A Stolen Heart — a sci-fi romance adventure
"Is that a place to play?" Senthys pointed.
"It goes up and down." The boy gestured, moving his hand like a wave in the sea.
It took Luc a moment to realize what the boy was seeing. "That's called the Monster. It's an anti-grav-powered roller coaster." In the distance, it clawed streaks against a steel blue sky. The sharp curves and steep inclines had rocketed the ride to the pinnacle of success in the empire when it opened the previous month. On Tarth, it had even displaced him as the hottest topic in the tabloids. The reprieve had lasted all of one day. Luc pulled back. "I can't believe you can see that far."
"I see better than humans. Can you see that far?"
"You mean because I have 'weird' eyes?"
"Looks like we both see better than humans. I mean, than other people." How odd to have a discussion with a child. Usually, none stayed in his presence long enough to say hello.
"Do they hurt?"
"My eyes?" His real eyes would send the boy screaming in the other direction, but it was sweet of him to show concern. "They don't hurt. I cover them for protection."
The boy squinted. "Do my eyes need 'tection?"
"Pro-tection." He touched the boy's hand. "Yours are fine. Mine are sensitive to light." It was an old lie but kept people from asking him to show them his real eyes. He fished out dark glasses he wore in the event of a lens failure, and put them on. "I wear these if I'm in the sun all day."
"Can I try?"
Luc considered it. "Why not?" He pulled them off and helped the boy adjust them over his ears and nose.
The wraparound glasses dwarfed the young face. When they slid down his nose, the child tilted back his head and pushed them up.
"Don't move." After pulling out his mobile, Luc captured an image. Without proof, his friends would never believe he'd been this close to a child without it fleeing in terror.
"Do us too!" Senthys patted the seat beside him. "Take our picture."
Luc set his device to hover an arm's length away, then put his head closer to the boy's. "Portrait. Capture." The mobile made a soft click signaling completion.
When he showed the image to the boy, Senthys squealed. "That's me! And that's you."
"Yes, it is." The glasses had the name Draap on the earpiece. No kid this age could afford those and it was Luc's preferred brand. Proof he hadn't faked the entire thing.
His friends would lose substantial bet money with this.