Rarely did flying islands have obvious life on them, but this one did. It was covered almost corner-to-corner with pointed A-frame houses, making the island look like a hedgehog.
“Well I’ll be damned,” said Captain Razo Corbeau with a whistle. His skyship, the Revenant, soared over the island slowly, like a passing cloud.
“How many of them are there?” asked his first mate, Lima, peering over the edge of the ship to the house-littered island below. They could see people gazing up at them in wonder. The people of this uncharted island looked like terrans, only with lightly-toned skin and stockier frames.
“Hundreds that I can see,” said Razo, “but who knows how many of them are in those houses, or blocked from view. It’s like there’s a house for every man, woman, and child. Gods, I can barely see the ground.”
“Are we going down?” asked Lima. She was already making for the anchor. Razo always forgot how quick she was–a testament to her race. Liprits–golden-brown hair striped with black, long limbs, slender as wraiths, and quick as devils. Lima doubled as the ship’s communications officer, able to pick up the basics of most languages inside a day. She was also very much a pacifist, and didn’t understand other races’ capacity for war and violence.
“We don’t know if they’re peaceful,” said Razo, attempting to catch up with her. Several other crewmates were watching him, waiting for a descent order.
“They live in little houses. They’re domestic,” said Lima, who had made it to the anchor. Thankfully, liprits were more about speed than strength, and she wasn’t able to haul the anchor on her own.
“They’re also overpopulated,” said Razo. “Where do you plan on dropping that thing?”
She pursed her lips and gave the anchor another look. It was attached to a rope ladder. Since most uncharted islands didn’t have docks, the ladder was a quick way to send a small exploration team.
“We don’t need to,” Lima said, and before Razo could react she cut the rope from the anchor and tossed the ladder over the side of the ship.
“Lima!” Razo cried, along with several other crew members. This wouldn’t help in convincing everyone that Lima was a good first mate. She was too eager–had too much wanderlust. She simply acted too fast for her brain to catch up.
“It’s already done,” said Lima, “we might as well just go down and–”
“Stowaways!” the navigator called.
Razo hastened to the port beam and nearly toppled overboard looking down at the rope ladder.
Several islanders had begun climbing up. They were shrieking in an unfamiliar language, but the effect was clear.
There wasn’t enough room for all of them on the island. And they needed a new home.
Today’s three prompt categories were, “Sky Trek,” “An A-frame house,” and, “A hedgehog.”
I want to live on Hedgehog Island. At least, if it were less crowded.