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Sad climb to wretched homeEdit

The family got onto land, Blue Tentacles stayed and watched the craft with Purple as it moved away.
"Let's get to that cave" Silver Grey started, "we've got to live somewhere."
Blue Tentacles stopped staring and began climbing reluctantly with the others. “I hope my dear friend Purple comes back soon!” Blue exclaimed “I hope it, I hope it, I hope it!”
“I hope Purple sees us again soon too.” Silver Grey tried sound confident but quietly she speculated. Silver Grey knew once Centaurians get proper work and start really respectable lives they often want nothing more to do with homeless poor unfortunates. “I hope Purple comes back and doesn’t forget us. “Silver Grey thought to herself but she didn’t dare say anything out loud. The drunk started grumbling indistinctly, "Shush," Silver Grey whispered, "the Blue Tentacled boy's a friend of Yellow."

The family had few possessions to carry but despite that Yellow Tentacles got tired. Centaurian bodies without hard skeletons aren’t well adapted for carrying weights and remember Yellow was only young. This time Blue agreed to carry some of the burden while Silver Grey and Amber managed the rest.
“I haven't carried stuff like this before but I’ll try to be brave” Blue mumbled, Amber and Silver Grey waved tentacles reassuringly and let Blue know his life would get easier once he got used to things. Reassurance didn’t last long.

Amber glanced at the sun and his tentacles stiffened with concern. Silver Grey and Yellow both followed his gaze and all three were visibly uneasy.
“What’s wrong?” Blue asked.
“Get behind that large rock!” Amber’s tone left no doubt he was serious, “The sun could flare any moment!”

Yellow and Blue got to the shadow behind the rock quickly, Blue hunched his tentacles into himself as it was uncomfortably cold where the sun never shone. [1] Then Blue saw his friend Yellow had eye-stalks pointed anxiously at the adults, his mother and Amber had to work to get the drunk to safety. When the whole group were finally settled in the shade Silver Grey and Amber rubbed their tentacles because they’d been exposed to the flaring sun disturbingly long. Blue thought miserably again about how far his life had changed.
“Before when the sun flared there was always a comfortable shelter or a vehicle to shield Patricians and there were always servants to help us get there.” Blue Tentacles thought though he realised saying anything would put his new friends against him. Yellow saw his friend’s dejection and wrapped comforting tentacles round him.

At first the others took no notice when the drunk started rumbling, then they heard indistinctly,
“Strange boy, …. Not one of us ….. Go away …. Blue Tentacles ….. Ugly.” The adults worked trying to keep the drunk calm. Silver Grey momentarily pointed eyestalks at Blue Tentacles and saw he was edging towards areas exposed to deadly sunlight.
“Yellow, look! Keep your tentacles on Blue! He mustn’t leave here till the flare’s ended.”
Blue felt slightly better with Yellow holding him and didn’t run away.

“Why do you stay with that good for nothing drunk?” Amber asked Silver Grey.
“When I married I promised I’d stay with him.”
“Surely life would be better for you and the boys without him?”
“I promised before our Lord the Sun I would remain married till death and in the Sun’s name I won’t break that promise.” Shaky Tentacles couldn’t understand in his drunken state but young Yellow Tentacles heard it all.
“I wish Mum would leave him too.” Yellow thought quietly to himself and Yellow felt guilty for thinking so little of his dad.

Footnotes

  1. Remember Proxima Centauri is always in roughly the same place in the sky above a tidally locked planet.

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