The Taren and Keui live in the fields ringing the mountain that touches their world’s sky, but not together. The Keui live in herds for protection, the Taren their constant predators.
Both need jing to keep their plasimetal flesh supple and moving, but jing only grows in the bodies of the Keui. For a Taren to get it, they take it from a Keui. Violently if necessary.
One lone Taren searches for answers about their world. One lone Keui searches only for safety outside of the herd life.
Then their paths crossed, with each other and with three starving Taren eager to devour the lone Keui.
The oldest question in any world: fight or flight?
“Taren and Keui”, a science fiction short story, originally appeared in PerVisions.