“Hu’y up Mummy!” a very small human voice wailed from the corridor. “We’e gonna be late!”
Quilx’tch stilled his paws over the report on fruit pies he was typing out and felt his fur prickle in interest.
A rolling human laugh interrupted the odd voice.
“They aren’t opening the gates for another hour Susie,” the deeper and more powerful adult voice responded.
“We need to get a good spot!” the first voice wailed. “I’m itty-bitty!”
“Uncle Bergy will hold you up,” the adult responded.
With a delighted start Quilx’tch leapt from his perch and darted to the door. He jumped out onto the platform outside his door and his speculation was confirmed. There, bundled up in so many layers of thermal insulation it was hardly recognizable as a human were it not for its size, was a child. Susie was a feminine name Quilx’tch mused as he trotted along the spiderwalk, so a girl child.
The little one – itty-bitty only by human standards – was dancing in place and staring in at one of the massive human doors which was partly open.
“Just let Mommy get her boots on,” came the mature human voice from within.
With a thrill of delight Quilx’tch recognized the voice of the new agricultural assistant, Human Friend Mary. They had met and socialized on several different occasions, giving Quilx’tch a perfect opportunity to introduce himself to her offspring. He came forward with more confidence and waved his primary appendages vigorously in the air.
“Hello small human!” he called out.
The little human, Susie, stopped dancing and turned her head from side to side, her eyes darting around.
“Up here!” Quilx’tch called out.
Her binocular eyes flicked up and her face spread into a broad grin. Instead of a formal human greeting she raised her insulated arms and waved them both back at him. \
“Hello T’isk Fwiend!” She called out. “Who’a you?”
“I am Trisk Friend Quilx’tch,” he said watching her motion with delight.
Where an adult human swayed slowly, like an old growth tree in a gentle wind, this young one darted about in an almost Trisk manner, her short legs tapping up and down on the ground rapidly even by human standards.
“I am Human Fwiend Susie!” the child declared bouncing in one place.
However at that moment Human Friend Mary came out and scooped up her daughter with a laugh at her antics. The adult’s eyes traced her daughters gaze in that disconcerting way that humans had of knowing where you were looking and she smiled at Quil’tch.
“Trisk Friend Quil’tch,” she dipped her chin at him in a human greeting. “Are you coming to watch the release?”
“What is the releases?” Quilx’tch asked, his fur bristling eagerly.
The human paused an almost polite four seconds as she adjusted her offspring on her hip.
“Oh that’s right,” she said. “This is the first time you have been here for this.”
Her child adjusted she held out an inviting hand.
“It’s worth seeing,” she said. “Want to perch on my hat?”
“Will there be other Trisk at this event?” Quilx’tch asked caution warring with interest.
That was usually a sure way to judge the safety.
Human Friend Mary bobbed her head with a smile.
“Oh yes,” she said. “The base’s lead nutritionist never misses it as its so tied to food production rituals.”
Quilx’tch gave an affirmative response and darted in to put on his insulating layers while Human Friend Susie chanted something about legs going up and down and in and out. Once he was warmly dressed he darted back out and scampered up the arm that Human Friend Mary offered. He settled on top of her very comfortable hat and peeped over the edge at Human Friend Susie. The tiny human flashed a grin at him and he noted with interest that she had only as many teeth showing as he had legs in the brief moment before she tucked her face against her mother’s side.
With a surge of delight Quilx’tch realized he knew this game. He had played it with his younger siblings when they were still small enough to be carried by their mother. He waited until she angled her head to grin up at him, and then quickly covered his primary eyes with his paws.
Human Friend Susie gave a squeal that he hopped rather than knew was one of equal delight, and the low chuckle from her mother confirmed it. Quilx’tch lowered his paws and Human Friend Susie clapped her insulated hands together. They continued the game until Human Friend Mary stopped walking and shifted her child around to a large fence.
“Here we are!” she called out. “Right on time!”
Quilx’tch angled around to continue the game with Human Friend Susie, and absently absorbed the situation. The fence was a temporary erection of the kind used to direct the movements of the large quadrupeds the humans were attempting to domesticate. It began at the side of the massive barns the humans were using to house the gurgles for the long winter. Despite the general warming trend of the spring, patches of snow still sat under every shadowy place. However the mass of what the humans called pasture land were clear and the new growth of groundcover was sending up its fibrous stalks already higher than three Trisk.
The humans around him grew hushed and attentive, indicating the advent of something, but Quilx’tch had just established a pattern with Human Friend Susie and was covering his primary eyes when the doors to the building rolled open with a rumble of damaged bearings and Human Friend Freddy emerged riding on the back of the largest gurgle. The crowd around him broke out into cheering and Human Friend Susie’s attention turned to the herd of gurgles as they lumbered out of the building after Human Friend Freddy and their leader.
Their four, forward facing eyes blinked slowly in the pale spring sun, and the tendrils that surrounded their short necks and stout tails wriggled out of their long winter fur. Quilx’tch watched the humans with far more interest than the beasts. As the gurgles eased their wide footpads onto the soft ground the humans’ cheer faded into expectant silence. The silence stretched out until the smallest gurgle finally processed the open ground and available food and lifted its legs in a delighted prance. The humans gave a collective cheer that broke into whoops and excited shuffling as the rest of the gurgle herd began to join the smaller one. Ragged cheering broke out as more and more of the gurgles began to frisk about, even the old matriarch carrying Human Friend Freddy began to bound a bit.
“You came out to share their delight,” Quilx’tch observed as he watched Human Friend Susie clapping her hands together and laughing.
His perch swayed a bit as Human Friend Mary mimicked the movement of the gurgles. Quilx’tch felt himself getting swept up in the weave of the community and allowed his own legs to dance up and down a bit. He felt when the wave of delight crested and the humans began to slowly disperse from the wave of the moment into smaller clusters, chatting and laughing, showing each other the holo clips they had captured in attempts to perverse the delight of the moment.
“Quixs!” Human Friend Susie, with her yet undeveloped attention span waved to get his attention.
She grinned up at him, and tucked her eyes back into her mother’s chest.
Quilx’tch readjusted his perch to oblige her in another game, sharing delight with domestic animals might be a seasonal celebration for humans, but he found sharing the delight of an itty-bitty human far more engaging.
Please go and leave a new rating and review on my 3rd 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 300 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 until I run out of first run books.