Summer, 28 years B.L. (Before Legacy)
There is a strange Sim in my house.
“I’m sorry for barging in like this, but I seem to have gotten lost.”
Verixe looked at the man in front of her in confusion. She’d never seen a Sim before, and the only way one could reach this planet was-
“You see, I was abducted. On purpose, I assure you” the man went on “but I didn’t want to leave without having a look around and well… now I can’t find my way back.”
“You got abducted on purpose?”
“Well, yes. I’m a scientist.”
The man seemed to think that this was explanation enough, and held out his hand. “I’m Dr Elliott Ballard. Nice to meet you.”
The man had a way of getting places, Verixe thought. Into her house, now under her house.
“I just can’t believe that your house is alive!” he said, pointing at the area where the roots entwined to form a solid foundation. “Do you need to water it?”
“No, it gets water from the underground river system. If I had to water a house this big, I wouldn’t have time to go to work.”
“Where do you work?”
“At the place you escaped from, actually. I’m still an assistant, but I’m training to be a full technician one of these days.”
“I didn’t ‘escape’, I simply left.”
“Of course you did. In that case, you won’t mind if I simply ‘take you back’?”
“Only if I can see you again soon.”
The man had a way of getting places, Verixe thought. Including into her heart.
He came back. Not just once, but many times. He would escape each time, bringing her a flower or a story from his home world. The technicians turned a blind eye to it – he always brought himself back before someone had to go hunting for him. He wouldn’t have been hard to find, anyway.
Each visit brought them closer together. Verixe began to count down the days until she would see him again. The first time she was allowed to go with the technicians to pick up the subjects, he was on her rounds. She measured his heartbeat, and as his sped up from her touch, her heart replied in kind.
Their first kiss came as a surprise. She had been showing him how to safely harvest the fang-flowers when he had turned and pressed his lips to hers. They were so warm. As he moved away, she leant forward and brought their lips together again. And again. And again.
Of course people talked. A Sixan and an alien? Verixe didn’t mind, though. She was happy and loved, and that was what mattered.
Luckily, he felt the same way.
Of course, she said yes.
Summer, 22 years B.L.
“What’s it like on your planet right now?”
“The days are long and warm, and the sky is a clear blue that reflects off the ocean.”
“Do you live near the ocean?”
“I grew up on one of the coasts, but I live in a desert at the moment.”
“What’s a desert?”
“A place where there is lots of sand, and very little water. I moved there to be closer to my job, but I miss the sea sometimes.”
Verixe closed her eyes, trying to imagine those far off places. What would it feel like to have water that you could actually swim in? Or sand covering your feet and sliding against your skin whenever you moved? Elliott’s hand touched hers gently, and she opened her eyes again.
“I was thinking…”
“Would you like to have a child? With me?”
She sat up and looked down at him, reaching her hand over to smooth a lock of his hair back into place.
“I don’t know if we can.”
“You’re a Pollination Technician now, right?”
“I am, but we’re still working on the technique. We don’t have very many successes.”
“Well,” he said as a mischievous grin spread across his face, “feel free to practice your ‘technique’ on me.”
She laughed and cuddled into his side. Maybe she would.
Late Summer, 21 years B.L.
“You’re not annoyed, are you?”
“Of course not. We can keep trying.” Elliott kissed his wife on the lips, trying to banish all of her doubts. “Even if we never have a child, all I need is you.”
Verixe smiled softly and wrapped her arms around him. How did she get so lucky?
“Well, we still have a few more things to try.”
“Ah yes. Well, I do love testing all variables. I am a-”
“A scientist. Yes, I know. I love you”
Early Summer, 20 years B.L.
“Hello, little one.”
“And hello to you, too.”
Verixe laughed and swatted playfully at him. “I was talking to the baby.”
“Have we decided on a name, yet?”
“I’m still narrowing it down.”
Elliot smiled. “So am I. I’ve left my list on the bedside table if you want to pick one of them.”
“You all have such strange names. Annabelle, Valerie, Michael, Melissa…”
“Less weird, but that’s you name so the baby can’t have it.”
“Sorry, baby, your name can never measure up to mine.” he said, rubbing his swollen belly affectionately. A look of pain crossed his face, and he bent over.
“Ooof. I think the baby is protesting.”
“Are you ok?”
“I think it’s time. The baby heard my challenge and is coming out to fight me,” he grinned, before bending over again. “I should probably get to the hospital.”
“We could probably do the delivery here, if you wanted?”
“No, it’s ok. I promised my parents they could be there at the birth. Once they stopped screaming about me being pregnant, that is.”
“Ok, lets get you back to the lab so we can get you home.”
“This is my home. When the baby is born, we’ll both live here with you. For good.”
Tears welled up in Verixe’s eyes. “You mean, you’ll be able to stay?”
“I managed to convince my boss that I could work perfectly well from over here, and promised my parents I would visit and bring their grandchild with me at least once a year, but yes. I’m staying.”
They kissed again before he boarded the shuttle, then the doors closed behind him. She waved him off for what would hopefully be the last time.
And it was the last time.
She had waited for his return. Three days and three nights passed before the news arrived. The shuttle had crashed, killing both him and the crew on impact. A week later, she received a letter.
We offer our deepest sympathies on the passing of your husband. He was a valued member of our team, and a good friend. He will be sorely missed by us all.
We were unable to save him, despite our best efforts. We did manage to save one life. That of your child.
She had read the letter many times. It still hurt.
A small cry came from behind her, and she turned to lift the baby out of her cradle. She couldn’t help the small smile that came to her face through the tears as she gazed down at her daughter. She still needed a name. She sat down on the bed, holding the child close as she picked up the list of names Elliott had left behind. Many of them had been crossed off at some point, leaving two boys names and two girls names. Eve and Melissa.
“How about Eve? Do you like that?”
The baby gurgled and waved a pudgy fist in the air, hitting Verixe on the nose.
“That’s a no, then. Melissa?”
The baby giggled. “You like that, do you? My Melissa. My little Lissa.” Verixe wiped her eyes and held her daughter closer. “Lissa. That sounds almost Sixan. My Lissa.”
Summer, 0 years B.L.
Verixe waved her daughter off as the shuttle left the dock. This time would be different. They would see each other again, she’d make sure of it.
1338 words, 12 screencaps. Entry for August 2016 – Short Story Challenge. Theme: Summer Love