New Flash Fic – Folk Art

This is part of my Ko-Fi initiative, with the idea courtesy of Simone. Hope you like it, and that I’m not terribly disappointing! This is a science fiction flash fic, so the name is kind of ironic.

Folk Art

The hardest thing about being a galactic negotiator was the emotional whiplash.

People thought it was the whole navigating the languages/postures/rituals part, but it wasn’t. There were only two dozen other species in the United Worlds, and and Aneela prided herself on her memorization skills. Even if she didn’t, there were pills and body mods for that now.

No, it was picking up and reading all the emotions that was the worst. There were no mechanical substitutes for telepathy or empathy – or both, as she was technically a tele-empath – and some species had whipsaw moods, that could start as one thing and end as another in no time flat. It could be nauseating. Now imagine being in a room with ten people, from five different species, trying to hammer a unilateral trade agreement, for hours. She knew why a lot of her fellow telepathic/empathic negotiators used recreational drugs to deal with it. It was too much.

But she left the drugs and other recreational amusements to the others in the diplomatic corps. She had a secret weapon.

Currently, Aneela and her wife, Beyla, were quartered on the UW ship Firebrand, a mostly automated ship with few flesh and blood techs aboard. Since she couldn’t read robots or synths, that alone made things quiet. But really, it was returning to their quarters after a long day. That’s where her release was.

The door had barely slid open for her when she heard the gentle rhythm of “Knit one, knit one, purl two.” Beyla knew her schedule, and must have guessed she had a hard day.

Beyla was from the far flung colony of Maila Jsidra, where certain art forms were passed down through families. Beyla’s family were knitters, going far back, to pre-colony days. She was quite adept at it, and when she did it, her mind was a calm, relaxed place. As was her thoughts. “Slip, slip, knit.”

She was seated on the couch, knitting … something. Aneela had no patience for activities like this, mainly because when you were holding yourself together on the psychic plane most of the day, you were in no mood to engage much with the physical plane later on. But Aneela joined her, resting her head as she listened to the regular rhythm of Beyla’s thoughts as she worked on her next project. It was more soothing than any spa treatment, more relaxing than any drug. Beyla’s thoughts had become her happy place.

Aneela had heard knitting was relaxing. Who knew simply thinking about it could be relaxing as well?


Buy Me a Coffee at

In Absentia © 2022 All Rights Reserved. | Login