He looked reptilian to her. He had no hair, no fur, no eyelashes, yet his face was streaked with highlighting that added mammalian warmth and mammalian expression. Aleisha didn’t know what she was seeing.
Clearly of a primitive society, his clothing was a broad strip of cloth, although the drape of material that wrapped between his legs and around his waist was folded and tucked to a meticulous design. It was the color of shadows – he was the color of shadows, an interesting mix of browns and reds and charcoal.
His eyes captivated her, the one feature that stole her breath away. They were large. They were expressive. Soft eyes currently frowning, they did not look reptilian at all. Intelligent eyes, Aleisha thought, eyes with streaks over the lids, giving them natural mascara, eyes with depth and feeling. Cougar eyes. The irises were russet, the vertical slits of his pupils narrow black lines.
It took just a moment to take all this in, a moment to feel awe at his presence, then Aleisha realized why her heart pounded with fear. She was seeing him clearly enough and he was also seeing her, staring at her, which was simply not possible. Aleisha wasn’t present – her perception was, but not her body. She gave him nothing to focus on.
The murderer was still occupied, now lowering himself with the woman’s body, wrapped up in the odor and the color of her life-blood. How could he not notice such a towering presence right beside him?
There was no time to work it out. The alien-native’s stare was fixed on Aleisha and he came forward, moving with sudden purposeful intent, stepping through both corpse and killer. Speeding forward now, he surprised her afresh, literally melting from her view.
Color washed from him first, becoming shades of grey before disappearing altogether, immediately followed by form. Line and shadow faded into nothingness.
The experience ended in that confusion, dropping Aleisha back into physical plane limitations.
Quaking, still leaning forward, a hand over her heart, she blinked, then breathed deeply, trying to fathom meaning.
What was he, a ghost?