tagNovels and NovellasA Wider Sky Ch. 07

A Wider Sky Ch. 07

byTalyisBagley©

A Wider Sky: Beyond Eclipse Series

by Talyis Bagley Ellison

Chapter 7

I'm floating around my dorm room with my arms flung out like a helicopter; in circles, I'm twirling and unwinding my day of mixed emotions of complete elation and pent up fears. I made it through my first day of classes and my last class - wow! I'm completely enamored by my last class of the day; and after it wrapped; I skipped to my room so full of joy.

My Human Art History class opened my eyes to something amazing. I never knew how much beautify we had created Before Eclipse. I got to see the things my mom only spoke about and more. The art classroom brimmed from floor to ceiling with Before Eclipse artifacts from the world's famous sites and museums.

My heart swelled with pride that I was human. I couldn't wait to write home to tell my mom what happened on my first day of school.

Plugging my tablet into the wall, I flicked the screen so that it spanned a huge projection across my wall of our first assignment.

Music.

The melancholy of delicate notes touched my soul telling a story through a melody that ebbed louder and then flowed smaller into a whisper. This was human music which my mom told me about but often said she lacked the words to describe. She was right. These were the best human composers considered masters for centuries beyond their death. And, now, here in The Realm, I was listening to it. Touched in the same way that my mom and many humans before her had been Before Eclipse.

In the colony, we were only allowed to listen to alien music. I didnt mind Y'vori music. It was more cerebral, its tone notes tapped into various brainwave states and altered them to enhance mood. But now in comparison, these human masters were able to do the same and create more than pulses and beats. And our music told a story and I loved it. I loved being human, and with my dorm room door closed I was going to relish in being human.

My door disintegrated open, startling me with heated embarrassment. My arms out like a sad excuse for a ballerina complete with pointed leg jutting out.

"Ahh, that's a color of a sweet greeting," Gaelen tried to suppress his laughter and I tried to stop my blush.

"Have you ever heard of knocking?" I spat.

"Heard of a lock? I suggest you use it since we have a human in our midst. You never know what it's capable of doing to young, helpless girls such as yourself," Gaelen sauntered into my room. My door automatically closed behind him.

He sprawled himself in my desk chair, his long legs kicked out in front of him as his leaned back in power.

"What on Earth are you listening to?" He snorted and then turned to my tablet.

"It's beautiful isn't it." I smiled.

I slapped his hand away from my tablet to replay Mozart's Requiem K Lacrimosa. The choral swam around the room and I felt like floating. The swinging of the strings made the room tilt like a boat. I closed my eyes, tilting my head back as if to offer prayer.

Hands joined mine and I felt like I was living the sweeping notes. I snapped my eyes open to realize Gaelen had taken my hands into his own. We were floating in the air of my dorm room, dancing to Mozart, a human composer. He twirled me around and I floated like a ballerina haunted by the chorus.

"What is it?" Gaelen asked as the chorus hit two final chords of the end of a sweat prayer.

"Mozart. A human composer. We are learning about human artists in my art class. Isn't it amazing."

We landed delicately on our feet.

"It's a bit odd," he shrugged his lips and then fell back into my computer desk, commanding the room from the seat. "But I guess, I like it."

I jump up in excitement, "I know its odd at first, but it is so luscious with sound. I feel its makes my heart swell."

"I know what makes my heart swell," he winked at me and I blushed.

"You know, Mozart is not much different from our music. He was a genius. He even incorporated binaural beats in the music as well. It touches invokes the senses the same way our music does, but this tells a story."

"Are you saying a human was able to create something better than us?" He arched an eyebrow and slanted his lips in disbelief.

I evaluated my opinions allowing them to evaporate. Tell the truth and risk losing a friend because I said something pro-human or agree for safety sake. I jutted my chin in the air. "Perhaps I am saying that."

He tucked his hands behind his head and leaned back as if on a pillow. He chewed the inside of his mouth, considering the treasonous thing I had suggested. The more he consider the more his cheeks revealed adorable dimples.

"Well maybe there are some things humans that can do. Personally, I am not convinced any use can be gained by the human on campus just because he scored a high score on the Y'vroi test."

"So, maybe humans are not as inferior."

"Ok!" He slapped his hands to his knees and leaned in. Again the smirk on his determined face with seductive dimples. "Let's consider this poor human. So yeah, he accidentally scored high on our test. He is at this school. He is going to fail because he is inferior, he is not Y'vroi and he will never be one of us. Wouldn't he be more happy excelling at a human university with his own kind."

I jutted my chin, realizing Gaelen didn't have a clue what happens to humans on a day-to-day basis in the colonies. The subjugated lives that did not include such a thing as human universities.

"What if he has a chance at a better life by being challenged by students that are his superiors. Don't you think eventually humans will be able to catch up with the more opportunities they are given. Maybe they are like Mozart, he didn't even go to school."

An incredulously green glare pieced me. He couldn't believe that Mozart, a human genius had not gone to school. He just shrugged his shoulders and for a second I thought he stopped to really listening to the melody. Like our conversation, the notes were suspended in the air like delicate stars twinkling in as pattern unbeknownst to us of the next emotional strain.

I cleared my throat to pull his attention to the purpose of his visit. "I already finished the assigned reading."

"I am sure you did, Bookmouse."

"Yeah..." I blushed a bit and tucked a braid behind my ear that always loved to fall in front of my face. "So do you want to read the text or do you want to read alone, I have other work but I could use another go through."

"You are quite the studious student aren't you?"

"I just want to make my family proud."

"Why?"

I paused, my eyes widened. Had I said another non-alien thing. Did aliens not care what their parents thought? Were they also forced to choices that they didn't want to do?

"No reason really."

I shifted my weight and pivoted my hip waiting for his answer to my question. Which he only answered by just investigating me with his soulful green eyes.

"Sure, Bookmouse. You don't have to read the boring text again, I'll be fine on my own." He then took my tablet in hand. And I panicked.

"Wait." Precious secrets that would help me to stay anonymous were in the tablet. "I need my tablet. You know."

"Ill bring it right back."

"It's just that... I'll read-"

"Ah, I see," He sat down and crossed his leg over his knee and a powerful smile slithered across his jaw, "You don't want me to leave, is that it Bookmouse." His winked his eye at me and my heart sped up with my imagination.

"I'm new. It would be nice to have a study partner."

"Sure it would be." He cupped his hands behind his back. He took in my picture window to spy on the students on the quad doing everything but study on the lush grassy area.

"One thing," I gulped. "If I am to be your study partner, you have to go to this party with me."

He spelled out and I nervously nodded my head but I am sure I did shake my head a little as well in confusion.

"Great. Oh and leave the tablet behind."

I pressed my hand to my hip and swayed to the right. Sure thing I confident. I took a deep breath to steady my heart.

"Great it's a date then." He answered when I said nothing.

***

It's amazing how different off-campus looked from Ben and Maddie's neighborhood. It was so apparent that the couple unequivocally did lived in a colony of sorts, and that colony was not a part of The Realm. People... aliens were blissful in the enjoyment of the wonderful weather. Couples walked hand-in-hand in the quaint town outside of the school grounds. Young and old hopped in and out of restaurants, cinemas, some were playing sports on golden and green fields. Happiness was thick in the air as they sat on sidewalk benches chatting or skipped into the artisan shops. Without a care in the world or concern for the basics in life, they sat outside fanciful cafes sipping drinks with friends while others waited for trains on platforms.

Everything was full of life that just bustled with promise. Even though I had a sense of fear of being found out, I couldn't help not becoming circumvolved in the town's energy. I felt a bit of that hope than I had anywhere else in the world. My closest companion in life as a human was a strong sense of burden. Yet here, it was nonexistent and its heavy oppressive cloud was no where to be found on these people. I felt it constantly in the colony and even though Maddie and Ben pretended to have a better life, they also had it.

I was speechless and even taking a breath of cleansing air was a lot. My emotions had run a marathon once I step onto the platform of the train that would take us to the city center. The platform sat above the the town's low-rise building. The design wasn't obtrusive; instead, it blended into the horizon depending on the time of day. A train hovered quietly into the station and stopped with a salty extinguish of air. Gaelen seemed to sense my trepidation once the silver train car doors disintegrated for us to enter. He grabbed my hand and simply squeezed it.

I couldn't help but smile as Gaelen quickly found a spot in the standing-only area against the wall. With a hop and a small skip, he gathered my hand still in his own and grabbed onto safety handle. He pulled me close to him and seemed to exhaled with relief. Perhaps he needed to get off campus more than I did. I watched his green eyes shift cautiously as the train took off in speed and the scenery of our quaint college town blasted past the windows blending from green to grey to white blur of nothing recognizable. Once the train had established its quick sonic like speed, we were able to stand freely. He placed a hand on my shoulder and leaned against the wall.

He's could stare at his eyes that were green lagoons of so much curiosity and danger for hours. I was dying to comb my fingers through his raven black hair that had hints of purple as the twilight flicker.

Instead he twirled his fingers around one of my braids. "Kiowa..." He said lost in thought, "What kind of name is that?"

I chewed on my bottom lip. How do I explain that my "alien" parents name me after a tribe of Native Americans. That my mom wanted to honor the original people of the Americas that were taken over, slaughtered and placed on reservations to live. Similarly to how we, humans, are forced to live in the colonies now. My mother told me, despite the oppression, the tribes continued to strive to be a peaceful. The tribes remained noble people that did not forget their heritage, where they came from and their traditions. I would be kind of a fitting name for me to have, if I were allowed to stay in The Realm after I finished university. Perhaps my mother knew what would become of me and she wanted me to spread our history that she so doggedly made sure I learned.

"History, my dear, is what we hold on to. So that we do not make the mistakes of our past, that we or others are doomed to repeat," my mother would whisper like a lullaby before going to bed.

I wonder if the aliens also saw it this way. They all took on last names that were the names of renowned human leaders and figures like the Windsors of England, Mao, Lenin, and King.

"My mother loves human archaeology and history."

Gaelen just hummed, his liquid green eyes took me in more and then a sly smile pulled across his lips. "Have I met you before?"

"Why do you ask that?"

He pushed his back against the wall and tipped his hips towards me. "There is something about you that is, I don't know, familiar. I feel at ease with you."

I giggled, "Maybe because I saved your butt from breaking your neck. They say when people go through something dangerous they feel symbiotic."

"Ohh, I like the way you think. So, tell me something Kiowa. Why do you seem like a little mouse that is trapped in the middle of a busy tavern and has lost its way to her little mouse-hole."

"I haven't lost my way. I know exactly where I am."

"Do you little mouse?" He leaned in so close, I could feel his minty breath so near my lips. "The cats are about."

I shivered. "Perhaps I am one of the cats," I countered.

"And I am the mouse," He stopped, his eyes narrowed. He was so close to me. His lips tempting to capture my in a long embrace. He exhaled deeply and pushed my braids over my shoulder before leaning back again - away from me.

I tried to push the strangely intense exchange aside that had stirred my heart so much. We talked about mostly his family because I wanted to avoid trying to recall the dossier as much as possible. I learned a lot of Gaelen in that short time before we arrived at our train station. He was cocky as he was intuitive. He was very curious about humans, how they lived knowing how they had ruined the world. He was like me before I had arrived in The Realm, although he didn't know I was human - I hope not. Humans and aliens, both, had the same assumptions about each other's kind, some outrageous fears and misgivings which I was learning to push aside the more I talked to Gaelen. He didn't seem like the kind of person who would kill cities of innocent people or even charge many for the misdeeds of few. It was troubling how much he didn't really know about how the humans lived so completely different lives from the aliens. Nor, how the aliens affected colony quality of life so much that it often wasn't a life really worth living.

In that short 15 minute ride, I felt closer to Gaelen than ever before - that was until we arrived at the party.

Fifteen minutes after arriving to the packed house party, Gaelen was no where to be found. Sebol, one of the gossiping trio of girls in Windsor's class, greeted us.

"Hey Taxa, Bane," Gaelen embraced the two tall guys I remembered that had circled the trio of girls in class. "This is Kiowa."

Gaelen seemed relieved to pass me on to his friends for company while he talked to Sebol and her girlfriends that had just came in from behind me.

"Hey," Bane greet me in a deep gruff voice. Taxa said nothing, he just combed his fingers through his sleek coppery-blond hair and crossed his arms. I could see a series of tattoos peek from under his black t-shirt that molded to his large biceps.

"You are in our program." Bane made small talk. He had shaggy cinnamon brown hair that fit his scruffy chin. Both men were tall and handsome. Taxa had deep piercing blue-grey eyes and an aristocratic chin. Bane seemed nicer than Taxa that just stood there scrutinizing me with silence.

"I've never seen you before?" Taxa finally spoke, his voice dripped acid, lethal. Bane rolled his eyes at Taxa but I saw a challenging glance in return which caused Bane to straighten up. Nervously, Bane sleeked his hair back and mirrored Taxa, arms tight across his chest. Now both of them seemed to engulf me with their size and physical domination.

"So what's your deal? Why are you hanging out with Gaelen?" Bane's nose turned up and crinkled. "Are you just another women trying to make a name for themselves..."

"Hey lay off man. She's my friend," Gaelen interrupted - thank god.

"Boys," Sebol flirted. "Be nice to the new first-years. Let me give you the grand tour. Come on Gaelen." She was pulling him away and he only grinned like he had just found the hidden cookie jar.

"Have fun, Kiowa, meet you back here in a bit," Gaelen said as he happily allowed Sebol and her friends flirtatiously pull him away. Taxa and Bane followed behind them, their physical expression stringent to Gaelen's playful. It seemed for Taxa and Bane, their clique was a dysphemism requiring their participation.

Gone on a grand tour of the loft, Gaelen left me at the front door.

20 minutes later, I still hadn't spoken to anyone and still deserted by Gaelen. I debated how stupid I looked standing in a corner of the room. To afraid to speak to anyone, least I say something stupid or human. My only dance companion was a glass filled with some sort of alien drink that I pretended to drink. I only clenched it to my chest.

I just wanted to go home. I didn't know how to get home or even how to take the train. I was so angry, he had abandoned me for Sebol. And he had promised he would get me home safe. I huffed and tried to make the best of a terrible situation and that was not to jump to conclusions.

I sauntered over to the brick wall of our host's loft and leaned against it. It was as if the blessing of heaven opened up. A girl walked around the room with a bucket of water bottles that she handed out. I wanted to grab two but didn't want to seem strange. I was like a nomad lost in the desert. The water hit my lips and I felt it on a cellular level. I wanted to gulp the entire bottle down, but I didn't know when I would get another chance to drink water again. So I savored it with tiny sips. Ben was right. The water here was amazing. It seemed even more crisp and clean than what it was when I first drank it at the Inspection Building.

I bopped to the music still holding a bottle of water like a life raft but at least I was loosening up a bit. I was so thankful for the water. It was the only thing staving off my hunger that I had been trying to ignore all day. I hugged the wall of the loft while more people flooded into the main room. Time slipped away by becoming mesmerized by the dancing style. Gyrating chests and hips made them look like tribal warriors ready to go to war or mate - I couldn't figure out which. Others flowed around the room, swirling strings of light around themselves that streaked through the air of the dark room, lighting it up with neon blues, greens and yellows.

"Hey," a guy came up to me, his hands already on my hips forcing them to sway to his beat. "Haven't I seen you around campus?"

"Perhaps?" I shrugged and danced with him. Mustering everything within me to be free, I still clung to my water bottle like a magical wand to ward of scary aliens. "What school are you in?"

"Harvard."

"Me too, Isn't Professor Windsor the shit!" His blue eyes matched his enthusiasm but I only nodded.

"I'm Kiowa," I extended my hand. With chagrin, he instead took it and placed it over his shoulder. Before I knew it he had swung me more into the crowd and we just bopped and danced with the rest of the crowd.

I was feeling free for the first time since we arrived. I glanced over at Gaelen who was still sitting on the couches with Sebol. His legs sprawled out in front of him in his way of possessing his space. His arm draped behind her as he would lean back in the couch with confidence. I spied his careful timing of sweet impasses near her cheek and neck. It was as if he was waiting for me to not notice. I was certain that if we stayed much longer, his lips would be on her neck. I don't know why but it made me a bit furious right away - I had no right to feel offense.

My dance partner took my water bottle as he raised my arms above my head. He was trying to loosen me up. Was I that stiff? I moved my hips as emphasizing my curves and shape-feeling awkward with each undulation. His blue eyes seemed to drink in my body. Eyes that were eager for me to show him more, yet he was sweet and did not partake before it was his turn. I couldnt help but glance over at Gaelen again to see if he was watching me - he is not. My heart sank even more, his hand has fallen into Sebol's lap.

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