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1001 Centaurian Nights.

KlausShultz Nov 2nd, 2016 1,457 Never
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  1. "Anti-depressants; controlling tools of your system. Making life more tolerable."
  2.  
  3. "Serj Tankian, Unthinking Majority." I scoff. Too easy. My turn to try and stump my surprisingly well musical educated black friend.
  4.  
  5. "Alright, what about this: 'Reaching out to embrace the random, reaching out to embrace whatever may come.'" I'd like to think that this song is kind of looked over, but Tyreese here has proven me wrong. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was a bit surprised to meet someone with a somewhat same taste as me.
  6.  
  7. "What is Tool, Lateralus?" He smirks.
  8.  
  9. "Fuck you. You think you're hot shit, huh? Well you're about to spend a whole semester hanging out with horse pussy." I joke around.
  10.  
  11. "You're gonna be right there knee deep in it, too. Gonna get some of that fine strange." He says, shoving my shoulder.
  12.  
  13. "Not my choice, brother. I signed up for lamia first, and I get stuck with this barnyard shit. Not the best way to start my study abroad."
  14.  
  15. "You mean 'Fuck Abroad'? Lets be real here." He replies.
  16.  
  17. "You couldn't pay me enough to spelunk in a horse."
  18.  
  19. "Shiit man. I used to live on a farm. You ain't lived till you rode a horse. And then went horseback riding afterwards." He keeps a straight face. I can't tell whether he's joking, or if there's a horse somewhere in the world that's had the BBC.
  20.  
  21. "You're fucking twisted, man." Is all I can say, shaking my head.
  22.  
  23. The small van hits a bump, sending me into the air. Only me and Tyreese are going to this village in the woods. My nerves are shot. It's only been a year since the US government finally admitted that shit went bump in the night, and we were the "trailblazers" to establish contact with so called "liminals". Being such an upstanding red-blooded citizen, I immediately signed on. And I clearly checked lamia as my primary, with mermaids as my secondary.  And yet here I am, on my way to Wide Vagina City. I hope they have booze.
  24.  
  25. "So did they give you the letter about what to do and what not to do? They didn't give me one. Guess they thought my street smarts would get me through." Tyreese asks, his hand goes up to make sure his stereotypical 70's fro is intact. His idea, he says.
  26.  
  27. "Yeah, lemme fish it out." I say, searching through my carry on backpack. I find it and hand it to him.
  28.  
  29. "Dearest, student," he begins to read aloud "congratulations on your selection in the United States Liminial Exchange. Several applicants have applied to your position, and the liminials in question have chosen YOU." He stresses the 'you' giving me a hard poke in the shoulder with his meaty finger. Tyreese was atleast 260 pounds, and most of it fat. I was maybe a buck fifty wet.
  30.  
  31. "YOU," he continues "are the face of America in this brave new world. Like Lewis and Clark before, you are the trailblazers of American values and tradition-"
  32.  
  33. "Better throw the blankets out, they might have smallpox." I cut it, unable to keep the shitty joke to myself.
  34.  
  35. "Dude shut up." He says, and then continues. "American values and tradition. We sincerely hope that you live, learn, and grow with your new hosts over the next few months.  Perhaps you'll go down in the history books one day!"
  36.  
  37. I roll my eyes. Sure. History book of degeneracy, maybe.
  38.  
  39. "However, we do ask that you follow these guidelines. First, be respectful to your host family. Their rule is law. While you may (or may not) be in America, they are considered a sovereign nation with their own laws and customs. Don't rock the boat. Second, your host families will have electricity. That is all we can promise you. How much electricity is a variable we have no control over."
  40.  
  41. That electricity thing is gonna be a bitch to live without. Especially since I brought my music player to keep entertained. Nevermind my laptop with a large assortment of movies and live concerts.
  42.  
  43. "DO feel free to bring whatever you wish! You will be here for a long while, and we want o you to be comfortable. Bring any and all media you wish to share with your future host family, and other families you will be around. We want to introduce them to the world! DO NOT bring controversial items. This includes religious books, items, and drugs. This goes with our "Don't Rock the Boat" ideology in these beginning phases of introduction."
  44.  
  45. So don't be a missionary or meth dealer. Makes sense.
  46.  
  47. "On physical relations; you are an adult. You know consent. What you do with that, is up to you. But we will not be held responsible if you are to do something wrong." Tyreese snickers.
  48.  
  49. "Sounds like they WANT us to fuck monsters." I say. The language is pretty straight forward.  
  50.  
  51. "That's why I signed on, my man." Tyreese replies.
  52.  
  53. "Hopefully this wasn't your first choice."
  54.  
  55. "It wasn't. But it was my second one." I stare out the window at the trees moving past. They grey day is droll, and I can't help but think to myself that this is only a sign of things to come.
  56.  
  57. The centaurs that will so kindly put us up are quite an enigma. All I know is that they have some form of matriarchy. Which means either one of two things. I'll be used to do chores and shit, or I'll be used as a form of entertainment on the account that I'll be a curiosity. But I did bring a guitar, so it's pretty much a given on the latter. I just hope that I can beat the groupies off with a branch or stick or something.
  58.  
  59. That sounded wrong.
  60.  
  61. "What do you expect, man?" I ask, just trying to make conversation.
  62.  
  63. "Weird shit. Horse shit. All kinds of shit, mostly. Pretty sure we'll be housed in a barn. Either way, I get top bunk. " Tyreese jokes. Nervous laughter from me.
  64.  
  65. "Yeah. Sure. You think we'll just be eating apples and hay and stuff?" I ponder aloud.
  66.  
  67. "If so, those are some terrible horse-derves." the black man puns.
  68.  
  69. "Just shut the fuck up."
  70. ----
  71. I nap.
  72.  
  73. And wake up to us still driving, the sun is setting. Why couldn't we have taken a plane instead of being drove? Going from Texas to Idaho is rough. But we're on our last leg to Edwardsburg. From there, a short drive to our new home.
  74.  
  75. "How far are we out?" I ask the driver.
  76.  
  77. "Fifteen minutes out from your new home." He replies.
  78.  
  79. "Wait, we aren't stopping in Edwardsburg?"
  80.  
  81. "Nope, straight shot. You'll be with your new host family within the hour."
  82.  
  83. Within the hour? Oh shit, this is it. Why I feel giddy, is curious. Tyreese is out like a light, and I shake him awake. He throws my arm back and tries to snuggle back into his pillow against the window.
  84.  
  85. "Dude, wake up we're almost there."
  86.  
  87. That wakes him up, as his eyes shoot open and he sets up and scans the area with weary eyes. we're in a heavy wooded area on some sort of dirt rode. I rummage through my bag and find one of the five disposable cameras I brought with me. I purposefully snap a picture of Tyreese with flash on to blind him.
  88.  
  89. "Fuckin' asshole. I'll get you back." He says, giving me the bird.
  90.  
  91. I thumb the winding mechanism, prepping for another picture, when the thought hits me. I'm about to live with crazy monsters for a whole semester. Away from family. The only friend I will have is this Tyreese guy. Sure, we were dorm mates, but this is a whole new world. The back of my mind screams that this is going to be testing.
  92.  
  93. And then I see it. Up ahead, I see what looks like people on horseback. My heart thumps in nervousness. My tell-tale heart is dreadfully nervous, and I look to my human colleague. The same look of "Oh shit, this just got real" is painted all over his face. He's sweating. He fidgets with his fro to do something.
  94.  
  95. We pull to a stop. My eyes are locked on the five beings right outside the door. The fact that they are horse with human top halves isn't what my eyes are glued to. It's their apparel.
  96.  
  97. It was like I just stepped into Aladdin: the Centaur Chapter. There they stood, in flowing red and blue robes down to their horse part, which was simply covered in a black sheet. On their legs, some sort of leg warmers. But they were the ballooned bloomer types of pants. My jaw was hanging open, because Tyreese said;
  98.  
  99. "If you keep your mouth open like that, they're gonna come look you in the mouth."
  100.  
  101. He snickers at his clever joke.
  102.  
  103. "You see this shit right man? What the fuck?" I ask.
  104.  
  105. "Yeah, call me Tyreese of Arabia."
  106.  
  107. "This can't be fucking happening. Jesus bleeding Christ." Me being bewildered would be an understatement.
  108.  
  109. "Hey, watch it with the "C" word. They might stone you for blasphemy."
  110.  
  111. "Oh shit, you think they're actually...." I let the sentence linger. Silence in the car.
  112.  
  113. "I hope not. This is gonna be hella awkward if so." Tyreese finally breaks the silence.
  114.  
  115. "You two gonna get out? I gotta haul the two exchange students from here back to Texas. They're up in the city waiting for me."
  116.  
  117. And with that, we get out of the car. We unload our luggage from the uhaul trailer in the back, and watch as the the twin red breaklights fade into growing night.
  118.  
  119. Tyreese's luggage is homely. Two suitcases and a backpack. Mine, however, is a bit more unwieldy. Two suitcases, a guitar case, two backpacks and a mandolin in a softshell case. Being a music major, I thought I'd show them what I enjoyed to play. Something tells me it's going to be a learning experience for all of us.
  120.  
  121. Slowly, we both turn to face the ladies. The pale red setting sun illuminates their faces. They're beautiful, if not a bit of a contradiction. Milky white skin, with sharp blue eyes. Raven black hair falls in curls down ones front, while another has their hair cut short into a pixie. The other three seem to be wearing some sort of scarves around their heads, with see through masks across their mouths. Ornaments hang from both.
  122.  
  123. "You seem to be our most venerated guests. Welcome to our humble Sultanate. We do hope to learn from you, as we shall teach you." The centaur bows. We both simply stare and try to process what is going on.
  124.  
  125. "I am Morgiana, daughter of our esteemed Vizier. We have brought a cart for your belongings. Shall we load them for you?" She asks us. We still stand in shock at the sight of actual monsters.
  126.  
  127. "I uh. No, no. I'll load mine, thanks." I finally croak out. I pick up my suitcases and walk over to the cart. The short haired centaur giggles, and I shoot her a glance. She's atleast a head taller than me, and I'm a homely six-foot-two. I can't help but blush as I throw them into the cart. Tyreese follows suit, searching my face for an answer I do not have.
  128.  
  129. "What peculiar shaped satchels you have. What is the contents?" the short haired one asks.
  130.  
  131. "You know what music is right? They're instruments." I reply.
  132.  
  133. The centaur scoffs.
  134.  
  135. "Do you think me a peasant? Of course I know music! Music is the soul of our people, and we dance and eat to it!" She fumes haughtily.
  136.  
  137. "Shirin, you dishonor yourself in front of the guests." Morgiana shoots. Shirin stops and hangs her head.
  138.  
  139. "A thousand apologies." She says.
  140.  
  141. 'What the fuck' Tyreese mouths. I shrug.
  142.  
  143. After the luggage is loaded, Morgiana asks us to sit in the cart. We both agree, and pile in. The cart has an old style Persian rug and a ton of those little throw pillows. The entire ride is surreal, and I can barely believe this is real life. Trailblazers, indeed.
  144.  
  145. "So from where do you hail, travelers?" the centaur pulling the cart asks. Her voice is sing-songy. It's unreal.
  146.  
  147. "Texas, ma'am." Tyreese says, laying on that Texan Ma'am talk.
  148.  
  149. "What's a Texas?" She asks. I grab a pillow and hug it to my face to keep from laughing.
  150.  
  151. "Its a uh, state." Tyreese manages to say with a straight face.
  152.  
  153. "Oh. Like a state of being?" She asks.
  154.  
  155. Holy shit.
  156.  
  157. "Yeah, it's a state of being bigger than life." Tyreese comments smoothly. A couple of giggles are heard.
  158.  
  159. "You did not just-" He cuts my sentence off with a wave. He's going all out to go where no man has gone before.
  160.  
  161. I just want to make it out without doing anything haram.
  162.  
  163. "We haven't got your names yet, humans." Shirin comments right next to me, which startles the shit out of me.
  164.  
  165. "Oh uh. This is Tyreese. My name is, um, Jack." I say, extending a hand to the centaur. She looks at it and then me.
  166.  
  167. "What do I do with it?" she asks.
  168.  
  169. "You grasp it and shake it with your own hand." I explain
  170.  
  171. So she does. Even in the near night, I can see her blush.
  172.  
  173. We continue quietly for what seems like fifteen or so minutes, and finally we reach a clearing. In the center is a fountain with elaborate carvings on it. All around are large huts or houses. The entire architecture looks like someone copy and pasted the town from Aladdin into the woods.
  174.  
  175. "Master Tyreese," Morgiana says "you shall be staying with the master of the guard here." she says, as the cart rolls to a stop. Tyreese hops off and takes the bags off the wagon. We nod at each other as the wagon lurches off.
  176.  
  177. "And you, Master Jack. You shall have the pleasure of staying with me and the Vizier." Morgiana says, flashing me a smile. I gulp.
  178.  
  179. "Tomorrow we shall introduce you to the rest of the village, but for now, lets get you comfortable." She says, and we continue through.
  180.  
  181. I could have swore I seen Shirin frowning.
  182.  
  183. -------
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