The Funny Bone
Premiered June 24, 2003
Chuck Woodward and Kat Stevens walked along the smooth, clean path at a casual but gingerly gait. The path gently wove its way through clusters of trees, meadows, and small garden-like plots. Occasionally they would meet Riwanians on the path, who would typically go through a series of emotions: Surprise, sudden recognition, a brief moment of embarrassment, a hasty greeting of hands clasped and a quick nod of the head; all followed by a giggle or two as they skirted by the space visitors. There were few if any children, the exceptions being infants. Apparently the mid-morning timing of their exploratory stroll was during school hours.
Rounding a small hill ablaze with a proliferation of autumn colored and green trees, they saw a small structure nestled back away from the path. The building sat atop a small knoll and was surrounded by trees, shrubs, flowers and a series of trestle like structures on which vines of every assortment grew. Halfway between the path and house (if the building could be assumed to be a house, as it appeared), was a lone Riwanian, busy on his knees beside the smaller path leading to the structure. Briefly he looked up to see Woody and Kat, started to wave in a casual fashion, and then abruptly recognized them. For a moment he stared while Woody and Kat slowed at the somewhat atypical reaction.
Slowly the surprised look of the Riwanian turned to one of anticipation. Quickly he jumped to his feet, brushed his tunic off in a rough fashion, and began to clean his hands on a suddenly produced handkerchief-like cloth. During the whole process he kept his eyes on Woody and Kat, who appeared to be only slightly aware of the alien's presence.
By the time Woody and Kat had approached the intersection of their path with the path leading to the building, the alien was already there, his hands clasped before him in greeting, and with a broad, welcoming smile. The space travelers stopped in unison and carefully returned the greeting.
With undisguised eagerness, the alien announced, "Greetings and welcome. My name is Loxung. You must be the far travelers. Would you care to rest here?"
"Thank you," Woody answered. "I am Woody, and this is Kat. We appreciate your hospitality."
Kat quickly added, "We are enjoying the beauty and peace of your planet and home."
Loxung's eyes brightened even more as he turned quickly to Kat; apparently preferring her response or her company. Then gallantly, "All things are beautiful when perceived by one who carries her own beauty."
Kat's mouth dropped slightly at the unexpected. But her expression was quickly transformed into a radiant and thoroughly happy smile. With sincerity evident in her voice, she replied, "You are very kind."
"Allow me to offer you more kindness," Loxung responded. "If you like, you may spend some time here, in order to rest. As host I can provide food or drink as you prefer."
While Kat was momentarily in awe of Loxung's smile, Woody took the initiative and answered, "Thank you, Loxung."
Hardly taking his eyes off Kat, Loxung answered, "It is but the role of a host."
There was another moment's silence. Then Woody asked, "Is this your home?"
"Yes." Keeping his eyes only on Kat, he added "Does the lady prefer drink or food, or anything else?"
Suddenly Kat came awake. "Oh, nothing, thank you."
Loxung suddenly looked disappointed.
"But may we see your home?"
The disappointment on the Riwanian's face was suddenly replaced with gleeful anticipation.
"You may see all you like." Then with a flourish Loxung took Kat by the arm and began escorting her toward the house. Woody followed, feeling a bit like a fifth wheel.
For Woody, this was a marvelous opportunity to see the inside of a Riwanian's residence and to investigate the alien's manner of living. To Kat, it was a unique experience with a very gallant but very different male. To their host, it was a chance to ask questions, to learn of the strangers, and perhaps a great deal more. They wandered casually about the small home, with Loxung doing nothing to guide them or point out any feature; but still gleefully eager to answer any of their questions.
Kat was the first to notice it. It was a totally alien but brilliantly attractive object which dominated the room they had just entered. "That's magnificent. What is it?"
Woody stepped into the room sidewise in order to get a better view. He was immediately struck by the utter strangeness of the object. It had the trappings of sophisticated computers wrapped in old world grace and dominating a room of relative primitiveness.
Loxung was typically blasé. "It is my prayer point."
Kat was immediately intrigued. "Your prayer point? Like a chapel where people worship?"
For just a moment, Loxung looked perplexed at the computer's translation. "There are words missing. But I think I understand your question. Yes, it is my prayer point. I pray here to The Gods. But only I. Others have their own prayer point, in their own homes."
"This point is for your use only?"
"And others have their own prayer points like yours?"
"Others have their prayer point, yes. But all prayer points are different. How else can one prize them?"
Kat ventured, "Do you often pray here?"
"Only when I need assistance, when I wish to tell of certain needs or desires, or when I want to share a new happiness."
"Is that often?"
"Sometimes yes, sometimes no."
Woody asked, "How do you pray to it?"
Loxung abruptly laughed. "I do not pray to my prayer point; I pray to The Gods."
"Yes, but how?"
Loxung smiled, looking around for a way to explain the very obvious. Finally, he answered, "I stand here as now and talk aloud. The Gods hear my prayer. They hear us even now as we talk."
Kat, slightly bewildered, asked, "Do The Gods ever answer you?"
"Oh yes," Loxung answered, matter-of-factly.
"In many ways. By action, by my receiving my request for whatever I seek; or they may simply speak and allow me understanding."
"They speak to you?" Woody asked eagerly.
"Oh yes. Or they may remain silent. Which is, of course, an answer in itself. Sometimes my prayers are hasty and perhaps not worthy of an answer.”
"Could The Gods answer you now?"
"For what reason?"
Woody suddenly felt his back to the wall. He knew his reason of demonstration would probably not qualify. "If you had an important request, and asked it at this moment, would The Gods answer?"
"If The Gods thought it important to answer, yes. Or I might wait for an answer. One must be patient."
Kat smiled, knowing Woody's true intentions. "I don't suppose you have a request right now."
Loxung grinned broader than the earthlings thought possible. "I have a marvelous request, but I doubt The Gods would consider it important or seemly. Also, they would not wish to spoil the thrill of my anticipation by allowing me foreknowledge."
Kat's eyebrows raised suddenly as Loxung's statement was translated. This was too incredible for even Kat to accept at face value. She stammered slightly as Loxung winked, and Woody watched with amusement. Then, to change the subject, if not the whole atmosphere, Kat quickly asked, "May I photograph your prayer point?"
Again Loxung was puzzled. "There are words missing."
Kat quickly added, "May I make a picture of your prayer point."
Loxung smiled again, "Of course!" Then he stepped back slightly to allow Kat a clear view.
Quickly Kat began to shoot several angles. Then she said, "Woody, could you and Loxung stand near it; to give the photo a sense of relative size?"
Loxung smiled again and quickly stepped next to the small shrine. Woody, taking his cue from his host, did the same on the opposite side. Then, while Kat clicked away, Woody, unthinkingly put his hand on a brilliantly smooth, malachite-like surface. Loxung seeing the motion, had only a second to react, but had no chance to stop Woody.
With a miniaturized bolt of fire, Woody's hand was literally blasted away from the object. The rest of Woody's body followed suit and he let out a gasping yell of surprised anguish. Staggered but still standing, Woody grabbed his hand, his face contorted in a comic grimace of pain. Involuntarily he began a series of ow's, oo's, ah's; accompanied by brief moans, and a constant shaking of his hand.
Kat, horrified, fairly leaped to his side. "Woody! Are you hurt?"
"Oh boy!" he bellowed. "Wow! Does it ever hurt!" With that, he cast an anguished, dazed and unbelieving look back at the object.
Kat was still uncomprehending. "What's wrong? The hand? Let me see it."
"Of course the hand! Arggggggg!"
Woody suddenly tried to shake the hand, to try everything to disown the pain. "Oh shit, but it hurts!"
"Let me help."
"No way to help! Funny bone!" Woody spun part-way around, grimacing, shaking his hand, and fairly bouncing up and down."
"Funny bone?" Kat was totally bewildered, and trying not to laugh. As she tried to reach around Woody to help, she asked, "What the hell are you talking about?"
"It hurts," Woody answered abruptly, "Just like a hit on the funny bone." Then for added emphasis, he added, "But much more so."
For a moment Kat could not grasp it. Then she looked at Loxung, who stood with unconcealed, uproarious laughter. Answering her amazed stare, Loxung said, laughing, "The objects of The Gods are not to be touched." His tone implied he was scolding a small child.
Woody looked for a moment, at the enormously amused alien. Then, "I believe it." Rather quickly, he added, "Damn, it hurts!"
Kat, now catching on and almost laughing, "You mean the prayer point gave you a big hit on the funny bone?"
Woody looked sternly at the now very-much-amused junior officer. "Yes!" Then even more sternly, "And it's not quite that funny."
Kat clearly thought it was, and only Woody's supremely jovial nature could force a grin through the continued shock of jumbled and still active nerves.
Loxung, with an almost paternal affection, noted gallantly, "Not to worry. Pain goes away completely in a few days."
Woody suddenly looked horrified. "A few days?"
Kat, watching Loxung out of the corner of her eye, smiled even broader, only moderately successful at not doubling over with laughter.
"And the pain," Loxung added generously, "Will be gradually less."
Woody could only stare. Kat grabbed his arm affectionately, "You'll make it. You're tough! Even heavier gravity doesn't bother you!" Woody ignored the sarcasm, groaned a bit, and tried to regain just a portion of his dignity.
"Be assured," Loxung continued, "There is no further retribution. The offender is punished, the incident forgotten." Then with amusement, quickly he added, "By The Gods. You may not forget as quickly."
Kat smiled, "All is forgiven; all is forgotten."
Woody grimaced, "But the pain lingers on."
Loxung smiled, "It will but help you to remember that the objects of The Gods are not to be touched."
"I'll try to remember that."
The three of them stood there for a moment, before Loxung took a slightly
"You're kidding!" Woody groaned.
Kat was torn between utter amazement, outrageous amusement, and sudden
Loxung's disappointment was all too evident, but he answered courageously, "Of course. As you think best."
"Perhaps later," Kat offered, as she pretended to assist Woody toward the door. Woody followed compliantly, not really believing that the conversation he was hearing was real.
Loxung brightened at Kat's answer. Happily he said, "Of course, later. Later is excellent!" He continued to smile as he escorted both of them back to the main path.
It had taken Kat less than an hour to escort Woody back to the Intrepid. The primary difficulty was in not laughing out loud at Woody's infinite series of oh's, ouch's, and other miscellaneous exclamations of persistent discomfort. But once having left her senior officer in Shari Ryerson's capable hands, Kat had been able to find a private place to release her pent-up laughter. She then had time in her amusement to begin to think about their Riwanian friend, Loxung, and his intriguing invitation.
The prospect of having sex with Loxung carried its own set of unique and interesting variables for Kat. And of course, the idea of the "First Interstellar Sex" had a vastly increased set of questions and factors. From a scientific point of view the possibility could well generate a library of textbooks.
There was of course, the question of capability: Could two species even have a sexual encounter? It was certainly not feasible with either the Rynangi or the Molikian; probably had never even been considered. But the Riwanians were to all intent and purposes, humanoid. So thus the act was possible.
A second question concerned the ability of each species to derive something beneficial from the act. This was the question that most intrigued Kat -- from a purely scientific standpoint of course! If in fact there could be mutual satisfaction derived from the act, then one would have to consider the possibility of a common ancestor, or perhaps more intriguingly a common evolutionary pattern. Obviously there was an important scientific question which could be initiated here, and Kat being a scientist…
Kat abruptly realized she was no longer contemplating the question of having sex with Luxong, but the how-to and the potential returns on her investment. There would likely be widely different techniques; but this thought, rather than dismaying Kat, encouraged her. Kat smiled as she realized the potential learning experience. Clearly this would constitute some incredible On-The-Job Training.
Her resolve now clear in her mind, Kat set out for Luxong's pad. It took her about half the time to return as it had taken Woody and her on their return trip to the Intrepid. But much to her dismay when she arrived, she found two friends of Luxong had joined him.
Luxong, on the other hand, was totally at ease. "Dear Kat, I must tell you: My body is warmed by your return."
"Thank you. But I only wished to tell you my friend, Woody, is feeling better."
Luxong looked hurt, "That is all you wished?"
Kat decided not to answer the blunt question. "Who are your friends?"
Luxong put up a brave smile at the inevitable and turned toward one of the two
Kat, startled, blurted out, "Oh, no, Luxong. I did not mean to imply that!"
Immediately Luxong brightened. "Then I had not understood before." His chest swelling with pride, "I am happy you chose me."
Kat was no longer surprised by anything. She relinquished all thought of attempting to slow the pace of their courtship. Diplomatically, she said, "I do not wish to offend your friends."
"They are not offended."
"No," Korn added. "We can always look forward to another occasion with great anticipation."
"Please do not concern yourself with us," Molonene protested. "We too can be patient. We can wait here, or depart, as you wish."
Now concerned with the oversupply of straight-forward and very direct Riwanians, Kat asked, "You will wait here?"
"Of course," Korn replied.
Luxong reached out his hand to Kat, "Come with me. I will show you my flowers."
Kat flushed, but took Luxong's hand. The other two stepped aside, smiling cheerfully. As Luxong and Kat left the small home, he led her away from the path and toward a slight indentation in the grassy, tree covered hill behind the house. Gently he slipped his left arm in between her right arm and body, and grasped her hand. As their fingers intertwined, he subtly guided her along a grassy path toward an outcropping of Aspen-like trees.
The thought of outdoor sex was not particularly appealing to Kat. Having been raised in a society where the exterior world was viewed chiefly as unorganized, ill kept, and not particularly sanitary; Kat had always preferred to keep the outdoors at a safe distance. But then, as they passed between two towering, white columned trees, she found herself in a lovely garden with a profusion of multi-colored flowers, carefully grouped in odd but artistically shaped plots, intertwined with a carpet of green pathways. Everything was well ordered and neatly in its place -- even the grass underneath her feet had the consistency of fine carpet.
"It's magnificent," She murmured. With even more rapture, she whispered, "Indescribably beautiful".
Luxong's smile became even more radiant. "It is but a reflection of your own beauty."
For once in her life, Kat was unaware of a compliment. She began to walk between the flower plots, her hands extended as if to touch ever so gently the surrounding beauty. Then as she approached a large, elevated green area, Luxong once again took her hand and invited her to sit on the green carpeting.
As they sat down, Kat could only glance about in wonder. For a moment her eyes filled with flowers. Then the presence of Luxong sitting beside her brought her attention to sharper focus. He sat quietly, smiling, his eyes roaming gently about her face. When she looked back at him, she recalled her resolve, and smiled back.
Recognizing in her radiant smile the apparent signal to start, Luxong leaned over and kissed the outer edge of her ear. Kat's heart skipped a beat as she realized the slightly original opening gambit. Then she turned slightly and tried to kiss him on the lips. His head had turned as if to dodge, and her lips brushed his cheeks.
For just a moment, both were embarrassed. Then Kat held up a finger, as if to state her own case. Lightly holding his chin with her fingertips, she kissed him lightly, but enduringly on the lips. As she lifted her head back, she saw Luxong's face confused with a combination of surprise and delight. Then he held up one finger as if to state his case. Kat smiled immediate consent. Then his fingers gently on the back of her ear, he placed his cheek against hers and once again kissed her ear. While he hesitated for just a moment, she realized the proximity of his own ear to her lips. With no thought of hesitation she kissed his ear.
Parting for just a moment, he smiled approvingly. "You like?" he asked.
"We do it again?"
Holding each other they lingered for several moments, each kissing each other's ears simultaneously. For just a split second, it occurred to Kat that the technique was almost inevitable, given the Riwanian's large, forward-directed ears. But then she decided she didn't care, and the rational thought slid away to be replaced with a combination physical and emotional one.
As their eyes once again met, he inquired, "Perhaps we try your way once more.”
Without a word, Kat kissed him hard on the lips, earnestly, lingeringly and with a special emphasis. After a brief eternity, they leaned back in order to get an unimpeded breath. Luxong, to no one in particular, commented, "Makes it a bit difficult to breath." Then, smiling directly at Kat, "But delightful, none the less."
Leaning over he planted an even more ferocious kiss on the interior of her ear. Her vital signs surged with renewed interest. Undaunted she reached, uncompromisingly for his head, kissed him full on the lips (this time with two parts passion and one part reason), and then slid past his cheek to plant one in his ear.
The ferocity of her attack brought every aspect of his body to life. Falling back against the grassy carpet, they alternated between passion and experimentation as both bodies warmed and began to radiate heat. Their clothing fell aside as each tried to undress the other, failed at the attempt (because neither had the slightest idea of how the other's clothing came off), and then each removed their own garments.
It was immediately evident to Kat that there was no significant difference in the primary sexual functions, other than the possibility of an increased size and prolonged activity. But the logical thoughts were soon completely overrun with the ecstasy, the excitement, and the force of the moment. It was as if she had been able to sense his emotions as well as her own, making the partners of the sexual act, totally synchronistic in their responses. It was sex where the enjoyment was dependent upon the sum of their abilities.
As they rested for a few seconds after their joining, Kat obliquely realized they had coupled on their sides. There being no apparent reason to break apart, they did not do so; merely laying in each other's arms, their bodies' warmth now a single focus of radiant heat. Kat held Luxong's body to hers as she realized several important factors. They had joined with no apparent difficulty in terms of size, function, or position. The smell of Luxong's body was sweet and totally non-alien. They had been well matched in time and appetite. And, for just a moment, Kat suspected very strongly that the production of offspring was not impossible.
Copyright 1983, 1996, 2003 Dan Sewell Ward
Chapter Four -- The Riwanians
Chapter Six -- Boy Meets Girl
2003© Copyright Dan Sewell Ward, All Rights Reserved [Feedback]