Mystery Rabbit #5. Or 6. We’re not sure

Ah, rabbits.

If you have one, you have a hundred of them.

Or five or six.

We’re not sure.

We recognize most of the rabbits who visit us.

Some we know frequent us and don’t know their names.

This little beauty, for example.

We’re not even sure if we’ve seen her before or if she’s a completely new visitor, never before seen.

Keeps it interesting, don’t you think?

 

Rox Burkey and I Get Hunged (and we had fun, too!)

Rox Burkey, co-author of the Enigma Series, recently interviewed me.

Want to know the best part?

She read my responses to her interview questions and wrote “After 5 minutes of ROFL …”

My work is done.

Give it a read, and enjoy.

 

The Goatmen of Aguirra, Part 5

The Goatmen of Aguirra is one of my favorite stories and, based on comments, popular among my readers (thankee!). It appears in my self-published Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires, as an individual ebook The Goatmen of Aguirra: A Tale Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires, and was serialized in Piker Press in 2019.

I’m sharing it here because a friend is having some challenges using 1st Person POV, and The Goatmen of Aguirra uses 1st Person POV throughout.

Read The Goatmen of Aguirra, Part 4.

Hope you enjoy.


The Goatmen of Aguirra (Part 5)

 
755015:500 – Sanders consented to an attempt at open communications. Aside from the robotics and the collar, I’ll be going alone. I suggested a holo for first contact, in case these creatures are hostile. Policy and the others went against my suggestion, and I was selected as Odd-man-out. No robotics indicated anything like these Goatmen, so no xenopologists were assigned to this crew.

This isn’t what I was trained to do and I don’t like it.

755015:940 – When they saw me walk around the Blind, all immediately lowered themselves to their knees with their arms at their sides and hands on thighs, fingers pointing inward, their backs straight and their faces always towards me. I felt like I was entering an Aikido class. The way their arms arc out from their bodies I can only think of “I’m a little teapot short and stout…”. Jeremy so loved that song. I would sing it to him and dance, positioning his little body to the lyrics of the song. Ah, well.

As I approached, in unison they held out their left hands and bent slightly towards me. One of the Goatmen communicated. The communication was audial, but was in the infrasound range as I felt it more than heard it, like feeling the vibrations of a big bass drum as a parade marches by. The vibrations stopped and, again in unison, they extended their right hands, still bent slightly in my direction. I was told by a friend from Nambia that most white men smell like goats. The wind has changed and, if this is how we smell, we should bathe more often.

If they used audial communication, I would try the same, hoping my voice was neither beyond their hearing nor painful to their ears.

“My name is Gordon Banks.”

They communicated amongst themselves, this time in the audible range. What I immediately noticed was the physical cues to communication. When one spoke, he leaned towards his listener and extended his left hand, then showed he awaited a reply by extending his right hand. The listener kept his back straight until he spoke. During conversation – as opposed to communication – both leaned into each other and their hands darted forward and back quickly but rhythmically. During oration (if that term can be applied) the listeners sit with their backs straight. The patterns for conversation and communication followed when more than two Goatmen were engaged.

I remember that my reaction to their physical cuing was the amount of respect it showed for speaker and listener. I wondered if this physical cuing was ceremonial or cultural.

Their voices remind me most of excited horses and sheep, a combination of high bleating, neighing, and low bellowing. It is obviously a complex language. As they went through their posturings the wind brought several subtle smells to me. Could there also be an vomeronasal component to their communication? How I wished for a Goatman’s nose! Is the grotesque physical animation necessary due to the torpidity of the face? Does their vomeronasal sense supplement that? And if so, how subtle and sophisticated is it?

Why did none of the robotics reveal this culture here? Why are there no other such creatures or cultures anywhere else on this planet?

They extended their left hands again (a sign of placation or offering?) and bent towards me. When the one Goatman – I’ve decided to call him Gomer, it is as close as I can get to his name – spoke, I tied in the translators. He is, I think, a middle-aged male of some importance. “You are from the …” He made a sound at the end of his question that the program couldn’t translate.

Again their right hands came forward. All stared at me, waiting. I spoke into the collar, “Can the computers give me anything on that last phoneme?”

Sanders answered me, although I could hear the others in the background and imagined them all huddled around the holo watching and taking notes. “Something tied to their mythology is the best we can do. Some kind of primary cultural icon, we think.”

I wanted to echo “We think?” but know Sanders was incapable of an original thought unless the flight manual expressly indicated it. Instead I said, “Thanks. I’m talking with fifteenth-century Christians and am about to say, ‘Jesus Christ? Holy Spirit? Sorry, I have no idea what those are.’ I hope their culture is more aboriginal.”

I tied in the translators and spoke. “Can you understand me?”


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Where do they get these names?

Naming children.

Do parents ever wonder how their children might turn out if given different names?

The cultures I studied gave people new names often, and always with a reason.

For example, I was given a new name when I entered seminary, then another new name when I studied with a west coast peoples, another name when I studied with plains people, a name when I studied with the Celts, …

And my parents had several names for me, based on my behavior.

Raccoons, we’ve noticed, give their children fascinating names.

We wonder where they get them.

Is there a book of raccoon names?

Probably not. Much of The Wild has similar naming tendencies.

I’m sure there’s a book they all use.

I’d like to see it someday.

If only to learn what my real name is.

 

The Goatmen of Aguirra, Part 4

The Goatmen of Aguirra is one of my favorite stories and, based on comments, popular among my readers (thankee!). It appears in my self-published Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires, as an individual ebook The Goatmen of Aguirra: A Tale Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires, and was serialized in Piker Press in 2019.

I’m sharing it here because a friend is having some challenges using 1st Person POV, and The Goatmen of Aguirra uses 1st Person POV throughout.

Read The Goatmen of Aguirra, Part 3.

Hope you enjoy.


The Goatmen of Aguirra (Part 4)

 
745015:400 – The rumbler rolled from behind the blind and out towards the Goatmen. Set on low, its pseudopod extended and thumped the Aguirran plain lightly and rhythmically.

A strange thing happened which I haven’t shared with the others but am willing to recount here:

All of us – Sanders, Galen, Tellweiller, Nash, and myself – sat at the great table in Common and watched the monitor. On the screen we saw all the goatmen save one turn and stare at the rumbler. They watched it with the same blank, seemingly mindless expression with which they watched the blind previously. They showed no aggression, no offense, no territoriality; nothing. No display of anything with which I’m familiar.

All except one. He turned to the rumbler, puckered as if in thought, as if he were trying to come to some decision about it, then turned back to the Blind. It didn’t end there. If it did there would be nothing more to tell.

When he turned back to the Blind, his eyes – those damn near human eyes everything seems to have on this planet – came to a focus they had not achieved before and he stared – if that word can be used – not only directly into the blind but at me, as if I could be seen by him as separate and distinct from the blind, our ship, even my fellows in the crew. I was about to mention this to the others when I noticed none of them was aware of this singular fellow. All of their attention was on the rumbler, waiting for it to cause an aboriginal scatter. None of them seemed even aware of the lone Goatman.

I looked back at the Goatman whose eyes were fixed upon me and he opened his mouth as if to say “oh”. It seemed he breathed rapidly and I…I felt my surroundings fade. As I sat there meeting this creature’s unintentional stare, I peripherally watched my compatriots moving off as if into some great distance, becoming wisps and shadows until they, the table, Common, and even The Merrimack itself were gone from me.


Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. This is a protected post and requires either General Membership (free) or a Subscription (various levels). Members and Subscribers can LogIn. Non members can join. All posts are free to all members save certain posts in the My Work category. Enjoy!