The Flesh of Lucia

I could feel the human flesh begin to melt away. The change had come over me when they arrived. I could feel I was one of them, one of the newcomers.

They spoke to me with every look. Every proud haughty word they spoke entered my soul and told my body to rebel on this soft peachy flesh. "Arise," they said. "Let your true body free."

The change began quite suddenly, while the human compound was being locked down for safety. I stood outside the doors, which would soon close down the entire compound. I was breathing heavily, as if I'd been running. Then I felt it.

The human flesh coating my real skin was growing heavy. It became warmer, and started to slip off my short chubby frame. It lie there in fragments at my feet. A pile of human skin, pale and discarded.

My own skin now appeared a deep hue of blue: almost glowing in comparison with the ruddy pink I had become accustomed to. The skin was soft, and pliable, but stronger than that of humans. The skin I shed also changed my shape a bit. I was still short, only about 5'1", but I was now much more slender than before.

My hair was not weak and soft like that of a human woman, but strong and hard. It was a purplish hue and all different lengths down my back. The strands of royal purple hair were thick; almost the size of filled coin wrappers, and swung wildly about my head every time I turned it.

My face I could not see, but I knew its features well enough. I had seen them. There was a small protrusion where a nose might have been. It was a button in comparison with most human noses.

The ears would also be small in comparison. My race did not need the ears, for they spoke telepathically. They used more of their brain mass, and mastered the use of telepathy many years before humans could even speak.

The eyes were shining brightly. They might be green or purple or blue, but they would shine brightly no matter what color they were. The lips would be a very subtle shade of pink, much like the alluring human mouths.

I closed my eyes to the truth of it. I had always known I was different, but I never imagined I was one of them. I was one of them.

The tears stung on my cheeks. They were hot and nearly burned my flesh, just newly accustomed to the air of this world. I did not want this for myself. I had been taught to hate them since their arrival. The humans did not trust my people, and I couldn't blame them.

The newcomers claimed peace, and then laid waste to thousands of lives. They said we could live in unity, yet they enslaved human children and women to work in their factories. I had a vision of the wars they fought. "Victory," they thought.

But the humans were gaining strength again. They would not lie still in their bonds for long. They would fight for freedom, as they so often did amongst themselves.

The rebel humans would fight against these creatures until every one of them lay dead. They would never give up, nor would I.

Then he saw me. The father of one of my human friends, Jared. His eyes looked upon my transformation with absolute hatred. He raised his arm, and produced a gun.

I stepped towards him carefully. "Don't." I said softly, finding my voice at last. It was delicate and crystalline in sound. If voices had colors, mine would have been a light rainbow of translucence.

"You killed my son!" He yelled.

It was true that the newcomers had found Andrew. They used him for information and then strangled him. Before his capture he had been my boyfriend, and this ruined man's son.

"I didn't kill him. They did. Don't you know me?"

"No." He said. "Who are you?"

"Lucia." I said even more softly. The tears welled up again and stung at my eyes. I looked down and put my hand to my face. I couldn't bear him to see me like this.

"Lucia? No. You can't be her."

"I loved him too. I'm sorry what they did to him, but I want to make things right again. I want to help the cause."

"No." He yelled, his hand growing unsteady. "Lies, they all lie!"

"It's me! It's Lucia. How can I make you believe?"

"I will never believe your kind. Murderers."

I closed my eyes. I could almost feel his grip tighten on the gun. "No," I thought. "Please not like this."

I imagined Andrew running to his father. He had something important to tell him, but he never reached him. He was captured before he ever told him our news.

We were to be married in the spring. He had just proposed to me, and was going to tell his father. The newcomers found him running in the streets after curfew, and knew him to be part of the movement against them.

Jared loosened his grip again. The gun dropped and he fell to his knees. "Lucia." He said in a whisper.

I cocked my head to the side in curiosity. What would make him react that way? And then I realized he saw my vision. He must have learned telepathy.

I opened my mouth to speak, but he raised his head.

His eyes told me of sadness, of many nights weeping over his loss. "Lucia. I am sorry. I would've killed you but for your beautiful memories of him."

"Where did you learn the telepathy of my people?"

"Do you think that we are all that weak? We have captured some of your people, and learned some of your secrets. Did you even know you were one of them?"

"No. When they started to arrive by the dozen however, I knew. Shortly before Andrew proposed, I had a dream. In the dream my flesh melted away, as it did just now. I was left in one of their bodies. I still denied it; I didn't want it. I guess it can't be denied any longer."

We both looked down then. "How I miss him." I said.

"Me too."

"There are times that I wish I had the power to bring him back." I sighed.

"So you can't raise the dead? No one is perfect."

I laughed lightly at Jared's jest. He tried to make me feel better about things not even he felt good about. He looked quite a bit like his son, and I never even noticed it.

They had the same strong jaw line, the pronounced chin. Even the eyes were the same. Those bright, burning blue eyes. His smile I noticed most. It was big and lopsided, and he always raised one eyebrow higher than the other when he laughed.

"Oh Andrew," I thought. "Help me to avenge you."

"Think not on the past." Jared said simply. "Let's get into the compound quickly."