Sethra Pt.6

When she awoke, Alas found herself nose to snout with a big, fat pig.

An ugly creature whose wrinkled skin hung over its eyes, whiskers on its chin and drool

dangling from its lower lip as it stupidly chewed the apple cores that littered the cart that

Alas found herself in. Before she could blink the sleep from her eyes, another apple core

flew from somewhere near the front of the cart, landing squarely on Alas’ head. Wresting

with the blanket of hay, she flailed madly trying to get to her feet.


“Hey there are people in this pig pile” she shouted. “watch were you are throwing those



“Oh, you are awake. Finally.” came a familiar silky voice.


Alas recognized her as the angry gypsy from the night before. Her hand reached to her

throat and she froze, shocked. Then, that horrible nightmare hadn’t been a nightmare at

all, she thought to herself.

Tracing her fingers across the jeweled choker, she asked in a far off voice, “where am I?”

“in a pig pile,” for the first time, Alas heard joy in the gypsy’s voice.

Alas made a face, “well, where are we going?” the gypsy didn’t answer. As if Alas wasn’t

even there, she began to hum to herself. Giving up, Alas sunk back into the heap of straw

where she had awoken. The pig, whom Alas had dubbed, Oinkers, was a cuddler. The two

spent their day being jostled in the back of the cart. Together, they ignored the gypsy and

in turn she ignored them.



Sethra Pt. 3


Through the drenched air, an outline began to unfold itself. Its shoulders drew back, its

spine straightened. A ghostly profile rose from the smoke, directing its attention toward

the room’s invader. Unable to stop from walking forward, Alas felt as if her will was lost to

the smoke.


She came face to face with “grandmother”. The old lady had milky blue windows for eyes,

a huge porous nose that drooped and a body that appeared so decrepit and weak as she

sucked on a long hose and released its contents into the air around them.


The old gypsy sat nearly motionless as its sightless eyes drifted lazily, staring over Alas’s

shoulder. Her long stretched earlobes wobbled as she cocked her head in silence. It was a

moment before her grating voice assaulted the silence, “Sit down Alastair Sowelu Perth”


Alas did more than sit; she fell to the ground in shock. How could this gypsy know who she

was? No one had addressed her by her full name since she had been a child. Even if she

was not blind the old gypsy would not have been able to see Alas and couldn’t have

recognized her since Alas had never met a gypsy before today. It must be gypsy magic.


“that’s right,” rasped the old gypsy, “I know who you are. I’ve waited twenty five years for

this day, longer that you have been alive by the looks of you,” a crooked sneaky smile

made its way across her face; showing off her lack of teeth  and numerous laugh lines that

etched her face, “to tell the truth, I was beginning to think you would not show yourself,

that perhaps the path you were meant to take had been broken.”


“The path?” Alas echoed dumbly. It was all she could think of to say, hypnotized as she

was by that front tooth that Alas was sure would fall from the old gypsy’s gums any

moment. However, it only swayed with each breath.


The old gypsy continued her explanation, “the path, if broken is hard to find again.

Somehow yours was broken but it must have been a very strong path if you still found you

way here. If this path had truly been broken, the balance of this world could have changed;

possibly for the worst.” the gypsy cackled as if she had told some great joke that Alas

should have gotten.  Alas wasn’t sure what the gypsy meant.


Alas let the words soak in as she tried to make sense of it, “what does this have to do with



The cone’s eyes seemed to sharpen and stare right at Alas, staring somewhere past just

her face. It felt as if a gaping hole had been bored into her head. Coldness swam through

Alas’ veins, the chilling grip shook her spine.


The old gypsy leaned forward, her breath smelling of mint, lavender and sweet tobacco,

“exactly” then rolled back on her pillows laughing hysterically. Every hair on the back of

Alas’ neck stood up, tingling. This old gypsy was seriously dangerous, she could feel it.


The old gypsy reached behind her massive stack of pillows and took out a hand carved

chest. Alas made note of the diamonds and rubies that laid in the intricate border, amazed

by their beauty. What really caught her attention though were not the priceless gems but

the fact that the border seemed to be moving, almost slithering, as if it were alive.  In fat,

as Alas stared, she realized it was a depiction of a snake. The rubies and diamonds

represented the skin, but there were only two large sapphires that she suspected were

eyes. The delicate hand painted silver outline shimmered with every movement, making

the snake look alive. Alas was entranced. She didn’t realize she had been reaching her

hand out to stroke the beautiful gems until the old gypsy grabbed Alas’ wrist with

surprising strength.


The old gypsy held her firmly, “the snake” her words were slow and careful, “has always

been a protector of my people and to anyone who shows no fear of it”


Her voice seemed stern, as if a warning. Then she let go of Alas’ wrist and lay back

amongst her pillows. Although startled by the old gypsy’s behavior, Alas only nodded and

looked back at the chest in anticipation. Her heart beat rapidly, she wanted to open it so

bad but something in her made her wait for the old gypsy to let her continue.


After a long silence the gypsy sighed, releasing more of her smoke into the air, “smart

lass, ” she gave a toothless grin, “you will do nicely”. Then she waved her hand to signal

Alas could go ahead.


Alas’ head felt foggy but she still felt the excitement as she threw open the lid. She was

only a bit surprised to find a living snake curled up and waiting. It was a viper, a very

deadly snake. It looked up, eyeing the human who had disturbed its slumber. Not braking

eyes contact, Alas froze, not wanting to startle it any more.



Star Eaters Pt. 2

Star Eater Pt. 1


“Gaea” her name was being called, ripping her away from the seeing glass. “Gaea,” it was

her mother’s soft voice trailing through grandfather’s dark shelter. Reality set in, she had

been sitting there for hours, soaking in this world. Gaea was shocked at herself, to be so

easily sucked in by a hobby, a pass time.


Unnerved, she shot from the chair and in a calm voice greeted her mother, “hello

mother.” her mom’s face didn’t hold its usual soft smile.


Nona stood still in the doorway. Her angular features and long yellow silver hair were

classic in their beauty. Nona gazed at her father’s body, “why didn’t you tell me he was

passing?” the only indication of inner turmoil was the slight crease between her mother’s



Gaea blinked, this was the most upset she had ever seen her mother but in her mind all

she could do was wonder how a human would respond. Had any one in Gaea’s world shed a

tear for something other than their own physical pain?


Gaea’s mind flashed back to the young girl of earth. A girl that had appeared to have the

same eyes as Gaia; green and deep. Gaea had been intrigued by the affection the girl had

given a young man who worked in her father’s house. The girl was named Myrrah. The

name felt strange in Gaea’s mouth. The Earth couple had professed their love to another,

and Myrrah had given herself to the man heart, soul and body. In the morning light, he

left her and the truth came out that he hadn’t loved the girl. He had lied to her, tearing her

heart in two. Myrrah cried so hard, red rimmed, exhausted, her green eyes grew dim.

Myrrah became nothing more than a shell, lying prostrate on the ground, too broken to



Gaea had watched and her own heart throbbed, her throat had worked to breath and

pressure built in her chest. A single wet tear trickled down Gaea’s cheek. It had taken

several minutes before she felt in control of her emotions. Even now, just remembering

Myrrah’s heart brake, Gaea felt a swell of sadness. However, Gaea had only felt a fraction

of Myrrah’s pain.


The feeling had been so alien to Gaea that she had gasped for breath at the sudden pain

in her chest. That is the true feeling of loss. Nana realized that her mother was staring at

her in silence. Quickly shaking her head side to side, as if to disrupt her thoughts, Gaea

tried to put the humans out of her mind. It was just a game, she told herself. But Gaea was

beginning to doubt that what her grandfather had built was a game and that doubt scared

her. She didn’t want to become like him, obsessive and cut off from her true reality.


“I told him I would keep his game running.” and though the statement didn’t explain

much of anything, her mother nodded in silent understanding.

“I will call the carriers” her mother said softly voice and then turned to leave.


The Carriers came to transport the body of the deceased. Their woven shrouds covered

their bodies. To be a Carrier meant you were forbidden to speak, an oath that all Carrier’s

make before they don their shrouds. It was an honor to be a Carrier and it took years of

sacrifice and discipline over ones self to even qualify. The most grueling part of the

process is the final test. No one but the Carriers know what it is and all are forbidden to



Mother and daughter silently stood outside the room as they waited for the carriers to

perform their duties. With the last shrouded figure’s graceful exit, Nona and Gaea began

tidying up. Grabbing the piles of clothes her grandfather had left discarded and used on

the ground, Gaea grimly smiled. Grandfather had never been a very tidy man, once a week

her mother, Nona, would have to set everything to rights once more. In his living quarters,

grandfather had been a walking disaster. His work area though, he kept respectably neat,

for him. There were stains from assorted substances all over the desk, chair and floor.

Papers were filed as notes that he had made recently and a pile with a note saying

“Everything else”. Bits and scraps of paper were floating around and so Gaea scooped

them into a pile she called Miscellaneous. Her sigh was heavy.


It would take a lot of effort to organize his Earth project. First Gaea would need a filing

system. She shook her head at the idea. Why was she even thinking these things?

Narrowing her eyes, Gaea sternly told herself that she would not be continuing the Earth



Nona moved toward Grandfather’s desk, toward Earth, a large basket of recyclables in

her arms. His tools thrown haphazardly inside as she reached to tear down the sketches

that had been tacked to the wall.


Gaea’s heart skipped a beat. Her skin felt like it would stretch off her body in order to

stop her mother. Her throat contracted in that same way when she had felt the tears well

up inside. Couldn’t her mother see?


Gaea’s heart caved like that of an imploding star, “No!” Gaea screamed, a mirror image

of Myrrah’s. The sound had ripped at Gaea’s vocal chords. It was such a strange feeling. It

was as if Life was pumping through her, trying to escape the confines of her own flesh.

Her cheeks flushed and everything seemed to beat inside of her, almost painful with how

alive she had become.


Nona stared at her daughter, hard. Something between surprised and disappointed was

revealed in Nona’s features. The small crease between her brows returned, even more

defined, showing how distressed she was at her daughter’s outburst.


Gaea realized in that moment that she hadn’t lied to her grandfather, she had lied to



Planet Earth was a real breathing organism and like any small defenseless star that

needed a hand in growing up, Gaea was going to defend it.


-L.P. Gelseth