by A.H. Lykke
Any other planet is a lonely place. I can’t see Earth from here, or our sun. This desert is just gritty and sandy enough for my new body, the air just right for my new eardrums. I hear the wind howling in the distance and the sand shifting beneath me as I move slowly forward. This sun is lovely and warm, and sunset reminds me of home. Old and red, it fills a large part of the sky above the glowing mountain range. They say colonization is a bitch. Long hours, a dearth of lovers and lots of weird food, but there are compensations.
I sense a movement and turn around quickly. One of the locals is crouching beside me with a rabbity expression on its face. Limbs bundled close to its body, hiding something. This smooth skinned near-mammal is a fast one, just not at communication. I rise slightly and nod my head at it.
Its head wobbles.
I wobble back.
It unfolds its limb to show me a rock in its paw. It looks heavy; its body is tilted to the left as it fluidly swings the rock upwards, its thin limb like a stick.
It turns its eye and meets my waiting gaze. I feel my body tense, and then decide. I am, after all, the only one remaining.
I shoot out my upper body, open my mouth and blessedly sink my new fangs deep into the smooth body in front of me, leaving perfectly tailored venom to render the meat delicious and edible.
The rock just misses me, as the body topples and falls to the ground.
Recent hunger does not matter; I can feast and stay here another week. The ship will be back soon; with proper supplies I hope.
I may look like a snake, but I am as human as you.
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A.H. Lykke is a Norwegian, living far north of the arctic circle. She has previously published one short story.