Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Prompt: It was meant to look like an iceberg, unless you happened to notice the light from the kitchen window

Binnie ducked behind an outcropping of ice when the submersible appeared. She peered out cautiously, but its shinelights were focused at the surface. When it had cruised out of sight, she tucked her head and dove straight down, sliding her gloved hand long the ice channels until she reached the bottom of the berg. She reached under until she felt the metal bar, which she pulled down to reveal the access. Swimming up into the entry pool, she started pulling off her gloves and gear before she broke the surface.

“Meri! Dano! Did you see the sub? I saw it, but it didn’t see me!” She called out in a proud singsong voice. She climbed out of the pool and stowed her gear, swinging her bag around to carry into the kitchen.

“Meri? Where are you? I caught four fat eels for mashtagh tonight. Come see them!”

Binnie dumped the eels into the deep kitchen sink and poured water over them. Meri would cook them with kelp and shrimp or anchovies, Binnie’s favorite meal. She hung her bag on the wall hook and skated along the icy hallway into the research lab, looking for her parents.

They had been studying Binuchtigagh, the water planet, since before Binnie was born. She had lived her whole life in the berg, learning to swim in the icy waters before she could walk. She had been swimming solo since she was eight solar years old, when she had defended Meri from a fur seal’s unexpected attack. Now Binnie was the family hunter/gatherer, her father said. He was also very fond of the eels, and she could not wait to see his face light up when he saw them.

Binnie slid around the corner into the lab and froze. Her father stood at the dissecting table, and on it lay a hoomaan. Her mother was storming around the lab.

“How could you! Dano, you know the rules are absolute! We do not engage the landlife! It jeopardizes our entire mission! What were you thinking?”

“Meri, please, I could not leave it to die. Look, it is unconscious. I will seal its wounds and return it to the surface. I will be very careful. It will be all right. Trust me, Meri.”

Binnie backed into the hallway and peered around the corner as her father reached out to take her mother’s hands. She resisted when he pulled her close, then she wrapped her arms around him and buried her face in his neck.

“Dani, I’m so scared! What if it wakes up in here? What if it hurts us? Or Binnie?”

“It’s not going to hurt anything, Meri. Look at these blue shark bites. I’m not even sure I can save it, but I have to try.”

Meri looked down at the table and shook her head. “You should have left it there, Dani. It’s too dangerous to bring in here. You know what will happen if we are discovered.”

Binnie wanted to slide through the halls back to the pool and dive into the water, away from the hoomaan. But she always faced her fears, so she took a deep breath and stood tall, coming to stand next to her father and look down at the mysterious landlife creature.

Thanks again to <> for the great image prompt!

Dogs in house:

Vivaldi, Gloria in D

February word count:

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