A Home Away From Home
since the complexities of sending a properly formatted e-mail to this
site's address have proven too difficult for me, I'm going to opt out of
the 'send the story to the owner' ploy, and move directly to the 'post
the dang thing and be done with it' ploy. Enjoy. >_>
--- --- ---
A few points beforehand...
- From the get-go, understand that this is none of the following: a
sexual story, a turn-on, a story involving kink, or a quickie. It's a
story about an AB, not a DL. So... expect rampant characterization,
emotional crap, and long-winded dialogue that may or may not give you a
fuzzy-warmth but will assuredly not raise the flag.
- Let me make one thing painfully obvious (and this is something I
apologize for if it causes any undue injuries due to boredom, snoring or
falling asleep on a computer chair), this is ssssssllllooooowwwww on the
AB content. The entire chapter is nothing more than plot, plot, plot. It
sets up the characters, it gives me a place to start, but, more
importantly, it leaves me with places to go. There are, within the 3000+
words you'll have to suffer through, maybe three paragraphs which HINT
at the main character's babyish side. It WILL pick up, and principally
quite fast, in the first section of the next chapter. But this is going
to be an expirential story, and as such, some things will move quicker
- If you loathe the idea of anything out of the ordinary, stay clear of
this one. Let me sum up what is apparent within the first paragraph: the
guy ain't human. The secondary main character ain't human. And they
ain't furry either (although one of the two knows of them, but I'm
getting ahead of myself...).
There's not going to be the quintessential disclaimer here; if you're on
this site, you KNOW what the story contains. And, as stated, this part
doesn't even contain much of it.
Just have to be patient, guys and gals.
|A Home Away from Home|
I have always been defined and understood as something different.
Whether it be a passerby moving about what I've come to understand as
the mockery we call life, or a semblance of a friend carrying my cold
soul with me, they all seem to understand, even if at the unconscious
level, my abnormality. The detached eyes, the expressions that don't
quite understand what it is they are trying to convey, the fluidity of a
silken hand as it whispers alongside a delicate tuffet of hair.
Everything that is me- my appearance, mannerisms, personality, and
everything inside- hints at something only spoken of in nightmares. Or
perhaps in fantasies, depending on the mind at hand. In every facet of
life, as my persona calls forth memories that do not belong to me, I
find myself becoming what I have no desire to be: something
altogether... inhuman. My fear of my own existence is absolute and my
understanding bleak. And still the memories grow, memories of a
childhood that did not happen, and of a name belonging to me that I
cannot place the origins of: Alstair.
My one solace is something even more unnatural than my mystery of a
past. It is something I cannot explain, and did not ask for. But then, I
do not question it. It is simply a feeling, so strong, that I see it as
pointless to fight. In the end, I need it as much as I need my solitude,
and I need it precisely because it counters my need for solitude. The
treacherous complexities of a life such as mine call for some form of
appeasement, of escape: and mine... is innocence.
23/02/05 12:43 AM.
It has happened again. My eyes grew dark scarlet for almost two hours
tonight. I could only sit in front on the stilled mirror and lament.
What is happening to me? My body is no longer my body, and my mind fills
with terrors unknown; faces of quicksilver, insectary... bulbs...
bulging. Sorrow tracing across the eyes of ... beings... that somehow
know me. Although I do not know them. I have seen another one. I awoke
to it at midnight to watch it staring through my porch door. Watching
me. Sorrowful, so full of pain, those eyes of night. I feel no terror
now, simply a deadpan weight of dread as feelings of familiarity erupt
from within. Of course I know the truth; I am fooling myself as I always
do- I know exactly what is happening to me. But I don't want it to. I'm
afraid of seeing. I'm afraid of losing what I have here. I am human. I
am human. I am human...
It... she, watches. Again. I have no time.
I will go. I have to find out for myself.
... I will write again soon.
down the feather near the stained ink bottle on my mantle. As always, I
can hear the slumber of my mother from the room below. Selbie, always
sleeping peacefully. I yearn for the opportunity to do so myself.
Unaware is she of what stands now outside her window. I look at the
being again. She does not flinch. And again, I find myself asking- just
how much a part am I of this person I call my family? My turmoil knows
no limits as I stand, sighing, and walk to open the sliding door. It is
the first time I have confronted the being since she first appeared, two
I exit to the patio. The cool breeze is the least of the cause for the
shiver coursing through my pale skin. I run my fingers, impossibly long
suddenly, through the coarse hair of my lopsided head. Again I glance at
She is something that words do no good in describing. Her skin is an
aura of moon, shimmering and losing itself in carefree dance. Delicate,
silken hair drapes a brittle head, long, unrestrained, flowing as if
alive; a form of liquid wreathed in the sun's flair. The contrast with
the ashen, glowing face is uncannily beautiful and highly unsettling. By
all accounts, she looks like the quintessential imp of mainstream
conspiratorial nonsense, but nowhere near as mundane. She stands...
hovers... upon the most delicate of legs, human yet not so; like
something made of bone so malleable it could sway as though a flag in
the wind. It is nothing I could have envisioned, and the sad artistic
renditions of the witnesses past do no justice to this creature of aeons.
She is taller than 'my' memory -that is not my memory- recalls,
remarkably slim and nimble. She wears only the simplest of fabrics: a
shawl-like robe that seems to coincide of its own accord with her
movement, a woven plethora of minerals long forgotten in this realm for
the terrible beauty they possess. But most shocking are the eyes. Not
void but overwhelmed with emotion so complexly experienced; an
exaggeration of expression. The normally minuteiris plays the role of
the eye itself and is blinding in its jade, black-laced hue. I cannot
look at her for more than a few seconds before lowering my eyes in awe,
even now, after having seen her apparition through the window for so
She speaks, then.
It is the most haunting sound I have ever heard. Innocent and knowing.
"Yes." I reply, not knowing how to respond.
"... You know me. Liirestar."
"Yes... but you don't want to, I see. Still, you are afraid."
I turn and look back at her eyes, which are inexplicably arguing amongst
themselves over some hybrid of joy and sorrow. Boldness evaporated with
the power of her stare, I do not even hesitate the truth. "Y-yes... I'm
I close my eyes and sigh, deeper now, as I peruse the endless questions
dancing along my tongue's tip. My final choice is not particularly what
I'd consider a show of intelligence, but it does its job.
"What in the hell is happening to me?"
She places a robbed hand on my forehead and I recoil from the warmth. A
single brush of delicate finger seems to alleviate all worry and
disquiet, and the rush overrides me.
"... You know what I am, Alstair. But what you don't know is that I've
been looking for you longer than you can imagine." She pauses.
Inexorably, her controlled and mellifluous voice turns to a more erratic
flutter as hesitation enters. She closes those encompassing almonds and
continues, almost as if unsure of how to explain. "It's only right you
know why... however, there... is no good place to start." She sighs
herself, now. "I'm sorry."
"... Why don't you try telling me what you are."
"You already know that. The world would, should it glance me."
"I guess... I mean, I suppose the best thing to do would be to tell you
why I'm here. I... well, we. Yes, we have been, I suppose you could call
lurkers, for ages countless now. That is to say my people. No one knows
why, for all stories and records past have been forgotten and twisted
over the countless generations spent wandering the heavens aimlessly. I
don't know much, myself. What I do know I know from what father told me.
We have been here... on Earth... for sixty cycles now. Apparently, it
has become refuge, as our numbers and resources dwindle. I don't know, I
haven't seen the great ships, and they, too, have been lost to time. The
forests are all we have now. No world, no home. All I know are the
forests... all I know is that I have lived here, but I do not belong
here. I was born here, a stranger, forced to adapt as though native,
much like you."
"... But you aren't me. I'm not like you. I'm..."
"Shut up." I say without conviction.
"Please... hear me out."
tells me. She tells me all there is to tell. And time passes like an
errant fox scampering through wood and earth: without meaning. She tells
me of the incident, twenty years ago, when one of the countless refuges
spread across the forgotten corners of the world was discovered by the
natives there. She tells me of shock and of terror. Of panic and
gunfire. Of death. So much death over what was not understood. Her own
refuge, her colony, destroyed by humanity's insecurity, all during her
young years... and she tells me of the brother... lost to the violence
of the discovery. Isolated, unlocated... but now found.
"Yes..." She looks at me now with an affection that boggles me. As if
she has known who I am and everything about me all her life. As if I
And more, still. More she tells of. Of a young woman wandering the
woods. Of herself, watching helpless and wounded in the whispers of
distance. Of the scream emitted from the startled woman over seeing what
appeared to the corpse of an alien in the aftermath. A child. Before she
even utters the next word, I complete it for her.
"... Me. It was my body."
Another sigh, and again that haunting stare of sorrow laced with joy.
"Yes. Your mother... your caregiver. The one who kept you hidden from
the world... and hidden from me. From your surviving family. The one who
is the only family you've ever known. She is the woman of that night.
She found your body, brittle and broken. You lived in seclusion and your
origins she never judged, never questioned, and neither did you once you
regained consciousness. Your memory was lost to injury. Your body
instinctively adopted itself to your situation. And eventually, humanity
became all you understood. Until now. Until your body began to reach
maturity, and the truth revealed itself slowly to you."
I collapse into an awkward slump. Nothing is said for the longest time.
Again I feel warmth. This time, I don't recoil.
"You don't know. You don't know how long I've watched and waited...
For so long now (or was it no time at all?) I had merely absorbed it,
had it fed to me, this shock... shock upon shock, but... I can feel the
slow panic of revelation building. I shake my head, "This is
"No... please. It's the truth. Listen." She tries again to talk, but I
am unaware of anything but my own trembling voice.
"All this time... all this time I've lived like I didn't belong.
Everyone, everyone I knew... everyone who didn't know me. Everyone who
even glimpsed me always knew something was wrong with me. But I didn't
understand. I don't understand.. I... I don't believe what's happening.
This can't be right. This can't..." and my words blend evenly with my
steady tears of turmoil now, creating a equilibrium of stuttered shock
and pouring anguish. I look back at the doorway. A panic grips me
further. The warmth from the hand still holding me evaporates and a
slow, cold yet false menace comes in its place from the creature beside
me. Of course, she is nothing but sincere and pleading, but to my
overwhelmed state of mind she is a demon, something wrong and deceiving.
"You... you're lying. This isn't right! You're trying to trick me! You
stay away from me!"
The tears are prominent now. There are whispers of water reflecting in
her own soulful eyes. She... it... moves towards me. I stumble.
"No, don't! Please, you can't do this! You need to understand!"
"Tricks... it's all a trick. An experiment. You're using me! Get out! My
head, get out!"
"Get the **** away from me!"
I run, now. It doesn't follow. I run everywhere, and nowhere. Out into
the woods. Keep running. Nothing back there but the unfamiliar, the
untrue. Beast. Time slips away again, ever the errant kitsune;
meaningless. Everything is meaningless. I lay against a tall oak and
yell. And then cry. I feel my mind slipping from its panic, so slowly.
Spent, I collapse, somewhere... and nowhere. Trembling and alone, I
revert unwillingly to the calming embrace of innocence that has kept me
some sliver of comfort amidst a sea of solitude. I have never questioned
these feelings, nor do I bother to now. Slowly, I slide down into
oblivion, and my shaking hand begins to rise. I do not stop it. Gently
now, I raise my thumb to my mouth without choice and release myself into
the embrace of ignorance as darkness takes me on the canopy floor of the
And still, eyes watch me.
I am a wreck, now. I lay in silent mourn on the damp wood, crying out in
frustration. All this, all this sacrifice, and now my own brother has
forgotten everything. And does not... will not attempt to remember. And
I think to myself, in the reigns of hopelessness, that it was a foolish,
foolish mistake to come here. To find him. I search the ether, but his
mind is sealed. I do not bother to chase him. I simply lie motionless
near humanity's reach, not caring if I am seen by the limelight. A hum
and glow emit from the darkness of the window below me. I hear the
faintest gasp, and then a solemn sigh. The light expires. Footsteps. I
start. Frantically gliding along grass, now. To vanish, but not before a
voice calls out for me to stop. I do. I am in too much distress to
bother trying to feign secrecy. The caregiver has already seen me. I
turn, slowly. My eyes are a mask of indifference as I try to play the
persona of us fiction so popularly dictates- cold and unmoving- perhaps
to unsettle her into going back inside, I don't know. I am fooling no
one. The tears a ridiculously apparent as I turn.
"Don't. Come, please. Come here. I'm not frightened."
I sigh. This night it seems to be the action of choice. "I didn't
presume you would be."
I find myself sifting to the patio yet again, this time to confront
humanity for the first time in ages. I am wary, of course. Unwanted
images of unspeakable rage and lethal urges flash by me. Although I know
almost everything there is to know about her, prejudices -some
warranted, others not- still mar me. Through what I could gather from
the human populous in limiting secrecy, she is a saint in all senses of
the word. I know enough to realize she poses no thoughts of harm, at any
rate. Still, the visions of the incident, still stark within me, make me
erratic in my approach.
"... You. You're here for Peter."
Priming myself for control and stoicism... what a larf. My mind knows no
form of prose and poised manner as I stutter foolishly in shy, bantering
clips. I am less than thrilled with the idea of talking to, much less
revealing myself to, one who could easily impose her will upon me. What
strength do I have? And her eyes, human eyes, so uncomprehensible, are
piercing. She has a gently condescending way about her, but to one who's
life is spent in hiding its affect is tenfold.
"... N-no... well, yes, but that is..." I trail off and look down. She
already knows the truth.
My voice seems to take her aback, but only for a moment. "I know who you
are. I've seen you before, many times, in fact. I've seen you watching
him, these past nights."
I shake my head in what I understand is a gesture of denial, but I stop
myself. There is no point. Obviously I was careless. But then, I have
been alone for years. No family, no companion, no whisper of contact
even from my people. Caution is not on my list of priorities.
"It isn't how you think..." I mutter quickly.
She expresses further her knowledge "... You're one of the beings that
was discovered in the north end of the forest twenty years ago."
I laugh quietly, without mirth. "One of them. The only other, now." I
regret the unexpected harshness that enters my tone. I respect this
woman from what I know, and do not mean to exemplify my natural anger at
humanity towards one who would no doubt have been the first to cry out
against the violent reaction of that monstrous day.
I speak again. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it that way."
"... Yes." A short delay, and then:
"He's your family, then."
"My only family. I've... been searching a long time."
She looks into my eyes piercingly again. My skin shimmers red hue as I
feel undue shame. I don't understand my reaction to her scrutiny. She is
searching only for my feelings. She proceeds to explain why she took
him. Although I already understood why... her character's natural
kindness left little other possibility. "Once I saw his chest was
moving, I took him only because I knew he would be killed if that mob
found him. I saw the other bodies in the distance. I thought there were
no survivors. I didn't want to let a child of any kind die."
"You were a child, too."
Another sigh. The times are rife for it. "I still am, by all accounts.
So is he."
She emits her own quiet laugh now, slightly conspiratorial. "Yes... he
is." I cock my head but don't prod.
"... I talked to him tonight. I told him... everything."
"He didn't take it well."
"I don't presume he would have." she says, playing on my early words.
"I need to find him. He ran off."
"Fair enough. I'm coming with you."
I consider arguing, but it's obvious her will is set. And mine... is
I don't know what else to say.
"I'm... sorry I told him. I didn't think he'd act so..."
"You thought he'd just accept being something he never even believed
My eyes water again involuntarily. "N-no... it's just, he's my brother,
and I thought maybe... that would amount to something. Some form of
"Find him. Talk to him again. It will help if I'm there."
"Yes... Let's go."
I awaken. Unsurprisingly, my body is ashen, slightly flowing. It is
gradually becoming worse. It is now early morning, and the cool air is
dead as it hovers above a moonlit landscape of antagonistic shadows and
deviant creatures of purest black. I shiver as the air hits my waist. I
feel sickly and filth-ridden, for reasons I don't grasp and could care
less about at the moment. I feel an overwhelming sense of fear, enough
so to override even the cautionary calm that comes with sleep and
oblivion. Trembling, I hug closer to the tree, allowing the frailty of
my body to gain solace from the solid oak. I feel naked, exposed to the
unseen tormentors of my dementia. Furiously now I curl into a tight ball
and concentrate on the thumb in my mouth, using it to calm my mind,
telling myself I am safe, back home... content.
It doesn't do much.
I lay still for the longest time. The forest is no longer the silent,
sane haven it was during my frenetic entrance. Eventually, I notice a
slight glow permeating a patch of shadow to my left. Immediately it is
obvious who the light belongs to.
We have been separate for a time now, deciding instead to search our own
ways. Her, by unbelievably keen senses. I prefer the slightly more
erratic ether. His mind in no longer closed. It is rampant, though, with
panic... and... some form of comfort I cannot place. It does not take
long to locate him.
From the moment I lay eyes upon his juxtapositional body, twisted from
the prior embrace of sleep and security, I feel a keen moment of regret
for having unleashed this maelstrom of revelation upon him so suddenly.
My inner turmoil is one to match his as I emerge from the shadows and,
for the second time this eve, find myself at a loss for the proper
We find ourselves simultaneously.
Silence, now. Discomfort. It seems we both have reason for regret. I
decide not to call attention to the universally juvenile action I had
discovered him in. I do not think he knows I noticed it. Irrelevant,
now. I try to repeat my supplication but he seems eager to speak and I
abide to it.
"Listen, I'm sorry about the way I acted earlier. I didn't mean to be so
curt, it's just... what does it all mean? I'm sitting here, in the dark,
and despite all the shadow the thing that frightens me most is myself.
Do you have any idea how that feels, to be a stranger in your body?"
"Listen... I can't... say anything that's going to magically solve all
your worries and doubts. I doubt I could do it for myself, either.
But... if we have nowhere to start, then let's at least start by going
back to the porch and out of this miserable place."
"I-I... okay. But...", he seems to hesitate on the next words, "don't
wander ahead far. I... don't want to be left in the dark."
"... I won't. I am accustomed to the wood, after all."
He leads his way home and I follow closely behind. As I do I notice
something peculiar about his manner of march. It is slightly stifled, as
though in discomfort or stiffness. I notice his manner of dress to be
darker in the moonlight. Damp. A slight waft carries towards me as the
wind whips past. Some things are indeed universal, and I quickly come to
recognize the predicament. Now, you must understand that we as a people
like to approach medical issues curtly and with purpose. So, a problem
such as this is one best dealt with openly, in my manner of thought.
"... You realize you've urinated unwittingly, do you not?"
"W-... huh... you, I mean me, I mean... oh, crap, crap, crap..."
I am thoroughly perplexed at this outburst of shame and panic. I voice
"... What's the worry? Things like this happen often. Our bodies do not
react well to moments of fright and panic. Yours simply reacted
negatively as well. It's no cause for concern."
He looks at me for the longest time with his mouth agape, and then lets
loose an alarming laugh unbecoming of the prior mood.
"Whoa... you really don't grip what this means here, do you?"
"What this means where?"
"On Earth, err... to humanity. To society."
"I shouldn't think it meant anything." I state poignantly.
"Nevermind... it's not something I have the patience to explain right
"Very well..." He shakes his head and laughs with a somewhat staccato
pulse, as if shrugging off a burden. I simply shake my head as well, for
his benefit, in what I understand to be their sign for bemusement. I
could have shone my hand violet, but I think the expression would have
been lost to him.
To be continued...
In the next Chapter: Peter confronts the truth of his past with the
little strength he can muster and Lii attempts to understand his own
revelation (to his chagrin and his mother's suppressed amusement) to
her. Selbie takes Lii aside to ask her of life as a refugee and how she
came to survive for twenty years in a solitary barren place after the
incident. Lii explains to her that there is more to the Earth than can
be seen at first glance, particularly in the deep wood. Humanity is not
the only native society of the planet, and Lii in fact survived not only
of her own aid. There are worlds between the world, with creatures of
myth, of whisper, of legend. And, by chance, they sometimes coincide.
Such a chance transpired two years after the razing of the refuge, with
Lii at the centre of the mesh... (re: I'm going to include the furrydom
in the next chapter. That's the second principal factor of this story,
outside of Alstair's feelings and Lii's journey into his life.)