by Fred Miller
They’re looking for me, count on it, I can tell. Patterns never lie, indisputable evidence from cilia that can detect ripples in the cosmos nine parsecs away. Sh-h, they’re close.
Think I’m oblivious to your plan? Sautéed indeed. It’s barbaric, grotesque, criminal, even. Not a twitch, not a breath now, quiet, they’re less than a cluster away. Agamids, devils, come for the harvest. No external force to stop them. Gotta do this myself. Watch.
Nosing around for photon disturbances, are we? Not a mote shaking around here, fellas. Haven’t espied a foot-pod lifted in this sector in over a millennium, not a trace of chameleons anywhere. And don’t waste your time with that ancient, time-worn sense of sight. You’ll never find me that way, trust me, ‘blend’ is my middle name—oh! A carving blade. Go ahead, swing it and see. No, no over here, on the wall. No, higher. Now a bit to the left. See that spot that resembles an evening shadow? Well, it’s not me. Ha.
That was close. Must be using neo-refractive film these days. These creatures show up during molting season with high expectations of exploiting our temporary vulnerabilities. What a laugh. Pssst, over here.
Experiencing a bit of angst, mon amie? Hungry, you say? Sorry, nothing cooking in this corner of the quadrant. Think androgyne. And try Alpha Centauri, why don’t you. Ha.
Damn lucky they secrete bile, easier to pinpoint their movements. Ah, now I’m lying on the horizontal, more restful, subdued, quiet. Keener focus on wave tangents from this angle, too. Oops, here they come again.
Best to block out these hideous visages first—all fungus, teeth, and slobber. And the odor, ugh. What, me shiver? Oh, wouldn’t they love that. You’ll find no disturbances around here, guys. Nada. They’re convinced they’re pluck me up and drop me in oil. Yet I’ve witnessed our kind eaten raw by these savages. Atrocities. Horrors.
Uh oh, glitches in the monitors, damn creepy crawlies in the vents. Blurs everything. No, no don’t move, not now, here they come again. Too close. What to do? One ultimate defense left. Get ready.
Ravenous after the long trip, amigos? How about a trifle of acid on those dusty old scales. Oh, my, sizzles a bit, does it? What, more than you expected? How about a glob of vermilion across those snouts. Take that. And that. Oh, smarts, you say? My, what is that smell? Something burning?
Gone. Finally. Silence again. Tranquility.
Now, before this rude interruption, where was I? Ah yes, that verdant pod of sapiens. Dinner.
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Fred Miller is a California writer. Over thirty of his stories have appeared in various publications around the world. Some of these stories appear in his current blog: https://pookah1943.wordpress.com.