Lilthumans vary in appearance. Some of them favor their human or lilthian heritage more, while others are a more even mix.
They have tails, though they are shorter than a lilthian's tail and often do not have an arrow point. Most lilthumans have dark hair and eyes, but it is not impossible for one to have paler, more human hues instead.
A lilthuman's most recognizable feature is their skin, which is a strange patchwork of lilthian and human colors. Their lilthian patches are not as shiny as a regular lilthian, and their human patches are not as matte as a regular human. Some lilthumans are shinier than others. The ratio of human to lilthian-colored skin also varies from individual to individual, and the patterns that the patchwork can create are unique and can be quite intricate.
When I was sixteen, I decided to run away. My uncle and his family hardly looked at me anymore. The older I got, the more they wanted to pretend I didn't exist. I figured it'd be easier for them to do that if I wasn't around.
I still looked back, though, as I fled. I hated myself for that.
Their patchwork appearance makes a lilthuman immediately noticeable, and makes hiding their heritage near impossible.
Glow (or lack of)
The Law of Celestial Negation states that Auras of opposite Luminosities cancel each other out. Since humans have cold Glow, and lilthians have hot Glow, a lilthuman will almost always be Glowless. Their Celestial organs will be nonfunctional, or might not exist at all.
The one and only exception to this rule is if one of the lilthuman's parents were already genetically Glowless. Then, the lilthuman offspring would have a chance to carry the Luminous parent's genetics and end up with their Glow type.
Born to be Outcasts
Lilthumans are cursed to be Glowless, barren, and "deformed". Their existence represents the end of a bloodline or the existence of an affair. It is hard for them to be accepted by anyone, from any race, anywhere. The moment they're known, any actions they might do will be shadowed by their heritage.
They must not only cope with being Glowless in a world that revolves around Luminosity, but also with the knowledge that they could never sire children of their own. This leads many lilthumans to withdraw from society and become bitter and cold. They often become wanderers, drifting from place to place, feeling as if there is nowhere that they truly belong.
I raced through the streets, taking turns at random. The alleys got smaller and smaller, the roads disintegrating into thick mud. I spun around a blind corner and found myself slamming into another body. We both tumbled to the earth.
"I'm sorry!" I was already gasping as I scrambled to my feet. "I'm so sorry, I was -" My words died in my throat as I looked upon the person I'd run into.
She looked like me.
When a lilthuman finds another lilthuman, it feels like a miracle. Lilthumans often commune together, forming tiny communities where they can feel part of a family, for once. Large cities might have their own little districts that are filled with vagabond lilthumans. These districts are usually poor, cramped, and dirty, but anything is better than being alone.
Since they keep to themselves, aren't typically social, and are often found among the dredges of society, lilthumans make the perfect targets for scapegoating. If the crime rates spike in a city, it is the lilthuman commune that gets raided first. If a lilthuman is on the scene of a disaster, it was surely their fault. If a lilthuman is suspect of wrongdoing, it rarely matters how tight their alibi is.
"What's the Use?"
This stereotype creates a nasty feedback loop. Some lilthumans feel there is no point trying to change what society already assumes they are. So, they embrace the life of crime, becoming blackhearted masterminds and snide thieves. More often than not, the crime world is the only world that gives them access to real power.
The lilthumans that seek this lifestyle revel in it. A concerning number of the mob bosses, cartel kings, and pirate captains are lilthumans, which only perpetuates stereotypes, which only leads more lilthumans into the shadows.
"There are lots of us," she told me, passing the steaming mug across the table. I took a long sip, but I couldn't stop staring at her. I was still reeling with the realization of it all.
She smiled softly, as if she understood. I had never been smiled at like that before.
The majority of lilthumans have no interest in crime, though. They want nothing more than to lead normal lives with normal dreams and aspirations. They want to be able to walk down the street without getting strange glances, or be able to attend school without being relentlessly bullied.
In order to do that, though, they'd have to escape the strangeness of their appearance and the stigmas that surround their conditions. It is a task that is impossible for a single, lonely lilthuman to ever achieve.
They can only live, and fight, and hope. They can only search for whatever love they can find amongst anyone that will look at them without wincing. They can only gather in their small, struggling communities, and share stories with one another, or sing, or sob. And isn't that what any "normal" person would do, anyway? Isn't the desperate battle of hope and life something that all people share, regardless of who their parents are, or what society views them as?
She let me stay with her for several weeks while I regained my health. It was hard, with the cramped conditions and the terrible air quality. But it was also the most healthy I had ever felt in my life. When I went outside, my neighbors smiled at me. Their faces were all streaked with reds and oranges and browns and creams. They were overjoyed that I existed, and I could feel that they weren't pretending.
It didn't matter that our houses were small, and we could probably pile all of our belongings combined into a single hefty box. All that mattered is that we weren't alone. Anything is better than being alone.
Might as Well be Orphans
Most lilthumans have troubled relationships with their parents at best. They are rarely conceived intentionally, so shame and regret often shadow their parents' image of them. Many lilthumans are the children of prostitutes or mistresses.
Only rarely are a lilthuman's parents in a committed, loving relationship, and even then, their relationship is often strained thanks to the pressure of societal stigma.
Lilthumans that are lucky enough to have a home to grow up in often leave soon after they become young adults, to escape the abuse of either their own parents or their neighbors. Sometimes they leave simply because they cannot bear to see their parents prejudiced because of their existence.
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