Stink Bug – Chapter 35

V’x tucked her beak under her wing and napped beside my bed. I let my arm hang off the bed and stroked her feathers while she slept. I wasn’t sure which of us was more grateful that she was no longer in the cage. She shifted, pressing up against my hand and trilling lightly. “It’s all right Vix,” I whispered.

It seemed only moments later when the door opened again and the greys came in. One touched me, and I immediately recognized that this was the one who’d talked to V’x.

‘We have something for her,’ said the grey. ‘We hope this is comfortable.’

I sat up slightly to examine the large, donut shaped bed they’d brought in for V’x to rest in. “She’ll love it,” I said.

‘It is such a strain for us to communicate,’ said the grey. ‘Perhaps you can explain what this is?’

I nodded. “Vix,” I said. “Vix, wake up.”

V’x stirred and blinked up at me. “What is it?”

“They’ve brought you a bed. I think you’ll like it.”

V’x stood, peering over my bed at the padded circle the greys were holding for her. I could feel the greys tense at the freedom V’x now possessed.

“They’d tell you directly, but we know it’s hard.”

“Yes, it is,” said V’x. “It hurts.”

‘Where should we put this bed for her?’ asked the grey.

“Where do you want it?” I said.

V’x stepped back. “Right here. Next to you.” The greys quickly set it down and fled back. V’x stepped into the bed and sat. “It is comfortable. It feels good.”

I looked at the grey. “She likes it. Thank you.”

For a moment, I thought I saw a smile on the grey’s face. ‘We are glad. I will speak with her again soon. For now, we must both rest well. I fear I have things to tell that will hurt.’ Flashes of mangled and injured Vrr’ak’l crossed my mind. ‘She must know.’

“We’ll rest well then,” I said. “We have a lot to work through.”

The greys vanished, leaving V’x and I alone to sleep.

“What now?” warbled V’x.

“I don’t know. But I don’t think the worst is behind us.”

V’x peeked up at me. “No?”

“I’m worried,” I muttered, laying back and closing my eyes. “It won’t be easy, but there’s no other path.”

“I’m glad you’re here,” V’x whispered.

“I’m glad we’re together.”

V’x tucked her beak under her wing again. Soon enough, we were both asleep.

I awoke to V’x shaking me. “Wake up!” she trilled nervously.

The greys were in the room again, surrounding us both.

‘I wish to show her something.’ The friendly grey stood close to us. ‘I have questions.’

“Okay,” I said.

‘She will not like it. I know we have made mistakes.’

“Okay.”

‘Please come with us.’

“Okay. How?”

The grey stepped aside to reveal a wheelchair.

“Ah. Clever.”

I was loaded into the wheelchair. The friendly grey led the way. V’x walked beside me as another grey pushed the chair. I looked up at the grey pushing the chair. It looked back blankly. “Where are we going.”

‘She insists we must show you,’ the grey responded. ‘We do not like this.’

“She’s probably right,” I muttered.

Clouded and angry thoughts passed from the grey to me, with the sense of reluctant agreement. ‘Please do not let your friend hurt us.’

“I’ll try. We’re both upset.”

“What is it? What do they say?” said V’x.

“They’re worried that we’ll get angry about what they’re going to show us.” V’x raised the feathers on her head. “We’ll have to work hard to contain ourselves. I suspect what we’re going to see will be very upsetting.”

We left our room with a small entourage of six greys. I had expected to see more once we left, but the halls appeared empty except for us as we moved along. The greys apparently preferred a simple and plain environment. This was reflected in the brightly lit, sterile hallway that we moved down. It made me nervous. V’x clicked her beak anxiously as we walked. I squeezed her hand.

We walked for nearly ten minutes, not seeing a single other grey. The hallways wound along, sometimes intersecting. Doorways were evident, but all were unmarked. Should V’x and I have been separated from the group, we surely would have been lost. But then abruptly we stopped in front of a door that looked like all the others.

The friendly grey turned and touched me.

‘We must go in,’ she said.

“Okay.”

‘I must talk to her now.’

“Vix?” I said hesitantly. “It.. She.. Needs to talk to you now.”

V’x fluffed. “Must we?”

“I don’t think there’s any choice.”

“It hurts so much.”

“I think you need to talk directly.”

V’x trilled and clicked her beak. After a moment she took a breath and reached out her hand. “Okay. Here goes.”

The grey took V’x’s hand and they each shuddered. After a few moments, their connection seemed to stabilize, though V’x was panting. The grey pulled V’x forward as the door opened. Inside was another brightly lit, plain room.

In a corner was a cage.

And inside that was another Vrr’ak’l.

 

Read Chapter 36 .

Go back to the beginning.

Published by paleololigo

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

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