Author: Wordghost PM
Griffin's life is dull and boring. He's single, doesn't have many friends, and he goes through the same routine day after day. Except for today, that is, when he'll accidentally meet someone...special...very special. He doesn't know it yet, but from this day forward, his life will never be the same. I will be posting new chapters every weekend, hopefully. Enjoy. c:Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Fantasy - Chapters: 6 - Words: 9,628 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 10-15-12 - Published: 09-08-12 - id: 3056698
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Griffin's shock rendered him motionless. He stared numbly at the expanse of darkness that was the entrance to the hallway where Selita had disappeared moments earlier. What could have caused her to freak out like that? He wondered.
Finally he rose stiffly from his seat at the kitchen table and walked over to the hallway entrance. As he gazed down the dimly lit corridor, he heard the sound of muffled sobs coming from the other side of his bedroom door.
Griffin made his way to the door and, unsure of what else he could do, knocked. "Selita?" He called to her softly.
The only response was the continuance of her weeping. "Selita?" He called again, this time louder.
Still no response. He turned the doorknob slowly and pushed the door gently so that it was open enough just for one eye to peek through. He saw Selita kneeling on the floor leaning on his bed. Her arms were buried in the sheets and her face was buried in her arms. With the door now open, he could hear her crying clearly now, and it was a pitiful sound indeed. Her sobs nearly wrenched his heart out of his chest and tore it to pieces. He was baffled by how he was so strongly affected by her emotions; it was almost as if he was feeling what she felt. But there was no time to think about it, the intense emotional pain Griffin felt told him that he had to comfort her before he went insane with her grief.
He pushed the door open wider slowly, so as not to startle her. She could react dangerously (to both herself and him) in such an intense emotional state. The cheap hinges the door hung on creaked loudly. Griffin froze in panic. Selita remained in her weeping position. He pushed the door open the rest of the way and entered the room cautiously.
"Selita?" He tried to make his voice sound soothing.
This time she heard him. She rose her head and turned to him with watery, black eyes and tears still streaming down her cheeks, which were slightly pink. The look on her face pulled on his heart even more, until it felt like it was literally being ripped from the veins and muscles in his chest. His mind became irrational, and he feared he would actually somehow lose his heart, so he began to grow desperate.
He approached her in two swift strides and kneeled beside the bed facing her. "What's wrong?" He asked as he placed a hand on her shoulder.
Her crying paused, and she sniffed. "I don't handle death very well," she murmured, "especially the death of my kin."
What on earth is she talking about? Griffin was genuinely confused. "Your kin?"
"Yes, my brethren. He lies dead on that flat surface in your kitchen." Fresh tears poured out of her black eyes.
"No, no, Selita. That's just a chicken," Griffin tried to reassure her.
The grief in her eyes boiled into fury. Her feathers began to bristle with agitation. "Just a chicken!? It is not just a chicken! It is my kin! My own flesh and blood!"
Griffin was taken aback by her sudden anger. What was she saying? "So you're related to…chickens?"
She sighed and her feathers lied flat. She closed her eyes and murmured, "You don't understand. I cannot blame you."
"Enlighten me then," Griffin offered his willingness to learn.
She opened her eyes and appeared to be calm as she replied, "In my world, we consider all bird creatures to be our kin. We are not literally related to them, no. But we have so much in common; we share so much of the same lifestyle. It is part of my culture to consider all bird creatures as sacred and to treat them with the utmost respect. Killing or even harming any bird creature is the worst crime you can commit and is punishable by death or torture."
Griffin was fascinated by her speech. The Taks worshipped birds, similar to how Hindus worship cows. Now that he understood he realized the insensitivity of his actions. "I'm sorry, Selita, I really am. I just didn't know," he apologized, hoping she would forgive him.
"It is not your fault for your ignorance. Surely you have never heard of such a culture." She paused and then smiled slightly, "It probably sounds absolutely ridiculous to you."
"Actually, no," he replied with a smile of his own. "I think it's really interesting. And there are even some cultures here on Earth that are similar to yours."
The light of curiosity sparked in her eyes. "Really? Tell me about them."
"Well the only one I can think of off the top of my head is Hinduism. The Hindu people consider cows to be sacred and worship them, just like how your people treat birds," he explained briefly.
"Fascinating," she whispered.
"Are you still hungry?" He asked, changing the subject.
"I think so."
"Okay, then let's find something other than chicken to eat."
Griffin rose and made his way back to the kitchen with Selita following him. He picked up the plate with the chicken on it, lifted the lift off the trash can, and was just about to dump it when Selita stopped him.
"What are you doing?" She asked accusingly.
"Uh…throwing it away?" He replied confusedly.
"You can't just throw him away!"
"What do you want me to do with 'him' then?"
"We must give him a proper burial and shrine," she insisted.
Oh brother. Where am I going to bury a freaking chicken? He shrugged the thought off. "Okay, we will. But let's eat first, okay?" He was starving by now.
Selita lifted her chin at him indignantly. "It is customary to bury our kin immediately after death."
"I'm sorry, Selita, but he's been dead for quite a while now. Waiting a few more hours to bury him won't kill 'im." Shit. Way to make yourself look like an insensitive asshole. He immediately regretted his impulsive diction.
Surprisingly, she didn't bristle at his words. Instead, she simply said, "Okay," and sat down at the table.
He decided the safest way to go would be to make a salad. Even though it was an odd choice for breakfast, he figured there would be no way it could offend her. He retrieved all the ingredients from the fridge and a few minutes later he had prepared a salad for two.
He placed the bowl in the center of the table and sat down. Selita gazed at the food hungrily, and she leaned over the bowl and sniffed.
"Smells fresh," she remarked.
"That's 'cause it is," he informed her.
She reached into the salad bowl, grabbed a handful, and shoved it into her mouth with a crunch.
"On Earth, we use utensils to get and eat our food," he pointed out to her.
"Utensils?" Her voice was distorted from a mouthful of salad.
"And we don't talk when we have food in our mouths," he explained.
Selita chewed and swallowed moments later. Finally she replied, "Your planet is strange."
"It's just different from what you're used to," he commented. "Here, let me show you how to use utensils."
He picked up the salad tongs that lay next to the bowl on the table and used them to retrieve some salad. He then placed the salad on the plate before him. Next, he picked up his fork, stabbed it into the salad, and lifted it to his mouth. "See? This is how we eat on Earth."
"It's called manners. It's how we respect one another."
"Oh, I see. I want to be respectful."
He placed the tongs in her hand and showed her how to hold them, which proved to be more difficult than he would have thought because of her two talons. Eventually, though, she was able to get the hang of it, and soon she was scooping out salad from the bowl with ease. After teaching her to use the fork as well, they finally ate together.
Breakfast took a lot longer than it normally would have, which would have left Griffin irritated if it weren't for the fact that he enjoyed teaching Selita. Her enthusiasm and excitement whenever she was able to accomplish something new was refreshing from his previously dull life. She was a quick learner too, which probably explained how her Earth vocabulary seemed to already be expanding.
Finally they were done eating and Griffin told Selita he was going to wash the dishes.
"Why would you do that?" She asked curiously.
"So that we can reuse them the next time we eat," he explained.
"Oh. On Ùzemí, we throw our dishes away after we are done using them because it is easy for us to get new ones."
"We have dishes like that here, too. They're called paper plates. We throw those away when we're done because you can't really clean them and they're cheap anyway."
"I want to know everything about your world," she remarked eagerly.
"No one can know everything," he warned her.
"Of course they can. You know everything."
"I don't know everything. Far from it, actually. There are people out there who know a lot more than me."
Selita's eyes widened with disbelief. "More than you?"
Griffin chuckled. "Yes, more than me."
At that, he rose from his seat and collected the dishes off the table. He made his way to the sink and placed the dishes inside. He turned on the water, retrieved a sponge, squirted soap on the sponge, and began to wash.
After a while of washing, when Griffin was almost done, he noticed that Selita hadn't spoken in a while, which seemed strange, even though his back was to her. He didn't think she would, or could, be that quiet for so long. Griffin decided to resume their conversation from earlier.
"You know, maybe someday I'll take you to meet someone who knows more than me and they can teach you some things," he suggested.
There was no response.
Odd. I thought for sure she would get excited from that.
"Selita?" He called.
Still no response.
Beginning to grow concerned, he looked over his shoulder at the table where she had been sitting not too long ago.
The chair was empty. Selita was gone.