The Rabbit Who Ate the Moon : Beginning Snippit

The first day he wakes up enough to focus on something other than the pain, he realizes the First has bound him to a raft. The river is wide and gentle, and except for the occasional drift as a pod member pushes by, it feels almost like flying. For a long while he simply watches as they float downriver.

The shores are lined with flowering plants, and the pod spends almost as much time tending their crops as they do eating. The First is right in among them, helping to weed and prune the flora. She’s got her fins half undone so that her fingers are free, and he watches the faux-leather ripple with the breeze.

She looks out of place, a thin sylvan form among the wide mounds of shell, but at the same time she fits and it makes his hind-brain stutter as it tries to classify the difference. He’s heard the rumors about the Firsts, no pilot in the diplomatic corps hasn’t, and he’d never been this close before. He’s ferried them home and back, but those Firsts stayed in their cabins, self-segregating and hostile. The polite called them feral and broken, the others called them inhuman and insane.

And it’s true, in parts, the Firsts are chosen for their ability to forget their humanity, a mental quirk that separates the concept of self from the concept of form. This First most likely thinks of herself a nothing more than another pod member, and he wonders why she saved him.

She reappears, as the sun starts on the far side of noon, with an armful of fruits and what look like vegetables. He smiles when she looks over and she starts, nearly dropping her load. There’s a stuttering grunt and the raft bobs angrily as she stirs the water. An echoing grunt comes from one of the nearby pod, but after a moment the turtle turns away. Rafiq holds very still, the smile gone, and tries to will his heart back into rhythm.

The First stares at him for a moment, then sighs and begins unloading her bounty.

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. meggins

    First go native with a vengeance.

    For me, the real question is what keeps them sending back transmissions (or maybe that does cease after a time?). That relates to Rafiq’s wondering why she saved him.

    1. Martha Bechtel

      Rafiq’s view is also an unreliable narrator. What he knows about Firsts is what pilots know, which isn’t much more than rumors right now.

      The Firsts are still new, and even the psychologists aren’t really sure how best to work with them. (I have a rough of that today that I’m going to post at lunch. Probably another bit that won’t make it in the actual story. ^_~;;) So what he sees, or thinks he sees, isn’t actually what’s going on. *grin*

      She remembers why she’s there and what she’s supposed to be doing. She’s just forgetting how to communicate/interact. So she knows what Rafiq is and how to tend to him, although she sees him as ‘what I used to be’ and not ‘what I am’.

      And there is so much good chewy story bits here! (Hence the Deep Thought yesterday ^_~ *grin*)

      Remind me I’m not writing a book, eh? ^_~;;;

      1. meggins

        Rafiq’s view is also an unreliable narrator.

        Ah, I hadn’t really considered that.

        Remind me I’m not writing a book, eh?

        heh heh heh I was going to say that maybe you are, but since this post you’ve come up with the “series of stories” idea, and I think that might just be it. As you say, there’s so much to chew on here it’d be a shame not to use it.

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