Jon Yonder’s quest for secret knowledge on a small out-of-the way world populated by squat, ugly beings

Death of the Old Gnarled Tree

I was an alien stranger here, the only passenger dropped off by the creaky planet hopper at the sole space port on this strange, out-of-the way world circling a somber reddish star. The local oki* were squat and ugly. They talked funny and treated me rudely. Thus, I walked their roads alone. As I walked through their villages, they gave me scant notice, despite—or perhaps because of—my strange appearance to them. I’m tall, gangly, and pale, compared to their short, compact, swarthy mien. Their guttural talk would grow guarded; they would busy themselves looking elsewhere. Small ones would stare…

Continue ReadingDeath of the Old Gnarled Tree