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Chapter 3 – There's a prawn on my couch - Part 1


The door swung open and Ana poked her head inside the dark and listened for signs that there was someone home. The place seemed deserted. It was much too early for Syrup to be home yet.

"Ok, come on" she helped the prawn pass through the narrow doorway, which still didn't prevent him from hitting his injured leg against the frame.

"Oh, jeez" she said, picking up a panty from the floor. "Sorry for the mess. My roommate's a pi… Wait, what am I saying? You're a prawn!" She threw the panty back on the ground and resumed carrying her guest.

By the time they had crossed the tiny sitting room in shadows and reached the sofa, the alien seemed ready to faint. She quickly set him down on the old couch. Then she violently pulled him back up again.

"Wait, wait, wait! Lean here for a sec" she patted the sofa's arm to make him understand and he exasperatedly, yet obediently did so while she dashed past a door and then came back with an old bed sheet and laid it over the sofa. Now that it was safe for the prawn to sit on the sofa –which he gratefully did– she took care of the lights.

The moment she switched the lamps on, and could see the prawn so damn clearly, she was overtaken by an uncomfortable anxiety and regretted doing so. Even in his condition he was pretty breathtaking, though she still wasn't sure whether that was a good thing or a bad thing.

The prawn's eyes blinked at the bright lights. His carapace was a of a general dark bluish color, with some lighter grey splattered here and there, especially around the eyes and in the throat. And that throat… There were those folds of soft tissue that pulsated at the rhythm of his tired breathing, and a couple of chunks of shell on either side of his thorax heaved back and forth agitatedly for air.

And not to mention that pair of stunted little hands that protruded from the base of his chest. In a moment's reasoning among all the astonishment, the rational part of her brain wondered what possible use they could have for them.

The fact that she had just carried that thing's weight on her back without losing herself to panic amazed her.  But that strange creature was looking up at her with a couple of huge, intelligent gray eyes in a reverent sort of way, and his expression, exhausted but lively, left no place for doubt that there was any reason to fear him at all.

So, having understood  that, she stepped over to the kitchen and soaked a rag in water and handed it to the prawn.

"Here, this is so you can wash. Wasssh" she mimicked the action of wiping oneself.

"<You know, I can understand everything you say>" he clicked, which she took as a thanking as he accepted the wet cloth from her and made to tend to his own leg.
That's when she noticed the striped black and white legwarmers he was wearing on both feet. He was wearing other things as well, like a single trouser leg on his right thigh and some kind of sash covering his waist, thin like a wasp's, though being almost all of it black they sort of blended in with his general appearance. Pieces of cord and strips of fabric with some random metallic objects dangling from them decorated his arms and thighs as well and –Ana grinned at this– a spike collar on his upper right arm.

The creature bent over itself and started pulling off the bloody legwarmer on his left talon. He gave soft whiny growls as he did so ever so carefully and then left the tattered, stained piece of cloth on the floor.

Ana winced sympathetically.

The exoskeleton was cracked almost from side to side and in one place it was even missing a chunk, exposing a soft, viscous substance inside. The prawn tenderly wiped the area with the wet cloth. He gasped and panted and gave little squeals of anguish until he gave up trying to clean the still bleeding wound and laid back to rest his head on the sofa.

Ana was doubtful.

"How do you take care of an alien?" she muttered to herself, then hastily moved towards the drowsy prawn. "Can I take a look?"

The prawn sat back up and laid out his left leg for her to see. At first she dared not touch the creature again, but looked at the damage from a distance. After a few seconds, though, she gathered all her courage and took the prawn's foot in her hands, gently turning it around and feeling worse for him every time. She looked up at him and saw his eyes full of exhaustion and dried up tears.

"There has to be something around here that can fix that" Ana said more to herself than to him as she got up and started looking around for something to patch up the open wound. "I know I saw it somewhere…" She shuffled around through some drawers and went inside another door, where more racket could be heard.
There was a bang and a smashing sound and Ana cursed loudly before resuming the search. Then with a cry of victory she came out carrying a roll of masking tape, then fetched the alcohol and some gauze and returned by the prawn.

"This is alcohol. Do you know if this will be any good on you?" she asked, holding up the bottle and pointing at the wound, hoping the prawn knew anything about it.
"Za'ih" he nodded resolutely and Ana took it as a good sign, so she got to work, and after a short while of complaining and apologizing, the wound was patched up with strong masking tape.

"There" she said, feeling rather proud of herself. "Let's hope that holds for now. Feel better?"

She hadn't expected him to give a reply, as she hadn't expected him to understand. But then he said weakly "Za'ih" and her mind clicked something together.

"How much of what I say do you actually understand?" she asked, frowning.

The prawn shrugged for lack of a better response.

"All of it?"

He shrugged again.

"Za'ih."

"Oh" she said trying to sound pleasantly surprised. Obviously she was surprised, just not pleasantly. All the possibly offensive things she had said in front of him started coming back to her.

She cleared her throat.

"You keep saying that. 'Zackee' is it? Does that mean yes?"

"Yeah."

Ana blinked at this. He had actually said "yeah", though it had sounded croaky in his prawn voice.

"Right" she said. "Um… So what, you want something to eat, or drink, or…? How do you treat a prawn guest anyway?" she chuckled.

He shook his head, rejecting the offer.

"You sure?"

"Za'ih."

"Zackee, ok. I'll have something to eat, though. Don't move."

She walked over to the fridge and got some cheese and orange juice and returned to the prawn's side to find he had just fallen asleep, his head slightly tilted to one side, his breathing deep.

Ana dimmed the lights and laid the food on the table. After picking up the bloody legwarmer from the ground and throwing it away wrapped in a plastic bag, she sat on the armchair next to the sofa, keeping quiet. The food was gone in the blink of an eye and all that was left was her and the alien. She knew she wouldn't be able to just go to her bedroom and sleep. Not with a prawn sitting on her couch.

So she stood watch by the prawn, making sure she was there when it woke up. It would not be enjoyable to have it roam freely around the house.  Luckily her cell phone would ring in a short while and then someone would come over to take the alien away so she could finally go to bed and forget about the whole thing.

Almost half an hour passed and the room was still as silent but for the slow breathing of her dormant guest. And that chair was beginning to feel a bit too comfortable. She found the sound of air wheezing in and out of the alien's lungs rather soothing. It was slowly lulling her to sleep. Her eyelids began to feel heavy.
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:iconjoellehart:
I forgot to mention last critique how much I love the name Syrup. ^_^

Ana's comment, "what am I saying? You're a prawn!" and her laying the sheet managed to shock me with its coldness, and so the impact rating jumps right back up. (Especially the fact that he understands english perfectly! Holy crap!) You're laying the groundwork for disrespect of the aliens not just with hostile outsiders, but blatantly within the behavior of the protagonist who's meant to get the readers' sympathy. By drawing us into complicity with it in that way, we'll get to share in Ana's revelation/redemption (which has to be coming soon) -- so I applaud that.

Best chapter so far! I have only one criticism, and that's that it ends too abruptly. I find myself thinking, "'Her eyelids began to feel heavy'... but then what, does something jolt her back to consciousness?" If you remove that last line, ending the chapter with the sentence, "It slowly lulled her to sleep", it will have a much better sense of closure.
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:iconphsycopredgirl:
phsycopredgirl Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014
Is this on fanfiction? Cuz i c as n only read fanfiction at school and i already fell in love with the story!!!
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Sorry, it's only half on fanfiction :( That site was very un-user-friendly and I ended up hating posting there. So Deviantart will have to do.. Hope you can still read it! And thank you so muhc^^
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:iconphsycopredgirl:
phsycopredgirl Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014
KK thank you!
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:iconllewis123:
llewis123 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
I like the story
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thanks so much^^
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:iconqueenyproductions:
QueenyProductions Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2011  Student Writer
I love how Ana seems to be so cold to the poor old prawn, which is kind of a nice surprise as most OC's tend to love the alien as soon as they lay their eyes on it, but Ana is different and so the story seems more compelling as I wait in anticipation to see if some of the ice will melt away.

Another great chapter, I'm not so surprise by the fact the prawn knows some English, but I'm wondering how much a prawn can handle. They weren't build to speak the tongue of man. Can't wait for the next chapter.
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah I did notice that tendency to make OCs understand and love prawns since like ever. I liked the idea of a progression, get to wonder what in the world would make someone be comfortable with a 8' tall insect.

Well, you'll find answers soon enough^^
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:iconplaceusernamehere:
placeusernamehere Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2011
What's the poleepkwa's name? Oh, and by the way, so far, I've had to cover my mouth in disgust (Blood, nudity, such), or sympathy in every chapter so far. Why does that compell me to read more?
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
You'll know soon enough^^
That comes to prove how masoquistic and/or sadistic we are :P But that don't have to be a bad thing^^
Oh and fff thank you SO much for all the comments :hug:
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:iconthunder-thunder:
THUNDER-THUNDER Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2011
Oh wait theres only one n in Ana! My bad.
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:iconthunder-thunder:
THUNDER-THUNDER Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2011
I love that the Prawns creep the bejeezus out of Anna at the start of your story, it makes her so very human. Also allows for some cool character progression.

I has much love for Kyler and Anna!
Yus :heart:
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Teehee yus, Ana was very fun to write about around prawns XD
Of course I has much love for them too :heart: So I thank thee, kind person, for faving!!! :la:
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:iconallantsuki:
Allantsuki Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OHOHOHO

You ended the chapter right there not because you just wanted to end it.



THERE'S SOMETHING MOAR
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I honestly did not intend it like that XD
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:iconallantsuki:
Allantsuki Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
But it ended up nicely

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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I'm glad, teehee
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:iconallantsuki:
Allantsuki Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:D
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:iconwramirezoide:
WRAMIREZOIDE Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2010   General Artist
This is very cute. Interesting few chapters I did read, and great illustrations. I like his little accessories & doodads.


Jerktip: a talon is the claw of a predatory animal, not the hock of a leg, though Kyler's leg is adorable in this picture.
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Heehee thank you so much^^ Gothicky prawn :heart:

Hmmm yeah I had my doubts on that word. Thanks for the heads up!
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:iconalwyn-mallory:
Alwyn-Mallory Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Yay, foot love!! :heart:
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Murrr prawn feet = :heart:
Am i right or am i right? right? right?
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:iconalwyn-mallory:
Alwyn-Mallory Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh Lawd, SOOOO right!!
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I thought so :D
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:iconfrassy:
FRASSY Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2010
This is by the far the best D9 fanfic I've ever read, everything is so well written, it's amazing! :heart:
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
D'aaaaaw thank you, I are flattered ^w^
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:iconfrassy:
FRASSY Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010
You're very welcomed. ^_^
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:iconcommandereve:
CommanderEVE Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2009  Student General Artist
I'm not just saying that. :D *HUG*

You are sooo welcome! :D
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Teeheeheeheeheee :la:
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:iconcommandereve:
CommanderEVE Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2009  Student General Artist
XDDD
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:iconcommandereve:
CommanderEVE Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2009  Student General Artist
That was AWESOME! I felt like I was there! Damn! Amazing, the best Fan Fic I have ever read! And I'm serious on that one.
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
D'aaaw you're just sayin' dat :iconblushplz: I wish I could see my work from your point of view to know what's so likeable :la: Thankyou SO much!
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:iconsythgara:
Sythgara Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
aah, much better : D *pats the girl*
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
*Ana giggles stupidly*

Don't mind her, she's very shy^^
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:iconhigh-guard:
High-Guard Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Same here!!!
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
thaaaank youuuuu :hug:
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:iconhigh-guard:
High-Guard Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
LOL temperature, indeed. I *heart* Kyler, he's so huggable... And Ana's conflict is soooooo..... delicious. You shoulda kept going, instead of having ehr fall asleep!
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
It does keep going... O___O you just haven't seen it yet^^
Yeees Kyler is totally huggable :heart:
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:iconavadras:
Avadras Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2009
W00T! Chapter 3!! I loved it:heart: I can't wait for part 2! :eager:
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Weee I are happy, thank you!!^^ Part 2 will be up veeery soon!
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:iconhigh-guard:
High-Guard Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
OWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!! I will hug them and squeeze them and call them George!!!
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:iconsuthnmeh:
suthnmeh Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
..... george? O___________O

*takes your temperature*
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