Welcome to the Science Fiction Romance Brigade Midsummer Blog Hop! This is the first ever blog hop that I have participated in, so I'm pretty excited. It also happens to be the Science Fiction Romance Brigade's first ever blog hop, so excitement all around.
I have a short story for you, or the beginning of a longer one. One thing that surprised me about the theme of the hop, summer solstice, is that a story popped into my head and now seems to be taking over my thoughts. I think this blog hop has inspired a book! I like where it's going in my mind and I've been taking tons of notes and already have a rough outline. Of course, it could be a dud, but I'm having fun with it either way.
Let me know what you think. Plus, there are two grand prizes to be given away in a drawing:
First prize: A Kindle Touch or Nook Touch
Second prize: a library of science fiction romance titles from over 20 authors (most likely ebooks with one print anthology), and an Anabanana Gift Card.
In order to enter the drawing, simply comment on as many blogs in the hop as you'd like (mine included). For every comment, your name will be placed in the drawing for the awesome prizes. If you comment on every blog included in the hop, your name will be placed in the drawing 37 times. That's pretty good odds! So, enjoy the read, comment, and you can be the happy owner of a new Kindle Touch.
Home base for this blog hop is the Science Fiction Romance Brigade website, found here: http://sfrcontests.blogspot.com/. The names and links of all the participants are down below. Check them out, comment on their posts, and gain more entries for the drawings! The drawing will be held on June 24th and the winners will be posted on the SFRB website.
A commotion in the corridor jolted Anda awake. She could hear yelling, but she couldn't understand a syllable of the high-pitched Mudgian language. What sounded like a siren blared in the distance.
Anda got out of her makeshift bed and headed to the door to take a look. When she stepped out into the hallway, she saw several Mudgians heading in the opposite direction. A Mudgian she recognized suddenly zipped past her.
"Ikan," she called his name and he turned around. "What is happening?"
"Nokon passed out," Ikan paused for a moment, apparently thinking. "He passed out due to what you humans would call 'heat exhaustion.'"
"Heat exhaustion?" Anda said.
"It is unseasonably hot," Ikan explained.
Anda looked out of a window at a frozen expanse. The landscape was frozen, frozen solid. Everything she laid her eyes on was frozen. The buildings themselves looked to be made of ice, or maybe it wasn't ice. It actually looked colder than ice; snow would be too warm for this place. Beyond what appeared to be a city of frozen skyscrapers was a frozen expanse as far as the eye could see, what she could see of it anyway. She suspected it was frozen beyond all that as well.
They told her it was the summer solstice, which didn't make any sense. It didn't look a thing like summer out there. She had been cold during the long journey from Earth and was looking forward to a warm summer sun. There wasn't even a sun to be seen, except a distant star that gave off about as much light as a full moon on Earth.
The place was a freezer. How that fact wasn't included in the brief puzzled her. She had imagined that it would be a swampy, mud-covered planet, especially with a name like 'Mudgeon.'
Heat exhaustian seemed about as unlikely as her growing a second head.
"But, your planet is..." Anda hesitated, unsure if what she might say would be impolite.
"Frozen?" Ikan finished for her.
Anda smiled sheepishly, "Yes."
"I have never been outside of the ship on Earth. It is very very close to your sun. You practically live in your sun," Ikan rambled.
Anda couldn't stop herself from laughing a little. "It's not that close to the sun."
"I beg to differ," Ikan stated. "It is so hot on Earth that our first explorers to there vaporized when they stepped off of their ship."
Vaporized? Was he serious? She simply stared at him.
"That is why Mudgians wear protective suits when we are there," he continued. "The suits keep the right environment for us, but we can't stay outside of our ships for long, even in the suits."
Okay, he was serious.
Anda really didn't know what to say about that and Ikan seemed to be glued to his spot in the corridor, staring at her as she stared at him, so she asked what had been on her mind since she left Earth.
"Ikan, why am I here?"
All Anda knew was that she had been summoned to Mudgeon for the Summer Solstice Marriage Ceremony. Mudgians only got married one day a year on their planet, so it was a big celebration for everyone. Someone always knew somebody who was getting married and it was a planet-wide holiday.
Anda didn't know why she would be invited to such an event. She wasn't getting married. She didn't even have an intended to marry. Furthermore, she was human, not Mudgian, and she didn't know a single Mudgian that was getting married. Why she would be anywhere close to the planet during the solstice was a mystery to her.
"They didn't tell you before you left?" Ikan asked.
She shook her head.
"Oh, well, the summer solstice is the only day we marry on our planet."
"Yes, I know that, but why am I here?"
"You're here to get married, of course," Ikan said, as if it was the most obvious conclusion that she should have made already.
The first thought that went through her mind was the absurd one: she was going to be a popsicle on her wedding day. In retrospect, her next thought should have been her first, but she didn't bother analysing that in her shock: they couldn't make her marry someone she didn't love. And certainly not a Mudgian.
Why would a Mudgian even consider it? No alliances were needed. No business needed to be done. There was concern that the human race was dying out, but human and Mudgian physiologies were so different that reproduction was out of the question entirely. The only thing a human had in common with a Mudgian was that they were both bipedal. There was simply no reason for a human, Mudgian union at all.
"Your intended is being brought over now," Ikan continued.
Right at that moment, a door to their right swished open and in stepped a sight that nearly stopped her heart. She did a mental check to make sure her mouth wasn't hanging open. She had to make a conscious effort not to touch her chin to make sure. A thrill shot through the very core of her being, but she gave no outward appearance as to how this new arrival was affecting her.
The new arrival had black hair cropped close to a nicely-shaped head and an equally nicely-shaped square jawline. He did not appear to be military, but he had a commanding presence that exuded confidence. He was tan-skinned, wearing a sleeveless black tunic that accented finely tuned biceps. The tunic was zipped halfway, revealing a solid chest. His black pants were perfectly tailored. She could see that his legs were as muscular as his arms and chest and she imagined he had a nicely-shaped rear too.
Even being aware of all of that about him, she couldn't avert her gaze from his deep blue eyes. There was something about them. They didn't exactly look haunted, but there was a knowing look that both intrigued and frightened her.
He was tall, handsome, very masculine, and very very human.