Fiction Science Fiction Suspense

The next time I visit a Uranian marketplace, I'll be sure to leave my sister at home. Or perhaps I'll just leave her on Mars or Jupiter.

The Urani which busied themselves at their respective stalls in the enormous shopping centre seemed as if they were going to swallow her into their massive mouths at any moment, since she won't stop yammering on about how cold it is inside this icy planet. A female Urani had even told her off and dared her to claw her way to the surface and fend for herself in the icy, bitter storms which plagued this god forsaken planet.

"I promised Alyssa I would get her a jacket, but all of these are too big! " Jennie stuck close to my side - close enough for me to deactivate her temperature-regulating suit and helmet to put us both out of our misery.

"The Urani are freaking eight foot tall. If you want to get something for her, we need to go to the kid's section!" I could barely hear myself over the noise in the market.

My sister reached up and I knew that she wanted to start twirling a piece of her blonde locks like she always did when she felt frustrated, but her hand just bounced off of her helmet and she sighed.

"Then where is the kid's section? I don't see any kids? " I stopped and grabbed her shoulders to spin her to the left. I quickly leaned over Jennie's shoulder to point to the other end of the market where eight-foot tall beings that us Earthlings might have imagined our nightmares to look like, guided six and seven-foot kids that looked just like them.

Jennie's jaw dropped, "Those are kids? You have got to be kidding me, Ryan! " she swatted my hands away from her shoulders and began charging towards the section.

"We had a year to read manuals - what the hell were you doing? " I mumbled under my breath and followed after her.


I stepped up onto a trolley that the Urani had invented not too long ago, but immediately slipped and fell.

The locals on the trolley ignored me and so did the driver. However, my sister laughed, "God, you're an idiot. Get up. We're gonna be late. "

I scowled, but listened. Jennie and I took two spots at the back of the trolley, but she made me hold the stupid fur coat that she had gotten for Alyssa. The trolley was bumpy, but the driver surprisingly manuevered quite well between the dense stalls and slick ice. Jennie spent the entire ride talking to one of the locals who didn't seem obliged to answer her.

I had read on the long trip here that the Urani weren't very socially active life forms and they were right about that. On Uranus, they had adopted customs that Earthlings had already done and left behind. For one, they valued strength above all else and I had a suspicion that this was the reason that the locals didn't care all too much about humanoids. We were puny and weak compared to their giant structures, sharpened claws and powerful tentacles that could kill us in an instant. When the leader of the Urani, Edoiweif Berhda, shook hands with the presidents of the various states of the world, his subjects didn't seem all too glad about it.

It also wouldn't be the first time that a planet has detested us. Scientists warn Earthlings away from the planets: Venus and Saturn in fear of provoking a war that we would surely lose. The Martians and Juptoins however, were much more welcoming; and they also had technology that was much more advanced than ours and it contributed to the events that we were able to visit further and beyond.

"Ryan, hey! We're here! " Jennie ripped the jacket out of my gloved hands and I begrudgingly stood from my seat to exit the trolley.

When I looked around, I noticed that we were still in the marketplace, "What the hell, Jennie? We agreed to go back to our hotel. " There were still Urani for miles to see and I sighed. I was very excited to visit Uranus, but it was mentally exhausting to be in a place where literally everyone could kill you and it wouldn't matter.

A poster of a Urani male on a giant ice wall caught my attention and I carefully translated the words into:


Well, frick. That was not comforting at all.

Jennie started tugging on my arm, "I think there's a show here tonight! "

"You think? "

She rolled her eyes at me, "Jesus, bro. Relax. It'll be fun. "


Jennie and I had gone back to the hotel with frazzeled minds. We hadn't showered or eaten; we could only toss our things back in our suitcases with nothing said between us. Jennie's face was white with fear and the stress that she was feeling was shown through the defined folds in her face. I had never seen her look like this before, but after we had just seen, I didn't blame her.

As I zipped up my own suitcase and grabbed my sister's, all I could think about was the night's show.

The beginning was just the Urani performing crazy tricks like swallowing blue fire, jumping off of high places and I was even surprised to see some magic tricks. However, the middle is where it got weird. The Urani usually spoke in English to accomadate Earthlings; it was one of the many abilities that they possessed - linguistics.

However, they sang and recited chants in Uranian after the show and the locals moved closer to the centre stage. There was an object covered with a giant fur cloth in the middle of the stage and the Urani were careful to not reveal what it was until after all of the acts were done.

A local, the largest Urani that I'd ever seen, stepped onto the stage and ripped the cloth away from the object.

And there was a huge, red-stained block of ice with that 'Kevin' guy frozen in the middle with all of his limbs severed. The sight was horrific and as soon as Jennie and I caught sight of it, we rushed to leave the marketplace. And we were on our way to leave the planet.

It wasn't worth the holiday to stay here and risk our lives.

In the manuals that I had read in the spaceship when traveling to Uranus, I was certain that the last act was the Uranian way to declare war.

November 11, 2020 11:03

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RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

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