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Solarites - Ch 1

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There was only silence when I came to. The television wasn’t on in the background, Whisper, my cat, wasn’t treading around the room, and the morning birds weren’t singing outside my window. For a moment there I thought I had gone deaf until I heard my soft shallow breaths as I inhaled.

There was a smooth surface beneath me. Freezing and rock-hard, definitely not my carpeted floors at home. The only rooms with tile floors are the bathroom and kitchen. I slid my hand up the floor, gliding swiftly over the polished ground. Felt more like glass to me than anything else.

I opened my eyes to see a girl staring back at me. She was on the floor like I was. Her long dark hair covering her face, concealing all of her facial features but a cold blue eye, staring me down. It took me awhile to realize that the long dark hair looked exactly like mine, and that blue eye was the same icy blue as my grandma, my mama, and mine. I watched the eye widen in shock of the realization that I was staring at my own reflection.

I leaned up into a sitting position and observed my surroundings. The room was small, or at least I think it was small. The walls were nothing but mirrors, even the floor and ceiling were mirrors. Every way I looked, my reflection would look right back at me.

Something was amiss despite that I woke up in a room of mirrors. Something important was gone but I couldn’t think of what it could be. A strand of hair brushed my face. It annoys me when my hair gets in the way of my vision, so I brushed it away, I could never think with it in my face, but never bothered to cut it. I knew then what I was missing and dreaded it. My breath was lost to me, my heart frozen stiff. I couldn’t swallow for my mouth dried instantly. Covering my other eye was a patch; I was sickened by it, yet couldn’t look away. I will never see through my left eye ever again.

A voice was heard from outside the room and the mirror reflected a door opening behind me. I couldn’t understand what it was saying, nor did I care, I was too absorbed in the mirror and what it showed me. Rough hands yanked me to my feet and twirled me about. Too limp to fight back the person forced me to a wall and stuffed something into my ears. An odd sensation filled them, like a worm or snake slithered deep into my ears, possibly to my brain.

The slurred language it was speaking became clear as a bell to me. “Hey! New girl can you understand me?” A strong clear girl’s voice rang in my ear. Speech evaded me, so I just nodded. There was an irritated sigh and my cheek burned. I realized that the girl just slapped me across the face. “Get over yourself already!” the voice yelled at me again.

I raised my head to look her. She was a few years younger then me. Her bright green eyes were glaring at me, absorbing each and every detail on my face. Her golden blond hair went down to her back and was neatly trimmed, although it was covered in a fine layer of dust from rocks of some kind. Her clothes were a reddish orange, she must have made them herself because they were hand stitched and mended. Shame filled me about worrying over a missing eye; this girl has been through worse then me. Peeking through her hair was two fox ears and from under her skirt was a long fox tail that wafted about behind her.

“W- What…?” I mumbled to myself.

The fox girl slapped me again, “It’s rude to stare,” she said sternly. We stood there in silence, I was at a loss for words again. “The name's Raven. But most just call me Vixen nowadays. Yep some sick solarite scientist thought it was funny to give me fox ears and tail when they learned my name was Raven. Maybe ravens on their planet look like foxes. I just don’t know,” she grumbled. Raven was very touchy about that problem I could tell immediately.

I tried to keep my mouth shut, but curiosity got the best of me. “Solarites, Raven?” I asked solemnly.

Raven busted out laughing. “Ah! The new girl does have a voice. I thought not only you’re half blind but mute as well. That would have been cruel of them.” Her laughing died down a little. “Solarites are the creatures that captured us.”

Raven led me from the room out into a white hallway. No pictures were hung up, no plants or statues along the sides of the walls. It was almost like the walls were not touched by humans; there were no marks or splotches. Clean enough to make any perfectionist standard of clean, filthy in comparison. The hallway led out to the most bizarre place I had ever seen.

Dull and dark, heavy black clouds covered the sky and cast the world in shadows. Large bonfires burned miles away from where we were standing. My knees gave out and I landed on grass or what I thought was grass. It was green and came up out of the ground but it was glowing like it was one of those deep sea fish recently found in the ocean miles below the surface. This grass wasn’t bendable either; it was stiff as a rock. Taking a closer look it, I realize it was a crystal; I searched around, all the plants were glowing crystals. Flowers and trees everywhere were in many varieties of colors, from vivid reds to lush purples. Raven pulled me up. “Yeah, I was blown away at first too. I never thought there was anything like this ever or at least on my planet.” She laughed.

She led me down a trail deeper into this crystal forest. I turned back and saw that what we were just in was a large hill with tunnels burrowing into it. We followed the winding path farther and farther into this strange place until we came to one of the large fires.

As it turned out the fire was actually a large luminous crystal a town built itself around. I basked in its light and felt like I was at home in the summer and the sun was shining on my face. It glowed with an inner fire; it was like a mini sun that was for this town only. I understood how it came to be in the first place, the sun has never touched this place; the planet had created its own light.

“Okay, make yourself at home,” Raven told me. “This is where we are to stay when our shifts are finished for the day and over there are our sleeping quarters.” She pointed at a large building at the very edge of the town. “We work in the mines; we work 5 hour intervals 3 times a day, leaving 1 hour breaks and 6 hours of sleep. Stay out of the way of the guards and stay in the spotlight. Don’t ever get unnoticed or else you will be subjected to death.” Her voice took on a tone of warning, her eyes alert to her surroundings. “Think of it as a game and don’t lose.” Raven then started heading towards another building. There was a sign over the door written in another language. I stared at it then the letters shifted and it said ‘mess hall’. I just shrugged indifferent to the odd occurrence. I was on an alien plant, anything is possible.

Smaller crystals like the one outside lined the walls leaving everything in an orange hue. The room was filled with a musty, smoky smell also. Raven had disappeared completely, the only other person in there was a girl at a desk talking to a receptionist. The girl wore a white hand stitched dress similar to Raven’s. Her hair was a rustic gold color and two lavender horns stuck out from the sides of her head. She was telling the receptionist something, but I couldn’t quite hear what it was about. The girl turned around and faced me. “Oh! Hello.” Her voice was sweet and almost like she sang everything she said. She scooted to the side to let me pass by. At the desk was the receptionist, it wasn’t what I had expected; it wore a full body suit and a helmet. It had four arms, two of which were typing at something I supposed was a computer. “Name?” its voice was harsh and rugged.

Some more people came through the door behind me. I couldn’t help but overhear their chatter because one caught sight of me and said, “Oh look a pirate.”

I responded to that remark, “Pirate?” but then I realized I just made a huge mistake.

The receptionist tilted its head to the side and told me, “Really? Humans have no imagination when it comes to names.” Then it typed ‘Pirate’ as my name. I was about to speak up in protest but then it stopped me by sternly telling me. “Well then Pirate, welcome to demons moon. You were selected to work in the mines until your Final days. Your job shall be… water carrier.”

The first girl shouted with glee, “Yes! Water buddies!” she gave me a hug that could crush bones.

The receptionist sighed irritably. “And that is your partner. I seriously hate my job working with these monsters…”

The girl dragged me away to another room in the back of the building. She chattered away her whole life story. “My name is Fei. I’m so excited about having a roommate. I mean everyone else has a roommate but I guess it was hard to find a replacement for me. She committed suicide one day, said it was too much, that I was too much!” she laughed like it was hilarious. “I wish I knew why though…” she became sober abruptly and stopped walking. We stood there in silence for a moment or two, until she snapped out of it and started up her chatter again. “So Pirate what planet are you from?” she asked me leaning forward in anticipation.

I fumbled with the words, I never really talked to people not even my own family, but they were just as anti-social as I was. “I- I’m from Earth.” I thought how ridiculous that sounded and turned away embarrassed.

Fei stared at me in shock her mouth gaped open “Earth! Wow I can’t believe it. I’m sharing a room with a Human and we’re partners.” She squeaked with joy. “I can’t believe it. She’s actually nice too! If I die right now I won’t complain.”

I couldn’t stop the surprise that filled my face. “Don’t say that,” I told her, “no one should die no matter what.”

Her smile brightened. “Everything I knew of humans is wrong. I thought they were cruel hearted murderous demons that will prey on little children," she blurted out not thinking if that was offensive or not. I just waved it off as she meant nothing by it. We came up to a door, some people came out and I caught a glimpse just before it slammed shut. There was rows of tables, must be the dinner hall. We entered the room. There was seven rows of tables each one halfway full. They formed clusters at different sections and kept to themselves. No even bothered to look up like I had imagined, like in western movies were the new comer walked into a bar and everyone stared at him.

For the first time I really got a good look at these other people. They seemed almost human, or at least most of them, there was still some of those odd monstrous four arm or giant things. There were only few differences between us; some, like Fei, had the same horns, others had wings, but only one had animal features that was raven.

She sat alone glaring out, growling whenever someone got near. She munched on a burger making me feel a twinge of hunger. Fei tracked my eyes over to her and yelled, “Hey, Vixie!”

Raven flinched at the sound then roared, “You half twit, it's Raven! Not vixen, not Vixie. Raven! And nothing else.”

Fei flinched away from her. “Okay sorry…”

Raven sighed as Fei sniffled a little, she tugged her down and gave her a hug. “It’s okay, it's okay you did nothing wrong.” Raven consoled her then glanced at me. “Why are you here?”

Fei interrupted me before I could speak. “She is my new roommate! And she's a…” she glanced around then leaned closer to raven and whispered, “A human.”

Raven then pushed her over to the side. “Oh really?” Her glare didn’t really soften nor harden, more like she was accepting of this particular fact but wasn’t to be trusted. She gestured for me to sit down beside them and I carefully inched into the chair between them. I wasn’t particularly hungry so when Fei offered to grab me something to eat, I just waved her off. Raven snorted. I turned to her confused. “Oh trust me, you will be after this first shift.” She got up and left, I turned and watched her go as some guy walked to her and wrapped his arm around hers.

Fei returned with some honey buns and plopped one in front on me. “Got you something anyway,” she cheerfully smiled at me sitting down.

I nibbled on the end of it as she munched away on hers. “Are there any other humans here beside me?” I asked her quietly.

She nodded slowly then tilted her head to a table in the back where a man sat alone. He didn’t notice us or anybody else for that matter. Fei silently swallowed and nudged me not to stare at him. Before I turned away he caught a glimpse of me looking at him. He frowned and I could feel his gaze on me; I began to feel very hot. I gobbled down the rest of my honey bun and quickly walked out with Fei.

“So, what do we do now?” I asked when we we’re out of the mess hall heading to a building labeled girls dorms.

“We wait for the bell to tell us when it's time for our shift,” Fei told me quietly. She dragged me down several long halls. Not like the first one I saw these halls were more log cabin type with pictures and stuff on the walls. Our room was on the second floor; half was barren of everything but a bed and a side table and on the bed was the bone colored hide shirt and skirt sewn together by a brown leather strap. The other half was decorated a bit.

The bed had blankets and a canopy, the walls were painted mint green and someone pinned crystal lily looking flowers on the far wall. I stared at them in wonder as Fei examined the clothes. “These look nice.”

She noticed me by the flowers. “They make a great night light. The flowers I mean… here lets get you out of those torn clothes.” My clothes were torn up pretty badly; I wonder why I had only noticed them now. I dropped the thought quickly as Fei torn off what was left of my shirt. I slipped into my new clothes and a shrilly screech filled my ears, it was like the sound you hear when you step on a cats tail and mix it with the high pitched whine of a dog.

That was the bell because Fei tensed up and her face turned very serious. She went over to the closet and pulled out four buckets and a pole about as long as her. “Your equipment is in your closet pirate.” I turned to the door on the opposite wall and dragged out the buckets and pole. The pole had four hooks two on each side, I assume where we hang the buckets from. “Stay near me and whatever you do, do not trip.” I nodded in response and followed her out the door.

Written by Anonymous
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