’s rather beautiful,” he murmured, “isn’t it?”

His companion frowned thoughtfully.  “From far away, anything can seem beautiful, I suppose,” he said.  “It’s only when you get close to something that you see the flaws – the ugliness that’s always there.”

He turned away from the view to stare at his partner.  “Flaws can be beautiful too,” he murmured, “in their own way.”  Then, before his partner could reply, he turned and walked away.  He’d had enough of such thoughts for one day.