Living on Cacith wasn’t easy. After all, four-fifth of the year it was raining.
Just because I use Earth terms for fruits, vegetables, livestock, etc. doesn’t mean this Short Story is about Earth. Because it’s not. It’s easier to use Earth terms than it is to describe these, fruits, vegetables, and livestock. Especially, since they are very similar to what we have here on Earth. Sometimes it’s only their names that are slightly different, thought SpaceFaction as he sat down to start writing this Short Story.
Licus was almost finished pulling a large heavy plow down the last row in the cornfield. His legs were wobbly with each step through the rain-covered ground. The rain wasn’t heavy that month, but it was constantly falling. Licus wiped some rainwater off his face.
Looking at his family standing in front of him, Licus let the plow fall to his side. “This field is ready for planting too.”
Yenneia gave her husband Licus a big cloth bag of corn seeds. Then she stepped two rows over as he turned around to face the row he had just plowed. Their six children were already in front of their first row for planting. Stooping over to start planting their seeds the Kindoffs started planting that field.
The Kindoffs stepped through a large entrance in the Central Community building that stood in the center of that community. They walked in one at a time. As they did, the heat from two large poles on both sides of that entrance blasted them with low-emitting flames of fire.
Those poles followed whoever was walking down a short hallway. Slowly walking around in a small circle to dry their rain-soaked bodies. By the time they got to the end of that hallway, they were dry from head to foot. Licus lead the way with his family right behind him.
Licus gathered his family together after Cathleni exited that hallway. “It’s been a very exhausting month and a half. We all need a little rest. So, that’s what we are going to do.”
“This is our last field. Once we get it planted, we will be done for this year.” Licus stood in front of the last row of that field. Looking at the rest of his family beside him. They were looking at him with two rows each in between them.
“It has been a long three months, but we are almost finished planting our fruits and vegetables.” Licus bent over and started planting his green bean seeds in his row.
One after another Licus pushed a seed into the mud. His family was doing the same thing. The rain was heavier that time of the year. Each step they took sank them a little deeper into the mud. By the time they finished each row, they were up to their knees in mud.
“Learning is a daily thing here on Cacith. Every day we are learning something about ourselves, our family, friends, neighbors, etc.” Jamis Thanus stood on a stage in front of about two hundred and fifty thousand young and old Cacithians. Walking around as he spoke.
“This is our fourth month of a new year, but it’s not just our fourth month. It was also five hundred years ago this year that we started living like this.”
Jamis stopped walking. “Every month for one week we talk about our past. So, we don’t repeat it. This week we will be talking about how we got to where we are today. For the next ten days, I will be telling you about why we live the way we do twelve months out each year.”
A loud clap of thunder sent several bolts of lightning down in the fields and land that surrounded the large house the Kindoff called living inside out of the very heavy rain that time of the year. Only they weren’t inside right now. They were trying to dodge the bolts of lightning while trying to gather the panicking animals there.
Rabbic, Sophice, and Cathleni were in charge of the animals living there. They tended them year-round. True, they helped with the planting and harvesting, but all year they took care of those animals too. Right now, that was a big problem. Rabbic and Sophice tried to control the larger animals while Cathleni tried with the smaller ones. Every so often all of them saw an animal dead or dying.
The three buildings where the animals were kept and taken care of were the small ones on both sides of the Kindoff house, and the larger one behind it. Their length paralleled their house. Rabbic, Sophice, and Cathleni were in the small one to the right of their house. Taking care of the livestock there.
"Last month could have been worse.” Sophice was brushing a horse while feeding it. “We only lost about a hundred of our livestock last month.”
“We wouldn’t have lost any if I hadn’t wanted to look at the endless storm coming through our region of Cacith.” Cathleni took care of feeding the smaller animals there. “As soon as I opened the entrance here was when a large thunderbolt spooked the animals, and they took off running in panic.”
Licus was finishing putting on his rain clothing when Yenneia came into the living room with the rest of the family. “It looks like everyone is ready to go have some fun. What is everyone doing tonight?”
“Ollivar and I are going to a dance tonight.” Gragory was looking out the window at the heavy rainfall. “Before you ask, we are meeting a couple of females there.”
“I’m taking Sophice and Cathleni to several movies.” Brankan had his arms around Sophice and Cathleni.
Licus smiled. “I’m taking Yenneia to a nice dinner and a concert.” Taking the arm of Yenneia, Licus headed for the entrance to that room. His six children were right behind them. “It sounds like we are all going to have some fun and socializing tonight.”
Rabbic, Sophice, and Cathleni left the small building on the left of their house and were heading toward the large one in the back. They were having a lot of difficulty doing it because of the heavy downpour of rain and the high winds pushing against them.
Every step they took forward pushed them back three steps. The rain hitting their faces didn’t help them either. “I hate this month.” Rabbic kept trying to keep the rain off his face. “It’s the heaviest rain of the year.”
“It’s also the middle of the year.” Sophic leaned forward slightly as she pushed her way through the rain and high winds. “The only good thing about this time of year is it doesn’t get too much worse for the next four months.”
Cathleni flopped down in a chair in the living room, and she started to slip out of it almost instantly. She ended up not stopping until she hit the floor of their house. “Another great meal Mom.”
Yenneia smiled as Gragory and Rabbic helped Cathleni get back into her chair. “Which cow did we have to kill to feed us tonight?” Cathleni asked.
“I believe Sophice called her Havianna.” Yenneia took the loveseat side next to Licus.
Sophice smiled as she sat down in a chair opposite Cathleni. “Havianna was a big cow. She should feed us for the rest of the year until we get to harvest time.”
“I agree with Cathleni.” Brankan sat down with Ollivar, Gragory, and Rabbic on a couch across from the loveseat. “It was a great meal, Mom.”
Another very loud clap of thunder sent the animals in the large building behind their house into even more panic than they were before. The thunder was coming about every minute or two. Each one was louder than the last one. Rabbic, Sophice, and Cathleni were frantically trying to calm them down.
Cathleni was trying to calm down some frightened pigs. Falling down every few seconds in the mud they lived in. “At least no animals have been killed during this month.”
Sophice got some goats calmed down. She started trying to do the same thing with about forty flighty chickens. “Unfortunately, this month is only half over. We still have twenty days left of these violent rainstorms. It could still be very deadly for us and our animals.”
Despite the almost constantly falling rain so far that month, Rabbic, Sophice, and Cathleni let their animals out for fresh air every day. They watched over them and chased them down quite often for a few hours. Then they would return them to their buildings.
The rain during that month wasn’t very heavy, but it was heavy. Keeping their eyes on those animals wasn’t easy. They used some trees to protect themselves, but that didn’t help them too much. Especially, when they went after them, and that was every few minutes.
All three stood under one tree. “Why do we do this every day?” Rabbic asked.
“Because the animals need some exercise.” Sophice took off after a wild cow.
“Maybe they do, but I don’t.” Rabbic started running after a runaway horse.
Jamis stood in front of about two hundred and fifty thousand other Cacithians. “This is the hardest time of the year for us. Not because of the rain. It’s steady right now, but it’s not very heavy. The reason it’s the hardest is because this year is almost over. At least it is when it comes to the rain.”
“For the next three months, we will be harvesting our fruits and vegetables, and selling our animals. It’s not going to be easy. Especially during harvesting. It will be in the sun. Not the slivers of sunlight that come through our rain clouds, but our real sun.”
“As I just said, it won’t be easy, but it won’t be that hard either. There will be a lot of time for socializing too.”
Just like with the planting, the whole family was involved with the harvesting of their fruits and vegetables too. They started with the first field closest to their house. Once that had been harvested, they went on to the next field.
Also like the planting, each family member had two or three rows they had to harvest. They started at one end of a row and worked their way to the end of it. Once they were finished with one row, they went on to the next. It took several days to do each field.
“We only have four fields left to finish before our harvesting is over with this year,” said Licus after they finished harvesting their latest field. “One more week and we will be finished with our harvesting.”
Yenneia sat on the bed of Sophice next to her. “You turned sixteen this year. That means it’s time for you to start looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with. Do you have any thoughts about who this will be?”
“I have been thinking about several males who it might be.” Sophice continued staring straight ahead. Not wanting to look at her mom eye to eye. “Haven’t decided which one it will be yet, but I do have four more years to decide.”
“You may have four years, but it’s not as long as you think it is.” Yenneia looked at Sophice who was now looking at her. “If you have any problems or any questions you can always come to me.”
Licus and Yenneia walked down a busy street with the rest of their family right behind them. “I hate giving half of our animals to those who created this way of living five hundred years ago this year.”
“You say that every year we do this, and I tell you the same thing.” Yenneia wasn’t looking at Licus. “There is nothing we can do about it.”
“Yes, there is.” Licus stopped. So did the rest of his family. “I can refuse to give them our animals.”
Yenneia looked at Licus and smiled. “You say that every year too.”
“You know what will happen if you do that.” Yenneia looked at the rest of their family. “Living on Cacith will be even deadlier than it already is. You know others have done it, and they are all dead.”
Word Count = 1,962