Author’s Note: Well, I wanted to write a happy memory for Luna and Tynan after that last scene.
I used the words from Three Word Wednesday to do it. Pale, naughty, and douse.
“What about rain?”
He looked over at Luna, unsure of what she was asking. She hadn’t stopped smiling, not since she started that radiant moonbeam of hers—he knew she was not a true satellite as science understood it, but he liked the connection her name made anyway—and she was still smiling now, so he thought that was good. Perhaps she was just curious. Luna could be curious. He knew that about her. He liked it, too. She was an ideal companion for him, always so intriguing and surprising. She made every day enjoyable and pleasant for all that gathered around her, as the children had once again.
“Why would you want to know about rain? Do you want some kind of science behind it, perhaps? I thought you knew what caused your planet’s water cycle. If you don’t, I can explain it. I do know the basics, at least. It is a fairly common system, found on many planets in the known parts of the universe.”
She laughed. “Sometimes, you are way too literal. Or maybe I’m not being clear enough. I should have said, can you feel the rain? Can you touch it? Does it make you… hungry? Or can you have as much of it fall on you as you want?”
“Luna, I thought we were playing games today. We brought bunches of them.”
She turned to the child who had spoken. “I know, and we will, but I thought we’d wait for a few more of your friends to show up, and I was in the middle of a conversation. You need to be patient. I’ll grab a book in a minute, after Tynan answers my question.”
The boy sat back with a pout, and she shook her head, leaning over. “I don’t suppose that you can put your hunger to use and get rid of those, can you? I don’t think a water balloon fight is a good idea, even if they’ll get a kick out of it. Everything will end up wet, though, and I don’t have that many towels.”
“I am not eating your… balloons,” he said, peering over at the bucket full of odd shaped objects in a strange assortment of colors. “I shouldn’t risk everyone here by doing that. The balloons made you think of water, then? And then rain? So you want to know if I can feel rain without letting the vortex consume everything afterward?”
“I do not know. I’ve never tried. I avoid the rain.”
“Oh.” She seemed disappointed, and he wanted to make it so that she wasn’t, but he couldn’t change what he was. He was a monster. All his species did was destroy. That meant that few things concerning him were at all pleasant. “Never mind, then.”
“I would like to hear you read more, though,” he said, and she managed a smile, one that paled in comparison to the radiant one she’d worn earlier. He would have said something about it, but then he saw someone with an orange blob in hand, lifting it up into the air. He started to call out a warning, but it was too late.
The balloon hit her, dousing her with a surprising amount of water. “Hey! Who did that?”
One of the boys laughed, pointing at the girl next to him. She smacked him, and he started struggling with her. Luna moved over, pushing them apart. She wasn’t smiling anymore, and he didn’t like that she’d stopped. She looked rather unhealthy, soaked as she was, her hair coming loose as it dropped down her back, her shirt sticking to her in a way that could not be comfortable, all lopsided as it was.
“Stop that. Both of you. Now, I want a real answer. Who threw that water balloon at me?”
“Luna,” he said. She looked at him, and he pointed to Alvin. She frowned. “I guess he was curious. I don’t know. I do know I saw him throw it. Alvin was the one who soaked you.”
She turned back, shaking her head as she did. “You are one naughty alien, aren’t you?”
“We are sorry. We did not know it would hurt.”
“It didn’t hurt.”
“Oh. Good.” Alvin’s hands came out from behind him, a balloon in each of them, and she sighed as she saw the bright colored weapons. Well, perhaps he should not call them weapons. The term seemed inaccurate. She had said it had not hurt, after all. She was only wet.
“Balloon fight!” One of the kids shouted, and he grabbed for a blue beacon out of the bucket, throwing it at Alvin. The latex exploded when it hit him, the remains sticking to him as though a part of his skin.
He threw all the balloons in his hands, hitting several children as he did. Luna tried to duck out of the way. “No fair, Alvin! You’ve got four hands!”
“Yes. We like this advantage.”
Luna used a word that the children should not hear, grumbling as she did. “Everyone get the alien! Now!”
He stepped back, watching the children battle with the four-armed former hive member. He couldn’t get involved, couldn’t play, and he didn’t want to risk any of the kids or Luna getting hurt if he was bumped. No, he would just watch, and watching would be enough.
The children giggled, smiling and wet and not caring for a moment. Luna was right—they would not have enough towels, but it did not matter. None of them minded the water. All they cared about was how much fun they were having. He envied them that. They did seem to enjoy what they were doing, even if it was somewhat bizarre.
He jerked as something hit him, and he frowned, trying to find the source, wanting to make sure that he didn’t have to turn his hunger on himself to keep from pulling everything into a black hole. He didn’t see a balloon, didn’t feel the pull of the hunger. That did not make sense.
“Something wrong? Did they hit you? I thought you were outside of the fire zone,” Luna said, coming over to him. Her clothes were soaked through now, and were they a lighter color, he might have been able to see more of her than she intended the public to view. Not that it mattered. She was human. Her species was incompatible with his, and he didn’t know why he’d even had the thought.
Perhaps it was the children. They would make anyone think of mating practices, wouldn’t they? Since they were offspring of humans, and she was loved by so many of them yet had none of her own, it was something to consider. What if Luna were to mate with someone and have a child? She would not be able to travel with him.
He did not like that possibility.
“I’m fine,” he said, remembering that she had spoken to him. “I thought something hit me, but it couldn’t have.”
She nodded. A balloon hit her in the back, splattering water over her and forward, onto him. He frowned. He didn’t understand. What had happened? Had it… missed? Why didn’t he feel hungry? Why didn’t he want to eat everything now?
“I… I think it hit me, and I felt it, but I didn’t need to eat, didn’t feel a pull…”
She reached into the bucket, grabbing a balloon. She frowned at it before hurling it at him. He looked down and shook his head. Still nothing. Very strange.
“Oh, Tynan,” she said, her eyes as wet as the rest of her, despite the smile. “You can have rain.”