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The language of my people. Unique. Strange. Forbidden.
We are known as the Capella people. When the humans figured that we were not like them, that we were essentially strangers to their world, we were exiled. We’ve learnt the English language that most of the civilised world seems to be able to speak, allowing us to go undisturbed for several millennia. However, once we had to use our voices to save the human race, we were rejected. The humans feared us, treating us with the only way they knew how to cope. Violence.
My ears throbbed as the sounds of gunshots, explosions and screams permeated the air. The fear coursing through my body urged me to keep moving, to get away from the pain that would surely strike me if I didn’t leave. I gasped for air, tripping and falling through the thick overgrowth. My chest contracted as the air that I pulled into my body was the polluted smoke that was created from the guns and shells used.
When an explosion sounded closer behind me, I renewed the vigour of my struggles, my only thought to survive.
The next time I tripped, my ankle caught on a tree root that was hidden by the low lying shrubs, dotting the rough land randomly, causing my arms to flail as I felt my body being dragged towards the hard, unforgiving earth. I cried out in pain as my ankle twisted sideways and I felt a resounding crack throughout my body. Tears flooded to my eyes and fell, creating thin streaks as they cleaned away the dirt on my face. My hands reached of their own accord down to my ankle, holding it. It took moments for me to realise that the howls of pain were my own.
My voice cut off on a strangled sob as I looked around and saw fallen bodies strewn over the ground. Blackened stumps seem to rise out of the earth and smoke drifted through the small clearing I found myself in. My heart skipped several beats when I took in the blank stares of those fallen, faces covered in blood, bodies strewn over the ground at odd angles that were not at all natural. Tears began to fall again as I was lost in thought.
This wasn’t what I thought would happen. This isn’t what I wanted to happen. We were told that we had to join this war, to protect our families, our homes, and our planet. What we didn’t count on was that it was a trap. We were used as pawns in some power hungry scheme created by those we were taught to trust from a very young age. When we were told that everything we had ever known was in danger, what could we do? I could not live with the thought that I could be part of the reason that everything I loved would die. When the time came to fight though, nothing made sense. The creatures we were to kill on sight looked to be human, the only difference being their eyes. We were told they were dangerous, unfeeling and sadistic, taking pleasure from other’s pain.
What we found was a village of some sort, seemingly calm. That is, until we infiltrated the quiet paradise. We didn’t have time to appreciate the surrounding wildlife. We got our orders to kill on sight, and we followed them blindly, still willing to trust our superiors.
I sobbed harder when I remembered one specific scene, which started to replay in my mind.
“Take her. Run.” The hushed yet urgent words came from behind a thin wall made from smooth tree bark. I slunk towards the edge of the wall, where I could hear the voices more clearly. I stole a glance past the wall and froze as an irrational fear, that I imagined a parent would feel for their child, took hold somewhere deep inside me. An older man, possibly within the thirty age range, had his arms around what seemed to be his wife and daughter. They were beautiful – not only their physical appearance, but the love that was like a substantial presence amongst them. My heart ached for them. I turned away and walked out. I didn’t want to watch this; I didn’t want to be here.
A sound brought me out of my reverie. I turned my head slowly, running the possibilities of what could happen through my mind.
The world seemed to freeze as I locked my eyes on a woman, standing next to one of the blackened stumps. There was a look of absolute grief on her face as she took in her surroundings – she hadn’t noticed me yet. I openly admired her features; she was petite, with rich brown hair that flowed in waves down her back. Her body shook with silent sobs, and I couldn’t keep my eyes away.
A low sound began at the periphery of my hearing and gradually got louder. A voice. More beautiful than any I’ve heard, surged throughout the space and broke like waves over my ears. I didn’t dare to move, or even breathe. It was as if I was caught in some trance like state. The sound swelled and floated, creating different notes and different emotions within me. When the notes seemed to reach a climax, I gasped, shocked at the bolt of electricity that seemed to run through the length of my body. I closed my eyes and allowed the pleasant shock to overwhelm my body, mind and soul.
Opening my eyes once again, I was amazed, and more than a little bit wary, to find that the earth within the clearing started to faintly glow with some inner luminescence. I gasped and watched as the burnt, dead layer of grass and foliage seemed to dissolve, and the bodies strewn over the ground seemed to be absorbed into the ground, as if the earth were made of sponge. The grass and trees started to regrow, bursts of light coming through each blade of grass, each leaf of the trees.
I looked up to the woman and saw that her eyes were locked on mine as she continued to sing. When she started slowly walking towards me, her movements confident and elegant, it seemed natural. Not even when she crouched down next to me and laid her hands upon my ankle did I feel fear. A slow warmth engulfed my foot and started to spread upwards through my body, calming my erratic thoughts and healing my sprained ankle. I looked directly into her eyes and realised with a muted shock that her eyes were clear. No colour at all. My feelings didn’t make sense – I should be scared senseless, quaking in fear. And yet, I had a feeling that I could trust this nameless woman.
You're use of the word "Capella" to refer to both a star (implying extraterrestrial origins of the characters) and to refer to a singing group "Cappella" which ties into the theme of voices is brilliant.
Really fantastic pun there, took me a moment to get it though :P
This doesn't look like it should end yet though, it looks to me like you could make a lot more out of this.
I have to Dito (agree) what Breece6 said.
I have to thank you ofr replying. I would love to just go crazy, but unfortunately I'm trying to keep it within a certain word limit. :( But thanks anyways :)