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. 2


Sethra Pt. 1


Terror ripped down Alas’ spine, her eyes flung open with the abruptness of a rabbit finding

itself in a fox den. Sensation crept up her forearms, itching beneath the rosy surface of

skin. Her shoulders rose with her hands, preparing for an attack. Gaze wide and seeking,

Alas waited anxiously for the person to make their move. Acting instinctively, she shuffled

so that the barrel was between her and the gypsy. Eyes glancing, toward the railing, she

prepared to jump from the rolling caravan.


Standing eerily still, the gypsy watched with flint like eyes the very shade of death’s cloak.

Her black hair was twisted into long braids, carefully arranged along the crown of her head

and woven with a purple cloth that wrapped around her head. A matching piece of

material was entwined into a single thicker braid that dangled down to the small of her

back. Besides the vibrant purple of the cloth, the gypsy wore only black from jaw to toe.

This person was the most color challenged gypsy Alas could never have imagined.


Under the pressure of the gypsy’s silence, Alas itched more than ever to jump the rail and

take off running. She was about to give in when the gypsy once again spoke. The gypsy’s

lip curled in distaste, turning away from Alas, “I know who you are Lo’ilo”


Alastair had heard this phrase only a few times before, the term made her suck in her

breath a little. It was a phrase of the Nornavi people that when translated from their old,

broken language, meant “blue eyes”. It was rare to have anything other than brown or

black eyes in this part of the world. “Lo’ilo” was used to call someone a stranger or

someone who doesn’t belong.


The gypsy had disappeared down a corridor and now Alas stood idle on the caravan’s

porch. What should she do next? If she ran, she still had no where to go. Perhaps the

gypsies weren’t as bad as the stories suggested. Maybe she could finally get a ride to some

sort of civilization and start a real life again.


The flint like eyes appeared once again through the doorframe, “jeez, don’t be so slow. Are

you coming or what?”


Alas closed her fist so tight that her nails dug into her palm, nope this wasn’t a dream.

This was really happening. For the first time in years she would have to interact with

people again and possibly dangerous gypsies no less. Her muscles tense, she slowly

followed the gypsy into the cramped corridor. Keeping a palm against one wall, Alas

followed slowly behind; much to the gypsies frustration. It was difficult to walk down a

hallway that made you feel like you were a jumping bean in wood box. It was strange, the

wagon had not seemed so large from the outside.  Was it perhaps some kind of gypsy

magic? On the other hand, it could just be good decorating.


Finally, they came to the end of the hallway and the disgruntled escort had stopped and

stood waiting in front of an elaborately carved door, designed with carvings of magical

symbols and fantastic beasts. Epic battles of armored men carrying mighty swords, winged

beasts carrying off maidens and dark shadows dragging children into deep wells were

portrayed with beautiful delicate paints. Some of the stories Alas recognized, while others

seemed completely foreign to her.  The beauty struck Alas with wonder.


Leaning against the wall with  a stillness that was meant to impress, the gypsy was getting

impatient, “Go in Alastair, grandmother has been waiting for you” This gypsy’s pure

dislike for Alas was, to say the very least, annoying. Still, Alas saw no advantage to letting

the other girl know she was bothered by her. Instead she turned on her beaming smile as

brightly as possible, her cheeks stretched unnaturally as she smiled till it hurt just a little.

try as she might, her display would not warm her eyes.


Alas wondered how the gypsy had known her name, she didn’t even go by her full name,

not that she had known anyone to call her either for quite some time. However, she didn’t

want the gypsy to think she had been affected so she answered smoothly, “I prefer Alas”


“Whatever,” the gypsy drawled and with an elaborate roll of her eyes, began to examine

her nails.


When Alas turned the knob to the decorated door, tendrils of smoke leaked out of the

creases, seeming to grab at her arms, legs, face, and hair. It was drawing her into the have

filled room that stank with multiple layers of incense and other foreign flavors. So thick

was the smoke that Alas had to squint to make out the shapes of tables and chairs.

Breathing in, her lungs filled with smoke, stretching her insides. Alas was very aware of

her esophagus, cradling her throat, she spiraled into a coughing fit that lasted several

minutes. Alas gasped, wishing for the clean curling winds that leapt throughout the leaves

across the meadows.


A low sigh filled the room and more of the dreaded smoke filled the room. Alas only then

remembered there was someone else waiting for her in the room. Someone who knew who

Alas was and had known she would be coming, even if Alas had not known herself.


To be continued…

-L.P. Gelseth






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