A scaly tail like a snake thrashed and twisted over the stones. The creature scratched his arm, but he gritted his teeth and held his head as far from it as he could, his eyes squinting. Something grazed his jaw and he tightened the safety harness around its throat. It struggled for a few seconds then went completely still.
Rodger opened his eyes properly. The thing was smaller than him. Not only was it shorter when it stood on its tail, its arms and torso were slightly built and gave it an almost child-like appearance.
Its skin was very pale with a bluish tinge and it had strange markings on its bald head which could be tattoos. Its chest expanded and contracted in short pants reminding him of a scared rabbit and as it clutched at the safety harness around its neck it looked very human. Even with the snake tail.
Rodger cleared his throat.
‘Err… I,’ he cleared his throat again, ‘I thought you were… I’m sorry I had to… I didn’t know how to contact you. Do you understand what I’m saying?’
The creature was still panting. Maybe hyperventilating.
‘No, of course you don’t,’ Rodger sighed, ‘how could you.’ He had not even expected to catch something, or perhaps it was rather someone, whom he would want to just talk to. Someone who was perhaps just as afraid of him at he had been of it. He loosened the safety harness a little. ‘Now, please don’t escape.’ He tried to keep his voice soft and calm and hoped the creature would catch some of the meaning.
It breathed a bit more slowly, but he did not know if it was because of his voice or because he had loosened the safety harness. It still seemed most likely that it would flee to the water as soon as he let go of it.
He fastened part of the safety harness around its neck as a collar and held the end tightly like a leash.
‘I’m really sorry, but I have to make you understand,’ he said, ‘and I don’t have time for you to run away.’ He turned the creature gently to look it in the face.
Even when he saw it from the front he had no idea of the sex. It had no breasts and he did not want to make it even worse for the creature by examining it too obviously. Its eyes were large and completely black. They made him feel rather uncomfortable when he looked into them. But that might just be his guilt working on him.
It still clutched the safety harness with both hands. The black nails on its fingers looked like claws. He glanced at his arm. His sleeve was torn and there was a thin line of blood where it had scratched him. He could not really blame it.
‘Don’t worry,’ he said, ‘I won’t tighten it.’ He reached out slowly and gently removed one of its hands from the safety harness. ‘Please,’ he said, ‘I won’t hurt you.’ He waited a few seconds then he reached out for its other hand.
There was a sharp pain in his shoulder as the stone connected.
Read part 1 here: