July 8, 2011

Palpable Proof

Posted in Anna, Homecoming, Yaret tagged , , , , at 12:01 am by E.V. Svetova

From Homecoming, Part II: Awakening. One of the first interactions between Anna and the curious patient John Doe who she – against the ethical regulations and her own better judgement – discharged from the psychiatric emergency ward straight into her home. She just woke up in her chair after he spent the night telling her his fantastical story, or rather, describing his delusion. While he took a shower to wash away the hospital smells, she ran outside to get him something to eat. Now she is back and ready to continue her questioning.

He was standing by the book shelf, his blonde hair gleaming in the electric light. Barefoot he was the same height as Anna in her shoes, but his extremely slender build together with the elongated proportions of an Art Deco figurine made him seem taller. Anna’s purple NYU t-shirt stretched tightly over his straight shoulders, her gray drawstring pants slung low on his hips, offering a revealing view of his long narrow waist. The elegance of his body matched the angular minimalism of his face. Catching her appraising glance, he curved his lips in a grimace of disappointment.

“Child, savage or stud,” he said bitterly. “What would it be, Anna?”

“I don’t mean to offend you by staring.” Trying not to giggle at his choice of words, she unloaded her purchases on the kitchen counter. In the back of her mind, she was glad to register his resentment at being objectified – a man of such a fine sensibility was less likely to be a sexual predator. ‘Still could turn out to be a sociopath,’ chimed in the voice of reason, but she shushed it and continued out loud: “It’s just that I’ve never met anyone like you… I mean, non-human.”

He shook his head, still sulking.

“Because the difference is not that obvious,” continued Anna, wondering how much prodding he could take before he buckled. “By just looking at you, I couldn’t tell that you are… half…”

“Alva.”

“Yes, half-Alva.”

“If I tell you that I perceive the world around me incomparably clearer than any man, or that I am capable of feeling incomparably deeper than any man, it wouldn’t satisfy you, would it? I suppose, you want palpable proof?”

“I don’t disbelieve you, but all the things you mentioned are subjective.”

He thought for a moment. “I don’t have lice.”

Anna laughed. “So? Neither do I.”

“You do not understand. I’ve never been bitten by a gnat, a tick, or a flea. Insects do not feed on Alvan blood.”

Anna rubbed the bridge of her nose. Parasite infestation must have been an everyday reality for a Dark Ages villager. He was consistent indeed.

“I’ve seen your blood test results. You blood is perfectly normal. Except, you’re low on iron.”

“Pure Alvan blood contains no iron. As a matter of fact, iron is quite poisonous to us. But being half-human, I can tolerate iron, although not as well as a regular human.”

“Or it could be you have anemia. Any other special features?”

“My ears.” He pushed away a blonde strand, revealing an elongated ear, virtually lobe-less, with a slightly pointed tip.

“Well, some people have strangely shaped ears. What else?”

“You be the judge,” he said with a weary shrug. Dressed in her clothes, barefoot, his hair still wet, he stood before her with his arms open a little – a picture of sincerity.

Feeling like an evil scientist performing a vivisection on a unicorn, Anna picked up his slack hand and studied it. It was a normal male hand, albeit gracefully shaped; a faint net of blue blood vessels showed through the pale skin, like water through ice; the tips of his fingers were pale pink, as if his nails were manicured. She lifted his forearm, stretching the translucent skin between her fingers.

“Did you just shave your arms?”

“I don’t shave.”

Anna grinned in disbelief. “Your face looks shaven.” She rubbed her own cheek, then quickly drew her finger over his; it felt smoother than hers and very warm. His eyes went glassy for a moment, as if with pain, but he didn’t flinch.

“No facial hair?”

“No.”

“Body hair?”

“No.”

“Well, some people have very little…”

“I have none.”

“None at all?”

He rolled his eyes, and pulled at the string of his pants, baring the bottom of his flat stomach and the side of his pelvis. Below the sloping roll of the hip muscle, the top of his pubis was completely smooth.

“Yes, you may touch,” he said dismissively. Overtaken by the rush of scientific discovery, Anna reached out and touched her finger right to where a delicate vein ran along the sharp hip bone. It felt fine and satiny, like a patch of skin under her own breast that’s never exposed to the elements. No razor on Earth or in outer space, certainly not the cheap plastic BICs Anna had in her cabinet, could produce a close shave of such perfection. Even electrolysis would leave some kind of pattern. John’s skin simply lacked hair follicles.

“I guess, you don’t get goose bumps when you’re startled.” Anna giggled, all of a sudden feeling decidedly unscientific. John’s proximity made her giddy, as if his fresh smell carried some kind of mirth-inducing drug.

“I’m hardly ever startled.”

“Is that so?”

“As a rule, I have some precognition of danger.”

“Of course you do. What else?” Anna could tell he was becoming annoyed. Poking a man like a test subject was rude at best and improper at worst, but she couldn’t stop herself.

“Also, I control my body.” He narrowed his eyes.

“This is not unusual. You are pretty fit, sure, but…”

“Beyond that,” he interrupted with a vague expression – Anna wondered if was embarrassment of mischief. “Observe.”

He cupped her hand and pushed it over his crotch; before she knew it, her palm felt his soft warm flesh under the thin fabric. Her first impulse was to pull her hand away, but his fingers were around her wrist. “Hold it,” he ordered, looking down with the same queer smirk. Anna gasped, because at that moment, the flesh under her palm tightened and bulged, becoming rock-hard and filling her hand. Immediately, he let go of her wrist, and Anna jerked her hand back like she touched a venomous snake. She stared at what she just grasped: she didn’t expect a man of such delicate constitution to produce an instantaneous erection. She knew she was blushing, and averted her eyes, when John said, “Pay attention, Anna.” She glanced at his oddly dispassionate face, then turned her eyes down to his crotch. The erection was gone.

“Like so.” John lifted his hand, then brought it down with the deliberate precision of a dancer.

“Now, that’s highly unusual,” muttered Anna.

“Alvan blood.” He gave her a wide grin, no longer bothering to conceal his vindictive amusement. “Palpable enough for you?”

Her hand was tingling; for a second she became aware of a strong desire to smell her palm; she rubbed her hands to get rid of the sensation.

“If you in such control of your body,” her voice came out hoarse, “can you stop your heart?”

John furrowed his brow. “Is that the best use for my ability you can think of?” His smile returned to a pout. “You can be awfully crass at times.”

He just made her fondle him, like it was her idea, and now she was crass! ‘Son of a bitch,’ thought Anna with reluctant admiration. The voice of reason kept silent, probably scandalized into oblivion.

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1 Comment »

  1. auxtessa said,

    мне кажется, я бы влюбилась в него сразу же) хорошо, что там была не я, иначе истории бы не вышло.


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