Here’s a bit from “Leaving the Turtle,” one of the stories from my science fiction collection, OTHER EARTH, OTHER STARS.
In this, the young woman detailed to show the visiting Earthlings around has to negotiate the delicate business of frightening the natives enough to keep them at bay, but not enough to make them feel safer just killing everybody.
Relatives From Space
excerpt from OTHER EARTH, OTHER STARS
by Marian Allen
“Something came softly from the sky,” one of them, whose nose was clay-whitened, said. ” None of you were hurt, we hope?”
“Some of our relatives from the stars have come to visit, as we always said they would.”
The natives made furtive hand-signals, under the impression I hadn’t figured out their “secret” language. One of them wanted to run for reinforcements and one wanted to kill us immediately. I needed to stop this sort of thing before it got started. “There are many of them,” I said. “They live in a giant hut high above the trees and only sent a few in a little hut down here . They have great magic, and the ones in the hut above are watching us now.”
The natives ducked and glared at the sky, easing back under the edge of the canopy. “Will they take our planet back to Earth?” White-nose asked.
“. . .No,” I said . No wonder they wanted to kill us. “They will leave our planet where it is.”
“Will they take you back to Earth?”
Oh, don’t you hope so? “No. They will leave us where we are, too.” . . .At least, I assumed they would. I suddenly flamed with curiosity to see Earth, or at least to see something besides the land within and close to our fortifications, large as that was.
The natives blended into the shadows again and appeared to be gone.
“Some of them are watching us,” I said, “and some have gone back to tell their head man about you.”
“They appeared to be male,” said Barbara, who had transmitted everything. “Are they?”
“Those were,” I said . “They have males and people, but the males have all of the power. They say that’s why–”
After a moment, Chandra asked, “That’s why what?”
“There is the Bowl,” I said.
You can buy OTHER EARTH, OTHER STARS for your very very own!
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A relative from far away comes to visit.