Last week’s Tale Weaver was a piece I wrote about Miss Marble and the aliens. At the end, I mentioned galactic dust and following some queries as to what the dust was I have written the following which may shed some light on where Miss Marble has come from, what Marble Juice is and the significance of the galactic dust. Here is the link to that post:
The Origins of Miss Marble, Marble Juice and Galactic Dust
The Klator people had been visiting the earth for many millennia sourcing jupjup berries. They came to earth every two years as part of their orbit through the universe. In the beginning there had been several spaceships arrive. The earth had the perfect climate for the jupjup berry and they were plentiful. For the Klator the berries provided sustenance. Their home planet was now uninhabitable and they were forced to live a nomadic life.
Their stopovers on earth were about harvesting and preserving as many berries as they could. With each visit they became aware of climatic changes on the earth. They looked for new locations to plant seeds in the hope that by the time they returned the berries would be in fruit.
As time wore on, the places the berries would grow diminished for a variety of reasons. The climate did change, some years were poorer than others in terms of rainfall, heat and cold. As the human population spread they took over fertile lands previously planted with the jupjup berry. To the humans the jupjup berry was nothing more than an inedible pest and they destroyed as much as they could.
By the time of the middle ages, with the human population spreading and growing in numbers, the habitat of the jupjup berry diminished. Farms were expanding due to the need for more produce to feed the growing population.
This was a problem to the Klator. The issue of not being able to source the berries was looming closer and closer.
When they landed they avoided all contact with the humans. They saw the humans as a dirty, disgusting race content to live in their own squalor and offering little to the Klators.
One day, they happened upon a young woman gathering herbs in the forest near where they were harvesting jupjup berries. Curious that this young lady should be gathering herbs in that particular part of the forest they watched her.
The young lady lived in a small house in a street that was long and stretched away from the main town. She had inherited the house from her mother who had passed on her practice to her daughter. They were known in those times as witches as they dealt in all sorts of potions and medicines. Most of the townsfolk feared them especially when they had cures that actually worked. Many of these women had suffered the fate of the dunking stool. In many people’s eyes it was only a matter of time before this young lady suffered the same fate.
The Klator were curious in discovering the young lady had a keen interest in chemistry. She was keen to find out the properties of the herbs she used.
Sensing an opportunity, the Klator decided to engage with the young lady. Discovery they knew was a huge risk. There had been ugly exchanges in the past and they went out of their way to avoid any reoccurrences.
In the middle of the night they paid the young lady a visit. Startled at first, the young lady found she had not much choice but listen to the tale the Klator told. Mention of the jupjup berry enthralled her. She knew of the berry and knew most people considered it a pest and tore it out at every opportunity. The Klator asked her to look at the berry and see if there was a way the berry’s secret ingredient might be made.
The young lady looked at the berries offered to her and said she would see what she could discover. For several weeks she toiled at her task before discovering an alcohol the berries contained. This explained the berry’s bitter unpalatable taste.
Knowing a little about alcohol she worked to discover its chemical composition.
It wasn’t long before she discovered a sure way to produce it and in liquid form as well. She presented it to the Klator who, upon tasting it, declared it was ideal for their purposes.
They requested she make enough for the two years they would be away. With due diligence she carried out the task producing several barrels.
The Klator asked her name were told she was called Marble.
Marble didn’t think of them again as the next two years were a time of survival for her. Times were tough, there was much sickness and the plague was ravaging the country when the Kaltor returned. Seeing them at her door heightened her already high levels of anxiety. Right at that moment she didn’t need more pressure. The community was whispering witchcraft as she struggled to produce the medicine she hoped would cure the townsfolk.
The Klator had returned with the barrels from the previous visit empty. They asked her to fill them again and what was the name of the substance she made. She mumbled “Marble Juice” for the want of a better name and thought about the manufacture of the liquid for the Klator. It would take her a week to create enough to fill the barrels but in that time her own wellbeing might come under fire. The plague was not abating, the demand for her medicine was increasing. She explained all this to the Klator who were sympathetic to her cause.
They said they would give her an extra week to help her meet their needs and those of her community.
When they returned they noticed how much Marble had aged. She had not slept well, she worked long hours and the toll was showing.
With their barrels full they were grateful for what Marble did for them and so they gave her a bag of galactic dust. Their instructions were to mix a tablespoon of the dust in a pot of water and drink a half cup each day. Their message was it would give her energy.
Marble did take as they advised and found she did have more energy and could work longer. Before long Marble realised the drink she was taking each day was giving her more than energy. She noticed around her friends and family were growing older. She could not see the same deterioration occurring in herself.
Every two years the Klator returned. They brought Marble a bag of dust and collected their Marble Juice.
As time progressed Marble found people began to build houses along the road past her house. Over the years the area became known as grimace. It was what the workers did as they walked past her house, grimaced as if fearful of giving cause to attract Marble’s attention. There were rumours she was not only a witch but a very powerful one. It was just a matter of time before Grimace Street became its official name.
The only friend Marble had in the world was her faithful hound Sal. (Short for Salivate) She shared her half cup of life elixir with Sal each morning.
As the years went by Grimace Street grew around Marble. Neighbours came and went and Marble became known as Miss Marble.
The galactic dust she knew was invaluable. In the modern age with space exploration expanding and the search for extra-terrestrials ever increasing she knew that should any of the so called ‘experts’ find out what she had, there would be no stopping them in getting their hands on the invaluable dust. So the arrival of the Klator was always at night, in secret and the galactic dust always locked away.