What Ever Happened To Que?
There was a lot to digest. First his mom was dead but she wasn’t seeing she’d appeared to him and they’d stayed up most of the night drinking coffee and talking about where he’s from, the dad he never met and what’d happened to her so he’d know it wasn’t as horrendous as everyone else thought… he could go on and on making her not your average ghost or more accurately not a ghost at all. Was she a volcano goddess, Hephaesta, Hephaestusa, Vulcana – wait, wrong planet – Volcana for volcano that wasn’t her nemesis as it turned out, but now he’d have to google Greek gods to see the Roman name. So dad was special, a fire being of sorts, and his mom was, well, had always been different. He couldn’t keep up at the same time he didn’t want to. It was all kind of cool… in a hot lava way.
An affinity with volcanos means great power. As reveling in the thought tried to sneak up on Que, he was all too aware that would mean a responsibility that would show itself as he grew, and most importantly he didn’t want to learn it the hard way. You don’t get something like that for free. The fine print was obviously going to have to do with self-control.
It occurred to him in the midst of everything swirling through his brain responsibility had just introduced itself.
Story Of Que & Sci-Fi Snippet 6: Back To Re-ality
Que lunged straight up in bed. “Mom! Mom!” Nuriye came running, well more like staggered hurriedly into his room. It was, after all, 3:47 a.m. She’d been working very late and had brought her 12-year old son with her, first so he wouldn’t be left alone, second to see the volcano that he’d developed a study-passion for. Maybe he’d follow in mom’s footsteps. She’d dressed him in a protective suit though he still watched from a safe distance, very safe in fact but not safe enough for him as his mom and her co-scientist-friend scurried during an unexpected tremor. He wasn’t sure about that and felt his love betrayed. That was his mom after all. Alarmed he’d scowled and shouted at the growling mountain and the mountain stilled. Coincidence?
“Swehthr’t tht’s threh, three times.” She collapsed onto his bead wrapping her arms around him. “But I had the weirdest dream. It felt like it took a week.” “Noh, nt a wk…” Her breathing began to slow. “Mom! You were a lava spirit and came back. You talked about dad – you were worried if you should tell me about him. Who is he?”
Her eyes snapped open though she didn’t move as warmth, oddly enough began creeping through her body from her toes. It would be just like him to seep into Que’s dreams announcing himself. She wouldn’t mind seeing him again. Nuriye had to laugh to herself. She wasn’t even sure who he was.
Refreshed as if doused with ice water, “You know the story. Shhhh. I’ll stay until you fall back to sleep – no worries” but his breathing had become steady and quiet. She realized her entire body was radiating heat.
“Son-of-a-gun… he’s back.”
Story Of Que – Sci-Fi Snippet 6: A Decision
Maybe she didn’t have to explain anything. “Why is it mom’s think they have to explain things to their kids? Would it make a difference if he knew his dad wasn’t, well, his dad? He knows his characteristics are genetic. Leave it at that. Curiouser and curiouser – not. Kids aren’t dumb and he’s not a kid anymore. If his dad is a fire god of some sort he may have communicated to him by now anyway. In his mind he could be sparing me… hmmm… fire god. Hephaestus wasn’t supposed to be that good looking and he had a wife. What am I thinking!”
Nuriye laid back and looked up at the stars.
“I wonder how long I’ll be able to keep this form? Maybe by manifesting myself I’ve regenerated. That would be another can of worms. First time for everything.”
Story Of Que Sci-Fi Snippet 5’s Snippette 2
Nuriye thought of when she met him. Why was she so drawn? Armani trousers and open silk shirt – where was he from? Wearing jeweled sandals no less. Was he naturally dark-skinned or just tanned. There was no just-tanned in his case. “Sinewy and tight, no body fat – why am I thinking of body fat. Didn’t think of it then, but he was so knowledgeable. His voice, gentle and deep.” Even wearing his fireproof suit when he was taking samples she imagined him in his usual attire, Armani, sandals and silk. Each time she looked at him it was as if she had x-ray vision. “Better pay attention.” She smiled at the memory. There was a light in his eyes like she’d never seen. “He was only there for a short time. There was fire in his eyes that night.” With child she glowed the next morning. “My Que. My little Que.”
“You’re different”, he’d said. “Yeah, so are you.” With him she thought she could tell the truth about herself but they never got to it. It all happened so fast.
SCI-FI SNIPPET 5s SNIPPETTE: BEYOND BIRDS AND BEES
Nuriye thought back to her romantic encounter that’d resulted with Que. “He was warm, unusually warm. I was so caught up I thought it was the passion.” Indirectly, it was but she wasn’t about to share this little tidbit with her son.
“How can I explain this?”
SCI-FI SNIPPET 4: QUE HAS A CONVERSATION WITH A GHOST
He had to laugh to himself as he watched her get closer – by now he’d concluded it was Nuriye – as his thoughts rewound to his childhood, “I wonder if I’m in trouble for something. How old am I? Doesn’t matter. Everyone has a ma.” A lump formed in his throat. “Maybe for moving away from the closer proximity to volcanoes…” He knew it wasn’t like his mom to stay away for too long anyway. Maybe she just wanted him to know she was still there or it could be something else completely. That he probably should get back to being involved with volcanoes might be a good idea.
By the time the image had reached the shore it had taken solid form. Que was right. It was his mom.
“Takes a lot out of you”, she said, “how are you Que?”
She wrapped her arms around him emanating heat, nothing harmful, warmer than a human body, more like an early summer day. “Yes, it’s me.”
“Are you a ghost?”
“Ghost!” She nudged his arm. “Not exactly. I’m not dead, just in a different form, state-of-being, whatever, although I did draw the energy from the heat in the steam to materialize if you want to call it materialize to you so you could see me. I wanted to see you too. You were thinking of me just then wishing we could talk. The basalt was to let you know you could believe your eyes. Tell me what’s been going on.”
“I’ve been good. I guest-speak at schools now to students interested in volcanoes and to future geologists. Your reputation has helped me a lot.
What do you do where you are? Where are you exactly? Are volcanoes cool there?”
Now Nuriye had to laugh and when she did the surroundings became brighter like sun breaking through the shade.
“It’s cool, what you can do now”, he said.
“Yes it is but I miss doing what we used to do together. I knew it most likely wasn’t going to last forever besides there being a good chance you’d want a life different from vulcanology. I never thought it’d turn out like this. For what my instincts were worth this was a surprise. Nature has her own agenda.” “Mom you think!” “Speaking of which, I don’t know if you’ve realized but your exposure to volcanoes has made you stronger than I ever was. I couldn’t heat rocks like you can.”
“It’s something I’ve developed?”
“Seems that way.”
“Where’d I get that from though? It’s got to be a gene. You know? It hasn’t changed since I haven’t been around volcanoes…” Que trailed off right there. He didn’t know what his mom might be aware of in his life, but he hadn’t wanted anything about his getting away from volcanoes to slip out just in case she didn’t know and it was possible she didn’t have super hearing through the clouds or read thoughts, just generally speaking.
“ I didn’t blame you for taking a hiatus from vulcanology.” Nuriye smiled big at her son who suddenly felt a flood of relief. “It made sense, especially to everyone who worked with you and friends who’d certainly never understand any of this.” She paused for a long second.
“However, where’d you get it from is a very good question.”
Sci-Fi Snippets 3: More Of The Story Of Que
As far as everyone else knew, Que was a nickname for Quentin, a father he’d never met who wasn’t his father anyway. Nuriye had taken a job in Iceland; a distance that would give her reprieve from her partner’s nagging, and had met a tall dark stranger like she’d read about in her romance novels when she was a teen. She embraced the one-night stand after which, as far as she knew, he went his separate way just like she went hers, though she would forever hold that memory. Quentin left before Que was born, didn’t know Nuriye was with child one way or the other, never liked vulcanology and had warned Nuriye of her death, well not exactly warned, more like ranted what she was doing was going to get her killed not being privy to his lover’s abilities, which still couldn’t prevent what’d happened.
Nuriye succumbed to a sudden flow of lava while gathering rock samples with her son; there was an explosion and lava just heaved up and poured out. She used the energy generated from her and the volcano to move Que a safe distance. After positioning him on the ground she’d placed a smoothed piece of basalt in his hand. Friends and co-scientists thought the explosion, luckily, had knocked him clear saving him from what they thought was the same fate as his mother. What they didn’t know was the lava had covered her like a wave and when it subsided her physical self was gone with it. Que kept the basalt in a glass box on a bookcase display of volcanic stones collected from their time together. After her ‘death’ he moved to a place far away from volcanoes.
Now here he was, sitting alongside his idyllic river watching an image moving toward him that the closer it got more and more resembled his mother holding the glowing piece of basalt in her hand.
VULCAN’S GRANDSON: THE STORY OF QUE
He remembered his mother called him Vulcan’s grandson. To Que, Nuriye was just a regular mom, but as he grew he came to realize “if the rest of the world knew what she could do, it would definitely considered her weird”. She had an affinity for fire, a no-brainer that fact alone would make most people afraid. She could light candles gently blowing on the wicks as if she were cooling Merthiolate on a cut, and when she became a vulcanologist, could obtain samples other scientists couldn’t get close enough to collect, having convinced her colleagues it was a technique that took her years to develop. Even as a child Nuriye had never been afraid of fire and had no supernatural connections that she knew of. She was brought up by two normal parents who were alarmed about their daughter’s lack of fear. As Nuriye grew she figured out how to better conceal her actions so her parents could relax believing what she’d gone through was a phase she’d finally grown out of. She loved barbecuing year round, which is where Que’s name came from. He was the spice in her life, her bright flame, and a lot like his mom especially when it came to her tolerance of heat.
He sat along the riverbank tossing pebbles and watching the steam rise as ripples expanded out. “Wonder if I can get one to reach the other shore?” Que looked along the limitless shoreline of smooth stone and spotted one a little different than the others. “It can’t be… how’d it find it’s way here”? It was a piece of basalt. There weren’t any volcanoes nearby. “How on earth…” he trailed off allowing himself to be distracted by the rock as it began glowing in his hand. He looked over the river and let it fly. “Dead center!” Steam shot up as if it were a geyser while the ripples reached both banks. “Yes…” he almost shouted but his attention was drawn to the spot it hit. The geyser had taken form. “What…” was as far as his thought got. The image was moving in his direction holding the glowing stone. “Mom?”
APRIL A TO Z WRITING CHALLENGE: Q