An introspection from David.
Time: The beginning of FIRE IN THE WOODS
Fire in the Woods is told completely from Jess’s point of view. Since a lot of eyebrows have risen over David, I thought it would be fun so show a scene from his perspective. So here we go! This is the scene where Jess and David meet for the first time.
The leaves crunched as I slipped to the forest floor. A strange sensation I would have liked to ponder, if I hadn’t just crash-landed on a hostile, alien world.
An airship howled overhead, but they didn’t see me. I’d won a few more minutes to rest. Leaning back, I ran my fingers along my sore arm. The blue markings on my lavender skin caught the light from the planet’s sun. I couldn’t see anything wrong, but I wasn’t a doctor. I wasn’t much of anything except lost, injured, and alone.
Something shifted the leaves in the distance.
Footsteps, coming closer. A native. I jumped to my feet and ran two steps, but a searing pain in my shoulder slapped me back to the forest floor.
I had no choice. I had to protect myself. I closed my eyes and reached out to the approaching being. A girl. Young.
What lousy luck. I’d never done well with girls on my own planet, let alone a strange, aggressive race. Still, I touched the recesses of her mind.
Her language: simple, easy to reconstruct. I pulled the information from her thoughts.
The footsteps stopped only inches from me and a scream echoed through the trees. The girl dropped to her knees behind the bushes, holding her head.
Had I done that to her? No matter. I needed to hide. I reached further within, sorting her cognizance until an image formed. She howled as I extracted her thoughts, and started my exteriation.
Pain shot through me: a burning, a piercing beyond what I imagined the process would inflict. I grabbed my head, holding myself together as my mind threatened to explode.
I screamed, and the girl leaned over the branches. Syllables formed on her lips, but I couldn’t decipher them yet. I repeated the words she used as she screamed, hoping they would be enough to hold her back before…
The pain ceased, as if I’d washed it away will cool running water. My hands, no longer lavender, but a strange, pinkish tan. I was no longer Erescopian. At least on the outside.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
The words, so odd sounding, and still completely undiscernible.
Another aircraft flew overhead. But they wouldn’t see me. They weren’t looking for a native.
The girl reached for me. “Are you hurt?”
I backed away. Her form, so strange—with long, flowing strands cascading down the sides of her face. I reached for my ear and found similar, shorter strands. How odd I must have looked.
“What’s your name?” Her words scrawled through my mind as I translated.
“Your name?” I repeated, stalling as I tried to find an answer.
“Yeah, you know. Your name.” She pointed to her chest. “I’m Jess. And you are?”
I sorted through her thoughts, and grasped a name appropriate for her world. “David?”
“Are you asking me or telling me?”
I smiled, relishing in the genuine, friendly nature of this creature. Odd, since this race had been deemed incapable of socialization or growth.
There must have been a mistake. But if there had been, it was a terrible one.
FIRE IN THE WOODS is a YA scifi romance, available wherever books are sold.