Thursday, March 31, 2011

9: A Close Encounter

Sora spent some time eating some of the dried fruit and vegetables that she had brought on her trip.  She sat in the mouth of the cave and watched the sun rise in the east.  Despite the early hour, the air was warm and comfortable.  Sora felt so free.  She felt like the roof had been blown off of her existence, and she was ready to experience it all.

Sora retreated back into the cave.  She rolled out her bed in a far corner, and was asleep within minutes of lying her head down.

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Sora awoke with a start.  She looked around confused about where she was exactly.  One event to another, the realization dawned on her.  She could hear voices echoing through the cave.  She sat up and rolled up her bed as fast as she could.  Just as she was tying it back onto her pack, a group of humans came strolling down one of the smooth paths lined with an iron bar.  Many of the humans were holding onto the bar, almost like it was keeping them from falling over.

Sora tried to slip back into the corner.  She had no idea what they would think when they saw her.  A few of the humans glanced at her as they passed not even giving a second glance.  But the very last human was trailing behind looking at a map and walking anything but straight down the path.  This female human had orange hair that was pulled back, and pale white skin.  Her arms, legs, and face were dotted with little brown spots.  It reminded Sora of a leopard.  The human was wearing short pants, and a shirt that showed her shoulders and her arms.

The female glanced up right as she was about to pass Sora.  She started just a bit, but smiled at SoraSora looked up the path then looked back at the human.  She smiled back.  The female said, "Are you waiting for someone?"

Sora's jaw dropped open.  She did not expect that she would be able to understand the human.  "Uh, no.  I was just on my way out of this cave."

"Oh.  Have you already finished your tour?" Asked the human with genuine interest.

"Tour?"  Sora scrunched her eyebrows at the term.

"You aren't from around here are you?"  The human said.  She approached Sora and held out her hand.  "Come on, you can come with me.  It can be so annoying to follow a tour guide.  I'll show you around.  I've been here so many times."

Sora hesitated, but she took the human's hand feeling very foolish and childlike.  "You are from around here," Sora guessed.

The human female smiled up at Sora.  "Born and raised.  Well actually, I'm from Roswell.  I just decided to take a day trip to visit the caverns.  They are one of my favorite places to explore."

Sora nodded her head.  She had no idea what Roswell was.  The human interrupted Sora's thoughts.

"I'm Jess Lewis." The human stated.  "What is your name?"

Sora looked at the human and said, "My name is Sora."

"Sora what?"

"Just Sora."  Sora wondered what she was getting at.

"Oh okay, I won't pry.  I understand."  Jess looked down at the map for just a second.

"You are very tall," Jess said.  "I am lucky to be five, five when I have heals on.  You have got to be at least six feet tall!"

"I haven't ever really thought of it.  My dad is much taller than I am."  Sora said matter of fact.

Sora glanced up at the humans ahead of her and Jess Lewis.  She had noticed how odd shaped they were.  A few of the male humans were taller than her.  But most of them were shorter than her.  She was very used to looking most Kiswan in the eye, or even looking up.  She noticed a few humans that were shaped round like fruit, while some were very thin, like a stick.  She was very intrigued at how different each human was.

Jess Lewis didn't seem to notice Sora's pensive moment and continued on.  "Wow!  Your dad must be tall!  My dad is barely taller than me."

Sora didn't know how to respond, so she just kept walking.  Jess looked over at Sora and said, "You have gorgeous skin.  How do you get that healthy glow?"

Sora was beginning to be a little uncomfortable.  She wondered if Jess Lewis even realized that she was not as involved with the conversation as Jess Lewis was.  "I don't know.  All of my family has the same skin."  Sora replied.

"Oh."  Jess laughed, which made Sora look down at her.  "I was hoping you had some magical way to make pasty white skin, beautiful and golden.  I try to tan, but I just burn, then freckle."

Sora lifted one of her eye brows.  She needed to learn more about what this human was talking about. 

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Sora walked with Jess Lewis further into the cave.  This was the last thing that she wanted to do, since she spent the last day and a half in a cave.  She wanted to get some fresh air, and decide her next move.  But something about Jess Lewis held Sora by her side.  The more and more Jess Lewis talked, the more Sora realized how different this world was.  Sora definitely needed a friend.

Jess Lewis talked on and on about a boy that she really liked, but he had no idea that she existed.  Sora thought, 'What is a boy?'  Jess Lewis didn't even seem to miss a beat she immediately started talking about highlights, and how Jess Lewis was wanting to get them.  Sora thought, 'What are highlights?'

After mentioning the highlights, Jess Lewis' face lit up.  She turned to Sora and said,  "Hey!  Where did you get your hair done at?  Yours looks beautiful!  How did they get the golden color to match your eyes so well?"

"Uh."  Sora paused.  "What?  My hair has always been like this, and so have my eyes.  Dark with a tint of gold, like the sun."

It was Jess Lewis' turn to look confused.  "Oh, okay... That's alright if you don't want to share your secret."

Jess Lewis looked down at her feet as they walked.  Neither of them were paying much attention to the surroundings of the cave.  Sora realized that she made the human, Jess Lewis feel really bad.  But she just didn't understand why.  Jess Lewis remained quiet for the rest of the tour, which was nearly over.

They walked out of the cave, and Jess Lewis said, "Well, it was good to meet your Sora.  Maybe I'll see you around."

"Oh, ya.  You too Jess Lewis."  Sora then turned around and walked toward a path made of hard black rock.

She stepped on the hard rock path, and began walking.  All of a sudden, Sora heard a high pitched wailing sound.  She whipped around just in time to see a huge black animal charging right at her!  She jumped off the path into the sand and brush, just in time.  She was almost trampled!  Sora sat up to see that the big black animal had stopped.  She looked harder at it, and noticed that it did not have legs.  It had enormous circles that were very shiny in the middle.  She saw it lift its wing, but she gasped at what she saw next.  A human climbed out from under the wing!

It was one of the old human females that was in the same tour group that Sora had been in.  She waddled over to Sora.  It was obvious that her feet hurt her from the long walk in the cave.

"Oh dear!" She clucked.  "I am so sorry!  I didn't see you there!"

Sora had just stood up on her feet, and she was looking past the old human at the big black animal.  It had lost all life.  Sora then glanced around a little bit more.  She noticed more of those animals.  Some were very big, while some were tiny.  There was even a few that a human would just sit on top of, like a horse!  Not only were they so varied in size, but there were so many different colors.  Sora was amazed.  What kind of animals were they?

The human noticed Sora looking around.  She said, "You aren't from around here, are you dear?"

Sora shook her head.  "What kind of animals are those?  I need to find out where to get their eggs, so I can take them home."

The old human looked at Sora like she was crazy.  She finally composed herself a little bit and said, "Those, dear, are cars.  We drive them?"  She said it like a question.  "You have never seen a car?"

Sora shook her head.

"They are machines that we control, in order to go where we want to go?"  Again, like a question.

Sora watched as a green car sped out of the corral, and onto the black path.  It could go very fast.

The old human turned to see the green car that Sora was watching so closely.  "Okay.  Dear, I am going to leave now, since you are okay."

She didn't give Sora a chance to respond.  Before Sora knew it, the old human female was in her car speeding down the black path.

Sora shrugged her shoulders and continued her walk in the same direction.  This time, she was more careful to watch out for those cars.

Sora walked quite a ways.  She followed signs that pointed to the town Roswell.  She had no idea why, maybe because it was the only thing that she knew about the human world.  Jess had explained about how aliens crash landed not far from Roswell.  Sora had inquired what aliens were exactly.  Jess's description of them was, 'Little green men that live up past the stars.'  She then proceeded to tell Sora how odd it was that she had never heard of aliens before she asked if Sora had never watched TV.  Sora made a mental note to find out what TV was.

Sora came upon a table next to the black path, so she decided to stop and eat.  She nibbled on some dried meat and vegetables.  She was so tired, and she was so lost.  The hardest thing that Sora has ever had to do was to find a way out of the kingdom.  Now that she was out, she had no clue what to do next.  The only thing she knew was that she needed to contact the human leaders and inform them of the Kiswone Nation.  Before she could break the barrier, humans had to know of the existence of the Kiswan.  Otherwise, they might attack.

Kiswan had no way of protecting themselves.  They were not skilled in wielding weapons.  They were skilled hunters when it came to hunting game for meat.  However, no Kiswan ever enjoyed taking the life of an animal.  It would be so much harder to take the life of a human, that might very well be the Kiswan equal.  All in all, if not taken care of properly, the entire Kiswone Nation could be in jeopardy.

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The sun was past mid sky, and Sora knew that she was traveling North.  She had never experienced the heat like she was experiencing it there.  It was dry, and the sun's power was magnificent.  Sora was not inexperienced to heat.  But the Kiswone Nation has plenty of foliage and trees that help a Kiswan cool down on a hot day like this.  Here in the human realm, the sun was just pure and unadulterated.  Sora's water skin was quickly depleting.  She had to consume so much water in order to stay hydrated.  She wondered how much longer it would take her to get to this village of Roswell.

Sora plugged along for hours.  The sun was getting close to the horizon, and Sora looked forward to the break she would receive from its power.  A few cars passed by every now and then, but for the most part, Sora did not see many humans.  She saw plenty of lizards and bugs.  She even saw an enormous spider that was as big as her hand.  She stayed away from it, for fear that it might have poison.

As the sun began to set, Sora would look West at all of the colors that filled the sky.  From the western horizon all through the sky, oranges and purples were reflected off of the clouds.  Sora had never seen such a magnificent sun set with nothing to block the view.

After the last moments of light passed below the horizon, Sora began to pick up the pace.  Even though it was still very hot outside, the sun drastically changed Sora's fatigue.  She began a slow jog north.  She could hear animals out in the brush coming out to hunt and play.  She could hear their every move, and she caught glimpses of them as they dashed in between the brush.  She began to feel at home in nature.

Her comfort was short lived, because one of those cars pulled up next to Sora.  She was startled at the bright lights on the front of the car.  They were just like eyes.  She was wary, but stopped her jog in order to address the human.

"Hey!  Sora!"  It was Jess Lewis.

"Oh, hi Jess Lewis,"  Sora said, a little out of breath.

"You can just call me Jess, Sora.  So, have you been walking this whole way?"  Jess never seemed to be too surprised by Sora's odd behavior.

"Well, yes.  I have never had any other way to get around.  I am pretty used to it."

"Where are you headed?"

"That village, Roswell."

Jess laughed out loud.  "You will be walking all night, and all day, and then all night again before you reach Roswell.  You had better hop in.  I'm going there anyway."

Sora was not to sure about this.  The whole car thing just did not sound very safe.  Jess seemed to notice Sora's discomfort.

"Come on, it will be okay."  Jess hopped out of her big red car and walked around to the passenger side.  She opened the door and motioned with her had for Sora to sit in the black leather chair inside.  "Have a seat."

Sora finally gave in.  She turned and sat her rear on the seat with her feet still on the black path.  Then she pulled each leg in, one by one.  Once she was all the way in, with her pack tucked by her feet, Jess slammed the door shut.

"Put on your seat belt."  Said Jess as she climbed back in behind a large wheel.  "I'll get us to Roswell in no time."

When Sora didn't move, Jess over exaggerated putting on her own seat belt in order to show Sora how to do  it.  "We can't leave until you strap in.  It's my rule."  Jess was very adamant.

"Okay," Sora imitated Jess's actions, and they were speeding down the road, Sora's eyes wide with fright.

Jess looked over at Sora, who had not taken her eyes off of the black path in front of them.  "So you have never ridden in a car either, have you?"

Sora shook her head without saying anything.

"You're an alien aren't you?"  Jess was eager, and excited.

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