The rustling of the canopy leaved drifted down to caress antennas and smooth wrinkled frills. First Father shifted the basket on his arm and bent to examine a brown spot on an otherwise unremarkable fruit. The dim light this deep in a garden that was generations older than even the eldest grandmother remembered was hardly enough to give him a clear look so he reached into the basket for his light. He set it to cycle through the spectrum about a hundred nanometers at at time and played it over the fruit. He gave a frustrated click as the light failed to reveal anything definite. He supposed he should contact Second Grandfather if the capricious old one could be contacted. It grew harder with every passing year. First Father set the light back in his basket and was pondering taking the yet, unripe fruit in to his Third Sister. However this strand of thought was sent off in a spiral when the rustling of tiny feat through leaves attracted his attention.
First Daughter and Second Cousin came scrambling along the garden path as fast as they could. First Daughter had her frill out in a very pronounced sign of indignation but her still short antenna were flicking with excitement. Second Cousin let her frill droop around her neck and her antenna were curled with worry. First Father deliberately held back a chitter of amusement as he waited for them to come up to him. They dared under his legs, they were already to big to fit a pair of cousins under there and Second Cousin politely let herself be shoved out and stetted for clinging to one of his hind legs.
“Father!” First Daughter burst out.
“First Father,” Second Cousin corrected her.
First Daughter flicked her antenna at her cousin in a warning gesture but accepted the correction.
“First Father,” she said. “One of the humans is being-”
She paused and carefully worked her mandibles over the long word.
“-inefficient!” she declared with a happy sideways skitter.
First Father really had to struggle to keep the amusement out of his voice, and knew he didn’t quite keep it out of his frill as he replied.
“Well that is very serious,” he said in the gravest tone he could manage with his head angled down at their eager antenna.
First Daughter bobbed up and down in agreement.
“He is just wandering around the outer garden!” she went on. “Just holding a flower in his hand, and it’s all wilted, and it’s getting more wilted, and he might step on somebody-”
First Father was certain she would go on describing the scene until her thorax compressed and he shook out his frill. Both of the little ones leapt away and stared up at him expectantly. He flicked his antenna in a request for them to show him and they skittered off down the path and he followed them, arranging the basket on his arm. They reached the edge of the inner gardens and First Sister excitedly inclined her little antenna to the human on the other side of the vines.
First Father licked his eyes as the facets adjusted to the brilliant light outside of the dense canopy. There was a human out there. A female he thought, as his vision cleared he recognized her. Mary Beth was a botanist who had come to study the interactions of a truly established generational garden in an alien ecosystem. He and his children had gotten quite used to seeing her bustling about the garden preforming her research, usually very efficiently. So First Father understood why First Daughter was discomforted by Mary Beth’s current behavior.
The human held a wilted flowering stalk in one hand and was directing her binocular eyes towards the towering form of one of the native trees that grew outside of the garden. Her arms were held in a nearly Shatar posture; bent at the elbows at nearly right angles. Her whole body twitched and she took three uncertain steps towards the main guest building she was staying in, then she half turned and took five of her lumbering human steps towards the tables First Father’s sisters had laid out for her work, finally she turned back and stepped to her original position and stood swaying with her entire body radiating uncertainty.
“Mary Beth?” First Father called out, feeling quite concerned now.
He was fairly certain that the solar radiation even outside of the garden was neither dense nor intense enough to cause sun stroke in the rugged humans, and her membrane was not radiation flushed, but one had to make sure with these things.
The human started at the sound of his voice and her head snapped around.
“I have a goal!” she declared in reasonable Shatar. “I swear!”
“Of course you do dear,” First Father said soothingly, “do you need me to come out and help you achieve that goal?”
“No, no,” Mary Beth assured him as she turned and now strode confidentially towards the work tables, “I’m good now, the brain just got stuck in neutral a bit. It happens.”
“Should we spy on her?” First Daughter asked, her antenna flicking eagerly.
“That won’t be necessary,” First Father said reaching down to stroke the back of her skull. “You can come help me check the fruit where I was for those odd spots.”
The two disappointed children followed him back to the garden while First Father sent a note to First Mother to research what the human meany by their brain getting stuck in neutral.
Please go and leave a new rating and review on my 2nd book!
Barnes & Noble
Google Play Books
Kobo By Rakuten
What does it mean when your human friend says “Watch This?”? Why does this simple phrase seem to terrify any alien that has first appendage experience with humans? #HFY #HumansAreWeird #HumansAreSpaceOrcs #EarthIsADeathWorld #EarthIsSpaceAustralia
Hey! The books are moving well on Amazon and now have 165 reviews and ratings! If you bought the book and enjoyed it, it would really help me out if you leave a quick star rating on Amazon. A review would be great but just stars would be a huge boost *****!
QUICK NOTE: RE: everyone who asked. The book is avaliable in Amazon regions US-UK-DE-FR-ES-IT-NL-JP-BR-CA-MX-AU-IN. HOWEVER The above link only takes you to the US Amazon site. The one indicated by the .com ending. If it says "not avaliable in your country" that just means that you need to click over to your Amazon region.
Of course if you want a signed first edition you can email me at the email on my website and I can ship you a signed Author copy of the first edition for the same price as the crowdfunding campaign $35 domestic and $60 overseas. I'll do that until I run out of extra books.