(The story so far resides here: ofourmaker.com/2023/10/17/adolphus-search-and-rescue )
(This point has some disturbing subject matter.)
There was a silence as the humans considered the import of this statement. Gibbsen appreciated when humans stopped talking to think – one reason he liked Gareth particularly. This new girl was making a good impression on him as well.
Raleigh opened his mouth to say something to the girl, and stopped, clearly because he did not know her name, which he then asked.
“Uklag,” she said, then burst into a laugh. “A funny name!”
So, thought Gibbsen, her gluckast name sounded funny to her human ears. Another good sign. Gareth spoke after her laugh:
“She will be given a new name,” he said.
She looked up at him with eyes full of a curious amount of joy.
“I will be named?”
“Until then,” said Raleigh, “we can of course dispense with an uncouth name which really refers to something you aren’t anymore. Until a proper name has been settled, what should we call you?”
She seemed too absorbed with the thought of her coming name to give any thoughts on how she should be referred to meanwhile. Dr. Kilver made the decision for them:
“We’ll call her ‘Number One’, because she’s the first gluckast-turned-human that we’ve found, perhaps the first to ever be.”
“Yes,” said Raleigh, “that’s the question. Number One, do you know when it was that you caught this disease?”
Number One gazed thoughtfully at the ceiling (which was covered in racks and storage compartments, in some of which shadows moved).
“When I ate the little black-hair girl. We ate her brother, and, because I was not full, Father said I could eat her. She was crying, but she did not yell like her bigger brother. She was talking, and I remember it very hard what she talked. She said, ‘Make me a poison that will completely destroy all of them.’ And then she did not yell while I ate her.”
The girl seemed too absorbed in remembering to notice the look of horror and doubt on Raleigh’s face at her casual tone, as if she was recounting an ordinary meal. A question had entered the room again: was she human in frame only, and a gluckast still in spirit?
Abruptly, she vomited the water she had drunk onto her knees. Then her face was pulled into a tight mask, and she sobbed heavily. It seemed that, like even her own name had startled her by sounding different to her, she had not hitherto remembered any such horror with her now human mind, and it had unexpectedly overwhelmed her.
She slid from the divan to crouch instead on the floor, and twisted herself to hide her face from them on her arm as she cried with all her small strength and voice, and all her flesh shivered. Her father’s claw she held no longer like it was a doll, but like a toy she clung to because she had forgotten about it. Gareth did not move, and did not let go of her hand.
To be continued.
#DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/10/22