Shades of August Part Two
Continued Flash Fiction Free Write inspired by Writing Room 101 August Prompt.
August was accustomed to being assaulted with the stench on the Kith vessel so her brain unconsciously recognized the scent of cooked meat and spices before she processed the information from her senses. Having missed her daily meal, her empty stomach loudly protested being in the presence of real food.
A view of a buffet counter littered with unknown but enticing dishes filled her vision. For over three years she had eaten processed nutrition and had worse than that back on Earth when she did find food. The temptation was too much to ignore.
Peaking over Madison’s shoulder, she observed the Kith and Dak aliens in a heated debate and completely ignoring everything else. Madison locked eyes with August and moved her head in a negative motion. August took a step backwards towards the counter despite her friend’s objection.
Before her was mostly food she had never seen or maybe it had been so long she didn’t remember, but her stomach and brain knew this was food. Without hesitation she started pinching off purple tinted meat from a steaming tray. The morsel burned her tongue and she swallowed without fully tasting the spices.
“What are you doing?” Madison asked in a whisper.
“Shoving as much as I can into my mouth before they can stop me of course,” August replied around a mouthful of food. “Oh, you’ve got to try this one. It reminds me of cloves.”
“You haven’t had real food in over three years.”
“I know and I’m not going another minute when I have this buffet. I forgot how great it is to actually eat and enjoy it.”
“You have no idea what this stuff is, not to mention that you are no longer accustomed to anything except bland basic nutrition. You’ll make yourself sick.” Madison grabbed her friend’s hand before she could toss more food into her open mouth.
A statuesque Dak Mara guard interrupted their squabble, “No continue consuming the Tark. All this food was meant for you as a gift.”
“See there, it was meant as a gift.” August sucked at her spice covered index finger.
“No such thing as gifts.” Madison made direct eye contact with the alien.
“It is a gift from the Commander,” He insisted.
“I’ll pass, thanks.” She turned her attention from August who was eyeing a new platter back to the group of aliens on the far side of the room.
August shrugged, “Suit yourself. I’m moving on to this orange stuff here. Smells sweet.”
“There are eating utensils if you like.” The guard pointed to a plastic piece on the table.
August picked up a black knob the Dak alien pointed to, and a glowing blue light materialized from the handle. She did not wish to appear ignorant so she handed the item to Madison.
Madison palmed the tool and the blue light dissipated, “I said I’ll pass on the food.”
After another shrug, she returned to the brightly colored orange roots that were artfully arranged on a silver plate. August tilted her head and popped a piece of the root in her mouth. Instantly, her mouth felt like it was enduring a chemical burn and she sucked in a gulp of air. She fanned her face as heated blood rushed under her skin. Madison ignored her even as August’s eyes pooled with tears.
Another species had entered the room. These new males resembled Wahg, only they were much fiercer if that was possible. Their bristles were prominent along their backs and their jaws hung crooked from the abundance of teeth protruding through parted lips. Growls, clicks, and hisses rumbled through the room. The aliens were in a fairly heated debate. Madison knew it was about them.
The Dak Mara guard broke her concentration, “Are you sure you don’t wish to eat?”
“What is going on?” she pointed towards the growing gathering of species.
The guard turned from staring at August who was now in a coughing fit, “Their negotiating.”
August punched Madison’s shoulder to gain her attention.
“Oh walk it off already, August.”
“The Kith are selling you in order to repair their engines. You two seem to bring a fairly high price. I believe they brought the Farwn in as a way to create a bidding war between them and the Commander.”
August wiped at the tears streaming down her face. A series of hiccups issues from her and echoed off the metal walls.
“Oh for crying out loud, Gus.” Madison pushed the Dak Mara guard out of her way as she reached for a pitcher of dark purple liquid.
It spilled as she pushed it at her distressed friend. “Drink something.”
Leaving August to drink between hiccups, Madison turned to the Dak guard. “The Dak Mara don’t hold games like the Kith or the Farwn. What do they want with us?”
“Of that I’m not sure. The Commander didn’t say.” The guard arched an eyebrow at August, “Are you sure your friend is well?”
Madison watched as August nearly jumped with each hiccup. Her face was bright red except where uncontrollable tears had left white splotches.
“She hates your gift.”
“That won’t do. The Commander wanted to you both fed.”
“Yeah well, we are definitely not pleased.”
Before Madison could finish the sentence the guard strode in the direction of the group of noisy aliens. August’s high pitched hiccups reverberated through the air.
“Try holding your breath.” Madison said to her friend behind her but never taking her eyes off the guard as he crossed the room.
Really no idea where I’m going with this. Any suggestions ;)