This week’s prompt also said to use the five senses. I strayed from the prompt, as we are allowed, though I agree that using all the senses makes, well, sense.
I only had 20 minutes, and, frankly, ran out of steam before that. Here ’tis:
Kate stared at the young woman sitting before her.
“I’m from Johar,” the young woman had said.
“You mean you are Johari,” Kate corrected. They were an Amish-like sect that lived in New Zealand.
“No. I mean I’m from the planet Johar.”
Kate leaned back to take this in, trying not to show any emotion. Fifteen minutes ago, life seemed normal, whatever that meant. It’d been five years since she’d returned from another solar system as unexpectedly as she’d been flung there by a spacequake. She and the hundred passengers and her crew on the Endurance. Why should she be surprised to know someone from another planet was right here on Earth?
Ruzena Tey. That was the name of the woman sitting in the barn-turned-hangar at the Randall Ranch in eastern Montana. Kate hadn’t really thought she’d be done with space. Just by returning from four light years away meant interstellar travel was possible.
“How’d you get here?” she asked.
For her part, Tey appeared calm. She looked human, after all. Five fingers on each hand. Brown eyes. Not the cat-like slits aliens were so often depicted with. Clothes that could have come from Kate’s own closet. When she smiled, her teeth gleamed white and even. Her Kiwi accent was her most foreign feature.
“Same way you did,” Tey responded vaguely.
“By skim?” Kate asked, glancing over at the anti-grav vehicle she’d arrived on that morning to find Tey waiting for her.
“By traversing a wormhole,” Tey said, clarifying. “But that was before my time.” She looked to the side, as humans often do when trying to remember something. “Around 1900, I think.”
When Kate, as captain of the Endurance, had stepped on another planet, hoping it would become a new home for her crew and passengers, all tourists out for a three-month trip that turned into almost two years, she knew she was making history. She knew Earth was rife with centuries of rumors about aliens visiting, leaving in disgust, or kidnapping bewildered folks from their beds or cars.
Tey could be telling the truth.
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Intrigued, and curious about those five years in between.