It was, Kirk thought, like standing in a gully, watching a boulder teeter precariously above you. It might fall at any minute, crushing your life out instantly beneath its weight. Your only possible defenses are your brain and voice—but how do you argue with a boulder which neither sees nor hears?
t's go." He picked up Kirk's pistol from where he had dropped it on the ground and held it out.
Kirk looked at the gun and at the animal. The claw had been drawn away from Loren's shoulder and again it was poised, ready. "You keep it, Harry," he said.
"Oh, yes. Of course," Loren said. There was a moment of silence as Loren stuck the pistol absently into the waist of his ragged cloth covering, beside the knife. The three of them waited then, Kirk, Loren, and the animal.
"Eddie?" Loren said finally. "Are you ready?"
* * * * *
Kirk felt himself smiling in the direction of the animal. He remembered when he was a small boy, going by a house where there had been a mongrel with a flat head and large teeth. He had smiled at that animal as he was doing now. The dog had sensed his fear in spite of the smile.
Loren was standing up slowly, and the animal's head swayed in slow circling motions.
"All right?" Loren said.
Kirk glanced at the man, saw the wild, nearly va
Loren is the sole survivor of a spaceship crash 18 years ago. He's living a primitive life with Harry, a native creature, and harbors a bit of a resentment against not having been rescued in all that time. Kirk offers to take Loren back to Earth, which presupposes Loren doesn't kill him first.
The characters are well done in this story.
Non human creatures can become part of your life; so much so, that there is a genuine mutual caring, connection and even love. A lonely human castaway who has met and befriended his strange alien companion have this unique bond, and it's very strong.
Read how it has changed him after many years and affected the way in which he greets his rescuers. Nice, and even touching, story.
Two astronauts landed on a planet; one, Kirk, went to explore while other, Leo, stayed at the ship. Kirk encountered a survivor, Lauren, from earlier mission; he had a small creature with him. Kirk and Lauren fought, bickered, and talked about family and friends. The story ended with Kirk and Leo leaving back home, but Lauren decided to stay, leaving the readers with a mystery about Lauren (Why didn't he leave the planet?), the creature, and the planet.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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