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The morning after they’d returned from their “vacation”, to their home that had been repaired, fortified, and equipped (it was hoped) to detect and fend off alien intruders, Yelina made her way to the band room. There, newly set up, was the drum kit Mike had made for her- the behemoth that had once been the heart and soul of Boom-Boom Kitty.

Now, the set just looked overwhelming, colossal and ungainly, the sticks big, heavy and unwieldy.

The set still looked fine, made of rich-looking hardwood slats and bent into fabulous curved shapes. It had almost a mystical, arcane look, like a mighty vehicle for taking fabulous journeys.

But now, without Yelina to drive it, it had become nothing more than an untaken journey with the heart cut out of it.

With a sigh, eyeing the behemoth like an adversary, Yelina made her way painfully to the central drum stool, and for the first time unstrapped herself from the back brace that helped her sit upright, and the leg braces that gave her rubbery, uncooperative legs the support they needed to hold her upright.

Prepared for pain, she steeled herself. And she began to play.

At once, the pain was excruciating, but she clenched her teeth, wrenched her attention away from her discomfort, and hurled herself, despite the agony, into her own world of rhythm.



Faint and pale from pain and exhaustion, sweat pouring from her ravaged body, she reached a point where she realised that if she stopped, her body would instantly tighten up and cramp. So she kept on going, eased off, hit an easy stride, a groove that needed the bare minimum to maintain itself, and settled in.

She played for hours in a world beyond pain and physical discomfort, a world known only to athletes whose bodies vibrate at a higher pitch than average mortals, a world with its own rules of pain and progress, injury and healing, limits and possibilities; until at last she fainted from exhaustion.

She would have fallen, but for the others who had come to listen to a miracle take place, who bore her sweat-slick body upstairs and to bed, where the strong hands of Maggie Duff worked their magic on her cramped, aching muscles and joints.

And at last, exhausted, relaxed, heat-linamented and deliciously drowsy, with Boom-Boom Kitty on her pillow to watch over her, she fell deeply asleep; and in her sleep, she dreamt that she could run!

------
You are the alien.


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