Períerga Symvánta (Xinia's POV) - Part 1

Submitted into Contest #96 in response to: Start your story with the arrival of a strange visitor in a small town.... view prompt

1 comment

Suspense Science Fiction Adventure

  It was late into the night already.

  I had just finished my shift at the coffee place a fair distance from home─ since I'd asked for extra hours─ and even though the pay was little, any sum of money, no matter the portion, still served its purpose. I mean… I'll take whatever I can get my hands on. 

  As a college student, paying my loans off and providing for me and my little sister meant that I had to pull my weight to make our situation work. We're orphans, Trinette and I. 

  The only problem was──

               she decided to skip school today,

  which meant she sought refuge in my little corner of the town, dozing off the darker hours of the day spread along the homely, staple couch of Sashy's Diner place. She snored away the customers while I cleaned up and tidied the small-scale eatery as the last working staff member of our happy, buddy-buddy crew.

  So I let her sleep a while before calling it a day and shutting up shop.

  I hope I didn't ruin her beauty nap.

  The sky was a deep aegean-blue layered upon a charcoal-backdrop, nearing midnight.

  I heaved her up into my arms and watched her slumber against my chest, her warm, nestled head sinking onto my shoulder. 

  We continued down the pathway home through the quiet, peaceful park neighbouring our house, its rocky, gravelly track leading us in the soundless dark, the glints of lamplight along the avenue sprinkling dusty bubbles glowing a familiar faintness. 

  I am remembered of the times I strolled the night through these grounds harbouring a pretty little lake and green undergrowth and blissful, swaying trees amid forestry.

  But a distant rustling caught my ear.

  I followed the sound, entering an uncovered clearing where a navy-blue tent lied. The sight was very peculiar. And to think I knew this place.

  I'd never seen it before. A tent. In the middle of a grove.

  It was true - I heard rumours of a newcomer in town. But never did I think to encounter the mystery stranger sheltering in woodland.

  The rustling grew louder. I ducked behind shrubbery and carefully plopped Trinette down on the patchy grass. She wriggled in my arms, yawning and rubbing her eyes like I'd just woken her up from hibernation.

  "Where are we?" her dim, raspy voice blended in with the nearby brushwood crackle prickling at the ears, too close for comfort.

  "Shh- I hear something."

  The sudden skulking appearance of County Sheriff Pechman Salmoneus, chief deputy of Períerga Symvánta, our little town in the island of Samothraki, just noth of Greece, was certainly unpredicted. It had only just come to my attention they had sent officers on night parole to roam these parts. Were they always there? and I simply hadn't noticed? Or perhaps I just… wasn't looking.

  A few ways away, the sheriff had popped out from a different opening converging at the central mini-glade of Ieró park, its not-so-secret hideaway rooted in seeming seclusion. The beam of his flashlight encompassed the pleasant, breezy flaps of a quiet tent, its sleepy owner unsuspecting of an imminent threat. 

  Piercing, resounding prints stained the foliage with every crunch of a step, as the sheriff treaded through a disheveled track, in paced caution, until reaching the front of the tent. The restful grounds of forest-floor along Ieró, in the unwelcomed presence of an authority.

  The dust of lustre, owed to the illumination of Pechman, had not even fallen upon the metal zipper of a lonely tent before the booming blare of a gruff, sonorous voice shot into the silicone coating of nylon-weaved fabric and stirred the poor bloke inside.

  "Who goes there?" a faint, groggy response greeted the bellowing demands from Pechman only aggravated him more.


  A wiry, rough, sullied-skinned man with a tousled, ragged profile emerged with a palm shielding his eyes from the brightness of direct, beaming luminosity.


  The man hesitated. He knew to comply, but doesn't give Pechman the satisfaction of an immediate reaction.


  His knees yielded, giving way to the sodden, receding soil.


  A nod.


  A shake.


  A shake.


  At this, his eyes flickered onto him. 

  "My mother's uncle…" he muttered.


  "Careful, mortal. The gods will hear you."

  A trembling lip and gritted teeth followed suit, taking shape on Pechman's face as a hasty hand tucked away into the leather dip of his holster, slipping out a ductile chord made of cowhide, testing the flexibility of its rod by slicing the air just a nick away from his target, the sturdy strap narrowly swiping the side of his left ear.


  My hands moved quickly. The soft, shaky lashes of my sister's eyelids brushed my clammy palm as I felt the wavering hairs from her pint-sized sockets along the lines trailing my hand. 

  I managed to cover her from the impending sight of it all before she witnesses her first flogging, but there wasn't any way to keep her from hearing the sharp thwacks and stifled grunts. My whispers rushed out in a fleeting stream of panic. 

  "Trinette, I want you to run. Run as fast as you can. Okay? Get home. Don't look back and don't stop to wait for me. I'll meet you there."

  She expressed her distaste with a troubled sigh before getting up and turning her back to follow my orders.

  Now a second whip slipped from Pechman's belt propelled into the flat of the stranger's back, with a swift and callous thrashing blow, clobbering the bony hills of his spine with every lash and streak and pummelling welt. After delivering violent punishment upon the sequestered fellow, the sheriff battered and walloped and defaced the otherwise-serene-seeming woodland dwellings in a wreckage of cookware, iceboxes, log-cabin-designed campfire pile, bedding, mattresses, quilt sheets, clothing gear, scattering the assortment of tools and other equipment into scrap-like mounds of crushed material, in an imitation of an ancient ruins' remains.

  He lied static on the ground, heaving unsteady breaths and stomaching the pain of the entire ordeal. The intruder left no space undone, rummaging through every piece of article and ensuring permanent damage at each pounding contact of his baton with usable items, whipping his rod with the other hand. 

  The bruised and bloodied stranger's shirt was blotched in red, as striped, gash-like lines seeped onto the thin, scruffy cloth of his wear; eventually, he was asked to remove all garments, unveiling the blackened grime and melded filth of his natural-wilderness exploits tangled with the chafed blemishes, carmine smears, new-formed scars and bleeding pockets of raw skin from the slashing and tearing strokes of a certain leather belt.




  I waited until Pechman was well out of view and far gone before doing anything remotely risky.

  Warily, I approached the man as calmly as I could and crouched onto the soggy loam so I'm at eye-level with him. The last thing I'd want is to appear a threat, looming over like some matted, knurly mass of unkempt, coiling darkness enveloping the land.

  "I'm sorry," I murmured. 

  He didn't flinch at my sound. I took this as his consonance with my continuing.

  "I want to help," I said, "in any way I can."

  He averted his gaze, a dull ache reverberating from the blank void in his raven-hued eyes.

  What was he feeling, exactly? 

  Dazed? Unfeeling? Senseless? Disoriented?

  Or perhaps numb.

  "Please. Let me. I'm not here to hurt you," I added.

  His attention was undivided.

  "What are you... "

  I turned to follow the direction of his viewing field and realised he wasn't staring off into the distance in contemplation. He had his sight set on a minuscule, metallic sliver of slate-grey in the distance, embellished by the surrounding thickets of herbage and vegetation. 

  As I neared it, the disc-sized object grew clearer and clearer, no longer a fragmented shard or stone-tinged flake, but a distinct, special device of unmistakable quality.




   A microchip.

June 05, 2021 03:57

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

1 comment

:}} Silverstar
23:24 Jun 05, 2021

Note: This is the first part of the series!! -> And also! a collaboration with Tina Eddie :}}} Look out for upcoming content on this series by visiting her acc :3 ^^


Show 0 replies
RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.