Prompt: The color of her blood was the least of my worries. Genre: sci-fi
(Prompt courtesy of eadeverell.com)
The color of her blood was the least of my worries. Scratch that– it was the second least of my worries. The very least was the pain radiating from my left toe which I’d just stubbed on the doorjamb– that is to say, I had a lot of things to worry about at the moment.
But regardless of the color, the unconscious woman was bleeding profusely on the bathroom floor, and I was the only one around to save her.
I should have paid more attention in my First Aid class.
A tourniquet. That was the first thing I needed to find. I pulled the sash out of a robe hanging on the back of the bathroom door, then stooped down and tied it around the woman’s arm just above the bend of her elbow. I grabbed two pillows from the bed and used them to prop the arm up above her heart.
Assuming her heart was where I expected it to be. If her blood was green, then there was no way of knowing what else might be different.
I also should have paid more attention in my Xenobiology classes.
I fetched a handheld mirror from the vanity and held it to her mouth; it fogged up immediately and I heaved a sigh of relief. “Okay, then,” I said. “You’re alive– for now. Bleeding is slowing down. I suppose I should call the police next– or at least the hotel security.”
But what would Security say when they saw a woman bleeding green? Not everyone was open to the idea of aliens living among humans. And the more I studied the woman on the floor, the more things I noticed about her that were… disconcerting. Even I had my prejudices, I realized. I– who had attended an “alien-friendly” school, who had been educated about alien cultures and civilizations on the other habitable planets of our galaxy– now experienced my first live encounter with one of these aliens, and I still struggled to wrap my head around what I was seeing: green blood, yellow hair– bright neon yellow, not blonde– a nose so tiny one could barely call it a nose, and an overall green tint to her skin that I’d missed at first glance.
It didn’t help, perhaps, that if anyone happened to walk in on me at that moment, I could easily become the prime suspect in this apparent crime scene.
But if I failed to report it, that would also look suspicious.
“Jupiter!” I swore.
The woman’s eyes flew open and I nearly hit my head on the towel bar as I backed away in surprise. She looked at her propped-up arm and frowned. Then she looked at the puddle of green on the floor and her frown turned to embarrassment. “I missed the tub,” she said.
I had nothing to say, but I grabbed a towel and began wiping up the mess, trying to imagine it was a spilled green smoothie instead of…whatever it was. When I looked back up, the woman had her arm over the tub and had removed the makeshift tourniquet. The slit in her arm closed up as the last drops of green fluid disappeared down the drain. She turned back to me with a wry expression. “What about we forget this whole episode, huh?”
I nodded, mute. Had I just witnessed what I thought I had? I was too shy to ask for verification. “I’ll bring you some extra towels from the laundry room.”
I quickly washed my hands, then backed out of the bathroom and bumped into the cleaning cart. I gripped the handlebar and shook my head as I exited into the hallway.
A Tengeilin, I finally remembered the species from my textbook, feeds directly from sunlight, and every three days must expel the excess fluid from her body. This release of fluids may lead to temporary unconsciousness.
What a strange way to live, I thought. Then I looked down at my soiled clothing.
“I’m going to need a shower.”