(The story so far resides here: ofourmaker.com/2023/10/17/adolphus-search-and-rescue )
Doubt was gone from Raleigh’s face, and he leaned awkwardly against the table, his chin on his chest. The crushed sound of the girl’s voice was certain to break the humans’ hearts. Mundbern’s eyes were glassy, and he left the room, whether to hide his reaction, or out of politeness, having suddenly become the spectator of a pain clearly private in its depth. Raleigh looked up, and followed him out.
Dr. Kilver waited quietly, with animal-like patience, until the throbs of Number One’s tears were slower and calmer. Then he stepped to a small wire grid track which ran at eye-level along the wall. At the end of this track was a creature with greenish brown fur, a little larger than a human’s hand, hanging motionlessly from the underside of the grid with all four feet like a sloth. Dr. Kilver spoke to it,
“Nurse Kley, please come to my office.”
The creature, called a parroter, darted along the underside of the track speedily as a fly, and popped through a flap door in the wall. The parroter was not itself Nurse Kley, but would find her and imitate the words Dr. Kilver had said.
The doctor then came to the bent and twisted heap of the desolate girl, sat down with one knee on the floor, and gently replaced the gluckast claw in Number One’s hand with a handkerchief.
“This is for you to wipe your face,” he told her. She revealed herself, reddened and smeared, to glance at the cloth curiously, then wiped her face much as a small boy would. The doctor rose and took her elbow; Gareth stood also, and together they helped Number One up to her hampered approximation of verticality. Her stoop at the moment could have been to all appearances wholly from grave exhaustion. After her tears, she looked much more the woman that she was, rather than the child she seemed at times by her newness to being a human.
“Come, we’ll bring you to a room you can have.” said Dr. Kilver. “It’s high time you were clothed in human fashion.”
Gibbsen nodded. And she needed a wash – he knew there were some smells even humans could detect.
Nurse Kley met them as they left, to whom Dr. Kilver explained briefly and discretely. Gareth gave Number One’s hand to the nurse at the door of her room. Then he went to a bench in the receiving bay, where he folded his arms and bowed his hooded head to sleep. Gibbsen only slept with half his brain at a time, as with dolphins, so he sent the right half to sleep and went to finish his Tough Krunchies.
Hours later, in the darkest hour before dawn, a banshee screamed again.
To be continued.
#DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/10/24