The Credgelings (pronounced “Credge” like ledge and “ling” like bling). There is no significance handed down through their history, it is just known within their species.
The hardest thing to being a Credgeling is their love of colour not displayed on their dull, brown skin. They long for the exuberant colours that they have seen in others but not for them. They have the hue of the earth they move within, deepened with the endless darkness that is their sky, earth and everything.
Now that is not to say that their skin colour is not an advantage. Prey fail to see them, they blend so completely into the earthen colours of their surroundings. To ease their love of colour they do their annual paint hunt. However, it is not merely decoration but also a product of trade with the other under or between dwellers.
Firstly, as decoration the Credgelings skin soaks in the paint and changes their hue to a mingling of the brown earth colours and the paint colour they apply. The preferred colours are the lighter shades because they tend to, both lighten their own normal shade and put a new colour on. The complete look is never guaranteed but for the colour starved Credgelings it is enough for however long it lasts.
The colour ceremony and subsequent changes in their hue has been recorded as the highest individual cause of death in the Credgeling species. This is societally well known but the painted colour is such a lusted for need that they ignore the blatant risks. I guess in human society it is the same as the need to smoke, ignoring the potential health risks to whet that ever present desire.
When painted, the Credgelings stop all activities to simply bathe in the sudden splashes of colours. Their embracing dances mingle their colours and they ‘sing’ songs of joy and pleasure. The celebration can take as long as the paint stains their skin but however long, it is never enough to still the ongoing desire for colour that powers the planning for the next paint hunt.
The paint as trade is a story for another time but it is a crucial part of how the Credgelings support their ongoing survival.
Background to installment two:
Hubby felt that I had painted myself into a corner with my first installment – and yes he was laughing at his joke but he in part came up with a “makeup” like rationale and I bought in the trade to bring in other in – betweener species.
Note to readers:
The installments will continue as long as I have story ideas for them. I hope you enjoy this.