If she’d sprouted a third head at that moment it would have been less of a shock. The two sets of yellow eyes were staring into mine. “I’m having a baby,” her voices said in unison.
I remember a shiver running through me and wondering what I’d got myself into. We were extremely fond of each other, no argument about that. But in many ways she was still a mystery to me. We were from different worlds. Literally.
I’d first come across her on the planet Urg, working as a waitress in a dive that was second home to the riffraff of a hundred star systems.
She told me she was from a galaxy beyond the Melomian moons, in the dark reaches of the universe. An exploration team had only just reached there, bearing a message of peace at the point of their blast guns.
They brought her back as a souvenir. Tired of being prodded by medics wanting to know why her blood was green, she’d stowed away on a freighter out of Space Station K-345. It was bound for another of the wild places, carrying trinkets to the newly-pacified tribes over there, musical beads and trick mirrors, you know, those ones that make you look a hundred times better than you really are.
She’d jumped ship on Urg, which explained why she was drudging in a drinking hell in a frontier wilderness, serving booze to every kind of space trash. Bandanna-topped reptiloids from the far side of the Dragonbreath Nebula. Eight-armed Twps, with a beer in every hand. She stood out even in that crowd.
Something to do with the fact she was the only one of her species for millions of light years perhaps. Or that she was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen.
That’s how I thought of her right from the start, as my girl. After all, she wasn’t so different from the women I’d loved and left on Earth. Except for being a whole lot better, nubile and silver-blonde with pert breasts and long long legs. Sure, there were little differences, like the green blood and the yellow eyes. Oh, and the two heads.
But her faces were equally exquisite. I never knew which of the lips to kiss first.
To tell the truth, it was the physiological quirks that charmed and fascinated me as much as anything. The elongation of her necks when she grew angry, for example. Or the gentle swishing of her blood as I leaned in towards her. Even so, I had the odd stab of doubt about us, our dissimilarities. But she always soothed away my anxieties.
It was another of the captivating mysteries about my girl, the way her voices seemed to merge into a single melodic sound. Like syrup being poured in stereo. Although I struggled to understand much of what she said, that didn’t seem to matter. We conversed well enough in pidgin and sign language.
In fact, touch was our main way of communicating in the early days. We went to bed together not long after that first meeting. To begin with, I thought it was my reward for stepping in to prevent her from being hassled by a dog-faced — down to the floppy ears — crewman off a Ligomonic tanker. As I pushed my fist into his squishy face, she shot me twin looks of gratitude.
I didn’t care about her motives. The sex was very good. No, great.
We did it again the next night. And the night after that. However, like almost everyone else in that godforsaken spot, I was just passing through. I’d already signed on as third engineer on a rust bucket about to make its way back to Earth. When I gave her my news, feeling sick at the thought of abandoning her, I was astonished to see big pearl-coloured tears emerge from the yellow eyes.
She made the journey to Earth sharing my quarters. It was probably against Intergalactic Health and Safety Reg something something something, but the captain was an old space dog and turned a blind eye.
Back in port, I took her home. Although the old lady wasn’t exactly thrilled when she opened the door to us, the sweet-natured smiles and even sweeter sounds soon won her over. My friends were mainly curious about some of the technical aspects of our relationship, but I could tell a lot of them fancied her.
My girl soon settled into her new life — and within weeks her physical appearance was largely taken for granted. Most people these days have a high level of tolerance, necessary when your next-door neighbour might not only be an immigrant from the planet Kamisake but is also likely to have a single eye in the middle of his forehead.
I had some worries about leaving her behind while I slogged around the cosmos, but she assured me that she loved me to bits. She was not only beautiful but brave and bright. Already well into the basics of Universal English, she even talked about becoming a translator or interpreter.
It was then that she got pregnant.
We hadn’t taken any precautions. To be honest, I hadn’t thought it was necessary, given that we were from two such different species. She never even brought up the subject. For all I knew, her people might have bred by spitting into a bottle.
After the initial period of panic and even fear, I began to warm to the idea of being a father. I wondered if the baby would look like her or me. Neither of us had the faintest idea. We were pioneers.
She was a mystery to me alright. And to herself. I wish to God we’d been more curious. At the very least we should have spoken to a medic before it happened.
Because she has sprouted a third head. It calls me daddy. *
About the Author: Brian Wright lives in the UK and works, for his sins, in computers. He has been writing for a number of years but has failed miserably in his efforts to get anything published… until now.
(c) 2004 Brian Wright firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Artist: Romeo Esparrago is a three-headed eWannabeArtist — head 1 sees no evil, head 2 hears no evil, head 3… well, it speaks evil, unfortunately. It doesn’t help that he’s got 3 sets of Roman hands to boot.
(c) 2004 Romeo Esparrago http://www.romedome.com