Everyone referred to you, the stranger who suddenly showed up in our village, as “the beast” just because you didn’t look like them. I felt sorry for you. It wasn’t your fault. You were probably born that way. But your appearance frightened people. You made them feel uncomfortable, even frightened. Your very presence disturbed their peace and tranquility. The townsfolk were so disturbed by you that they were even contemplating doing something extreme: lynching you
I begged my father, one of the village elders, to intervene on your behalf. I told him that you had never harmed a soul since you were first spotted in our village and that there was no call for the townsfolk to harm you. I asked him if you could live in the shed behind our house and I volunteered to be your care keeper.
“It’s a bit of a risk, Lilly,” my father said. “The beast is a large creature and, I’m not sure I’m comfortable having it live in our shed. I’d need to have a sturdy lock and key to ensure the safety of the villagers.”
“Please Father,” I begged, “I would be very thankful and full of joy if you would let me do this.”My father finally relented, impressed by my display of courage. I would be ensuring your survival, even if you felt, at times, that you were my prisoner.
I cleaned out the shed, brought in utilitarian, but comfortable furniture, and made it as homey for you as possible. I brought you meals and I spent as much time as I could with you.
You were unable to speak the language of my village. You seemed only capable of uttering guttural, unintelligible sounds, so I took it upon myself to teach you our language. And much to my surprise, you were a quick learner. Within a few months, we were able to speak in my language.
“How did you wind up in our village?” I asked you.
You got a troubled look on your misshapen face. “My craft crashed in the mountains not far from here,” you responded. “At first I felt lucky to be alive, but then, after meeting your people, I wished I had perished in the crash.”
“I’m so sorry,” I said. “Where are you originally from?”
“I came from a planet far, far away,” you said.
“You came from space?” I asked, astonished to learn you were an alien. “What planet?”
You took a deep breath and said, “Planet Earth.”
Written for Paula Light’s Thursday Inspiration, where the theme is “beast.” Image from the Happy Color app. Also for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. And for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (risk), Jibber Jabber (thankful), Word of the Day Challenge (joy), Your Daily Word Prompt (courage), and The Daily Spur (survival).