Excerpt from Married to the Yuletide Alien, Novella
Updated: Dec 10, 2022
DECEMBER, PRESENT DAY
A year ago, I reluctantly erased my true other half’s memories of our time together. She said that if we were truly meant to be married, our souls would find each other again. Now, I’ve illegally traveled to Earth and have found her alone in a secluded cabin. I only have a few days to convince her of who I am to her. But the odds are against me. She didn’t recognize me on sight, no longer has a translator, and sees me as an alien. But I refuse to give up. There is no one else for me in the galaxy.
I don't know how long I stand at her window watching her sleep, trying to decide what to do. Finally, I make a choice. I pray to the gods, "Please don't allow Tove to remain in the darkness. Let her see me and know me." Then, I take out my knife and cut my forearm. It's a deep cut to make it look bad, but nothing. I won't be able to easily heal when I'm back on the ship.
Then I knock on the door.
At first, she doesn't stir.
I knock again and louder. The foliage she's hung on the door with a red bow shakes.
I can sense that she's awake and she's scared. I can read her thoughts, but I try to block myself from doing so. I've come this far; I don't want to fail only because I've angered the gods by using that skill to cheat at this task.
I call out to her. "Please help me. I will not hurt you." Of course, she has no idea what I'm saying. She doesn't have a translator, but I try to make my voice as unthreatening and as calm as possible.
When I hear her near the other side of the door, I take a step back, even though she hasn't opened it. "I am hurt," I repeat.
"Stand off the porch," she says loudly.
I obey her. I, of course, have a translator for her Earth language.
Tove opens the door and shines the light from her primitive IC in my face. I close my eyes but raise up my bloody arm. "I need help."
"I don't understand you. Do you speak English?" she asks.
It's quaint that humans still use different languages, but I resist smiling. "I only speak Alliance. Will you help me?" I make a motion of her putting a bandage on my arm. I notice as I do my red blood is spilling onto the white snow around my boots. To me, it looks like a sacrifice to the gods, and I want to say so so that they will take notice, but since Tove can't understand me, I don't want to risk ruining this moment by scaring her further with more words she can't understand.
I watch her. Instinctively, I read her thoughts because I'm worried. She's deciding whether or not to run away in her land vehicle or to help me. Thirty seconds pass, and I get down on my knees, my hands outstretched. "Please help me."
She comes closer to me. As I had hoped, her instincts as a nurse to heal are taking over now. I notice for the first time she is carrying a pathetic little knife in her hand.
"Let me see your arm," she says.
I hold up my arm, blood dripping from it, and she shines the light on it but then takes a deep breath.
"Your skin. It's blueish grey. Are you okay?" she asks, and without hesitation, she pulls down my hood that was covering my complexion. Then, all her fear gone for my being a stranger, she touches my cheeks and my forehead. At first, I think she remembers me, but then it becomes shockingly apparent she is only touching me to assess whether or not I've hypothermia or if I might be a zombie. That's one word I know well. Humans call us' zombies' when they want to use a slur. I push that thought from my head and look up at her, hoping that perhaps when our eyes meet now, she will remember.
We hold eye contact for a few seconds, and I see no recognition in her hazel eyes. "I'm fine. It's my arm," I say as calmly as I can, knowing she cannot understand me. However, she can still read my nonverbal communication without knowing my words. I'm not here to hurt her.
Her eyes reflect a mixture of curiosity and fear, but more the former than the latter. She's trying to identify my language. She's wondering if I have some strange condition that she's never heard of that makes my skin this color. I wish I could tell her everything, but I can't. We planned that I'd have to start over again if there was ever going to be an 'us' again. The last time I saw her, she said to me, 'You must come to me as an equal, and then we will see what the galaxy holds for us.' So here I am. And I have roughly three days to win her before my ship leaves. And I don't think I'd ever be able to return to Earth given the current political climate of the galaxy, so this is my once chance with Tove, and she doesn't even have a translator, I lament.
Originally, I had thought to learn English, but that was when I thought I'd have years before I could return to Earth. But as most things happen in life, all of this happened so quickly that I didn't have much time to prepare at all. When I was invited to join other Alliance men returning to Earth to retrieve their wives, I agreed to come without hesitation. I know Tove is my true other half, and I believe she will always recognize that, even if we cannot communicate well. Despite not recognizing me immediately, I still believe that she will remember.
Tove breaks my thoughts when her warm hand grasps mine to help me up. I feel an initial connection now between us. An intimacy. As I stand to my full height, I don't break eye contact with her. I know she feels the connection too, this electricity between us, but instead of acknowledging it, she lets go of me and gestures toward the house.
"You walk first, and if you do anything, I won't hesitate to cut you with this knife," she says as if she could do real damage with that small knife.
Obligingly, I begin walking in the snow to the little red house. This whole area has the pleasant scent of trees and snow, and I've never experienced anything like it. In the Empire, we no longer have nature reserves.
I walk up the wooden steps that creak under my weight, and I'm taller and stronger than most human men. And I bend my head down a little just to ensure I don't hit the top of the doorframe. Once inside the main room, I see one candle is lit, and I want to walk over to it and light the other candles, but I don't want to alarm her. So I stand still, waiting for her to tell me what she wants me to do.
End of Excerpt.