Tale – Lacking Below

“Hang on! Hang on!” the grumpy voice shouted from behind the door. “I can’t use my fucking legs, medic! Give me a moment!”

Rummaging around could be heard as the being on the other side desperately tried to reach the door. After about thirty seconds, the medic pulled out a key card and opened the door herself.

“Are you alright, Veeyel?”

Veeyel grunted. He was only a few inches away, he’d only struggled because he had been in bed and was trying to put his mechanical leg braces back on. He didn’t like people opening the door for him.

“No. You’re depriving me of the simple pleasures of everyday life.”

The medic smiled as she put her key card back in her pocket and instead pulled out a small sweetie. She handed it to Veeyel and announced the reason why she was there.

“You have a visitor.”

“I do?” Veeyel blinked. The medic moved away and let the visitor in. Veeyel’s eyes lit up as he realised it was his old buddy Kayel. “I do!”

With a large grin, Veeyel grabbed Kayel, pulled him inside and slammed the door shut on the nurse. Normally he wouldn’t have been rude, but normally they would have given him more than thirty seconds to get up. After wobbling across the room and towards his desk, he sat down and greeted Kayel properly.

“Hi! How are you!”

Kayel shrugged as he sat on the only other chair in the room. “I’m okay. You seem to be in a funny mood.”

Veeyel glanced down, then glanced around the room, then glanced at his bed. He suddenly started blushing, realising he’d left something… awkward on the bed. Something Kayel was politely ignoring.

“I… I dislike being interrupted. No one visits me normally so I thought I had more time… Uh… Wow, I feel dumb…”

“I don’t know…” Kayel glanced at where Veeyel was looking and changed his tone. “Oh. That’s fine. Perfectly natural to… well…”

Veeyel sighed as he got up, lurched towards his bed and awkwardly hid what he’d been looking at. “Wouldn’t be a problem normally… But sometimes, rarely, I get a sudden rush of feeling and I just want to take advantage of that. Nothing below my stomach will ever feel the way it used to, but when I can feel SOMETHING… Well, anyvok would, in my place.”

“I understand…” Kayel got up and sat on the bed next to Veeyel. “I honestly can’t imagine how much it sucks being stuck in here.”

“Coming from you?” Veeyel suddenly laughed. “My life’s been way better than yours…”

“I guess…” Kayel tutted, then suddenly remembered he’d brought some gifts. He reached around and pulled his bag off his back, opening it up. Inside were two plastic cups, two bottles of fizzy drink and four packs of sugar-free chocolate. One of the cups had ‘I love you’ scribbled on the side.

Veeyel’s smile returned as he inspected the cups and let Kayel pour him a drink.

“Thank you. Sorry about…”

“Don’t apologise!” Kayel interrupted. “I should have called in advance. You didn’t know. And you should be allowed to enjoy yourself occasionally.”

“Yeah, well… What makes it awkward is what I was thinking about…”

“You were thinking about me, weren’t you?”


Veeyel fell silent. Kayel put an arm around him.

“Nothing works down there anyway…” Veeyel sniffed. “I want to feel like everyone else. We’re all free beings now but I still feel like a prisoner. And I get so, so lonely…”

“But you said…”

“It doesn’t work like it should. Half the time I can’t even piss properly. The medics are considering putting me on a fucking catheter because they’re worried I’m going to lose even more feeling down there… And here you are with your stupid over-fertile body pushing out kids every five minutes…”

“That was uncalled for,” Kayel growled. “I never wanted to have kids with random beings. I wanted to have kids with you…”

“Admit it though, Ksiel was right when he called you an interdimensional surrogate mother…”

Kayel wanted to be offended, but he actually found that statement quite amusing and couldn’t help but laugh.

“Heh… I guess he was right…”

Veeyel snickered, but quickly fell silent.

“Are you okay?” Kayel asked.

“No. I want to get out of here. Just for a day. But they won’t let me. Not without two Rethans to look after me, and a medic.”

“You… want me to see if I can arrange something? I mean, I can’t do anything on my own, I’m supposed to be dead. But maybe we could do an L-Class reunion…”

“Really?” Veeyel blinked as he snuggled up to Kayel. “I’d love that…”