Skull Practice

sketch 91

I’m practicing bones again, because they’re good for me, etcetera.

Here’s what happens to Diana next:


The Continuation of Stuart’s Story

“I’d been doing my second set and I just—well, I vanished,” Stuart said, holding onto Diana’s hand while they walked without making any attempt to pull her closer or squeeze at her fingers.

He looked, she thought, both melancholy and cautious, though pleased at the fact that they were still touching.

“I wasn’t anywhere for a little while. I mean, it was as if I was in a kind of blank white place, but it wasn’t even white. There just—I don’t know. It wasn’t anything. It’s hard to describe. I wasn’t standing on anything that I could feel, but I also wasn’t floating. I couldn’t figure it out, and after about half a day, maybe, everything around me changed into a sort of conference chamber on an alien ship. Before that I was sure I’d had a heart attack or something. I thought I’d died, and the empty place was some kind of afterlife, but then I got pulled into a weird meeting room, and there were a couple of those aliens there, and they started asking me questions,” Stuart said, glancing at Diana to gauge her reaction so far.

Diana did a very good job looking neutral and as if she didn’t mind one way or another if Stuart kept going. He stifled a sigh.

“One of them was more in charge, I’m pretty sure, and he kept saying things to the other one, and then the other one would say things to me, like he was a translator. They wanted to know about what families were like, and how my parents lived. They didn’t seem to realize that I wasn’t grown up all the way,” Stuart said.

Diana nodded, for she’d gotten this impression from the aliens herself.

“They wanted to know how many children I had so far, and how I felt about my partner. Like, a wife, I guess, or something like that. They thought I’d already be matched up with someone, and, um, when they kept pressing me to explain about my partner, I just talked about you. I said that you were my soul mate, basically, and that we hadn’t had any kids yet because—well, I told them that you were confused and scared because of how screwed up your family was, and that I had to steal you away and make things right,” Stuart said.

Diana, at this point, was startled out of her neutrality.

“Excuse me? I was confused and scared because of what now?” Diana asked.

“Well, it was a lie, but they bought it, and I’m telling you what happened. I mean, you wanted to know,” Stuart said, looking mildly uncomfortable.

“Hm,” Diana said, crimping her mouth with a strong measure of irritation.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current novel, the group is having a debriefing in the cockpit.