She knelt with the water sloshing against her breast and forced air through her flared nostrils. She made herself calm the moment she found the glimmer of light again. It slithered up and down the black surface of the walls reminding her of an eel the way it moved.
Charis hated eels. She hated them almost as much as she hated funerals. Or maybe she hated them with equal fervor. One had cost her her family, the other had reminded her of the finality of her loneliness. Disius 9 had for years harvested the energy of giant eels. Potuck Embria is what they were called. They were genetically modified creatures, born of earth matter and cellular compounds sifted from the silt of Disius 9.
One Potuck Embria could reach the length of a full grown man in less than a year and hold enough voltage to power fifteen cottages within the village. It only took one to fry her father. It was his funeral and the rumors surrounding his death that pushed her mother to take her own life.
Charis had suddenly been left with nothing, nothing but bitter wounds, a cottage a third the size of her family home, a goldfish she couldn’t bring herself to eat since her appetite had taken a three day sabbatical after her mother’s death, and a burning desire to leave Disius 9 far behind her. The people around her had morphed before her very eyes, turning from friends to suspicious neighbors, to nothing more than rungs in a ladder for her to step on as she took to her upward ascent.
Farmers couldn’t give her much more than what she’d already had in hand, but knowing enough of their secrets had opened doors for her, getting her closer to people who did have more. She stepped and she climbed upon their backs for the better part of three years, all the while keeping an elusive light in her sights.
How ironic that she was once again doing the same thing.