The Natives

Written by Oluchi Idaboh |
Published on:

“I didn’t mean to land there. My ship malfunctioned and I had to land on the first possible planet. I’m lucky I survived the crash. I must’ve passed out as I don’t remember much that happened after the collision. When I woke up I was on a soft bed, surrounded by tiny beady eyes staring at me. There were thousands of them, analysing me, assessing me. They were very small, the tallest reaching about 4ft. They weren’t aliens per say, with green skin and tentacles. They were almost humanly, but with one difference. They didn’t have a neck. Their heads were attached to their body- literally. I couldn’t help but laugh. They stared at me curiously, no one making a word or move for me. I wondered if they could speak English, and as if on cue one of them spoke. 

‘I am Esembarb. I am the current ruler of The Natives,’ the native ruler spoke. Her voice was croaky and significantly lower than I would have imagined.

I nodded. How do I reply? Do I call her your majesty? Is it even a woman?

‘Errr- your majesty. I am Alexis. I didn’t mean to land on your planet. I mean you no harm,’ I had replied.

Now, I never got to find out what Esembarb said as she died right in front of me. Her hands clutched her forehead and she slowly fell. The other natives in the room didn’t seem surprised, as if they were used to it. They didn’t need to move her, her figure vanished into dust. All eyes looked at me expectantly.

There was a sullen silent for a second.

“You were the last person Esembarb spoke to- your the new ruler,” someone said. 

It was a quite peculiar system to pick their new ruler but it wasn’t something I could turn down. I  did refuse, only to be told I had no choice. I ruled over the Natives for 7 years. To be perfectly honest with you, my ship was fixed after 2 years and I could have easily come back to earth. But I craved the attention they gave me. The power was intoxicating. They worshipped me. The Natives expected me to die after 4 months. That was the average lifespan here. They didn’t expect me to survive. When I had lived on their planet for 6 months they began worshipping me. I was no longer just their ruler, I was their God. I don’t think they realised I wasn’t the same species as them and that I would live for much longer. The natives weren’t very intelligent, I must say. I taught them many tricks of the trade, and learnt some of their traditions too. Who knew rock tag was a thing. 

The natives lived in pods underground. Tunnels and tunnels were the roots of the housing system, almost like a small town. You can only imagine the shock on my face when I was given a tour. 

It wasn’t all fun. I grieved every month. I couldn’t get too close with a specific native as they died too quickly. I made the mistake a couple of times, one of my biggest regrets. I couldn’t help it- the Natives became my family. A very big family I would say. As quickly as they died, more were born. Genders didn’t exist between them. All got pregnant once a month, like how women get periods here on earth. The pregnancy would last 3 days, and the natives would conceive 3-5 babies. And the way they were born- the natives spewed out their babies. I didn’t know what to think of it when i first saw it. During their 3 day pregnancy, they grow a neck, where the babies are stored. It was all quite complex really. There ways so rare and different, I couldn’t help but record everything I saw in a journal. The day I decided to come back to earth was one of the hardest days of my life. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go back. Because the amazing thing is, you don’t find the natives, the natives find you and you can only find them once. I didn’t mean to land on the Natives planet, but it was the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

I finish my speech as camera flash in my face. The news reporters scream questions in my face however I don’t answer them- until one question caught my attention. 

“How do we know this story isn’t all fake?” the man screamed.

I smirk, staring at the man.

“You don’t. You don’t know if its real or if it’s fake. But trust me when I say you will buy my book and you will read it. And do you know why? Because a part of you will always believe it,” there’s a small silence before another array of questions hit me again.

“No further questions. I am done,” And with that, I turn around and walk off the stage, with the thought of the Natives on my mind.


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Author: Oluchi Idaboh
I am Oluchi Idaboh and I am a writer/poet. I love to write in my free time and it is one of my main joys and hobbies. Reading is my life. I have always loved to read- it is what got me into writing. I have won and participated in other competitions before.


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Card image cap Francesca Pappadogiannis - Congratulations once again on your win Oluchi!

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