Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story, about a friend who is going through some big changes, begins after the photo.
Genre: Science Fiction/Humor
Janice’s friend, Glenda, had always been a bit of a hippy at heart. It didn’t surprise her at all to find her old university friend out in the middle of nowhere with a quaint little cabin by a lake. Still, Janice was concerned about her.
Janice chopped green onions at the sunlit table beside the window. She looked outside frequently, wondering if she would see it again. Across from her, Glenda chopped up a freshly-caught fish into chunks. Her hair was long and golden with those loose curls Janice always envied. She still had her slender figure from college; but all that was immaterial to Janice, as she eyed the fish head at the side of the cutting board.
As Glenda chattered on about old schoolmates, Janice finally saw it outside the window. It was a machine, clearly, but not one of human design. It emerged from the water on ten legs, walking smoothly, like a twelve-foot tall centipede. Water gushed from open ports in the sides of the rainbow-hued mechanism. A hatch opened in the top, and a bulbous head with four antennae poked out. It raised a webbed hand and waved.
Seeing Janice’s expression, Glenda moved suddenly. She opened the window and leaned out, a large cleaver in hand…
…and she waved back. “Afternoon, Glax!” she called.
She closed the window and grinned. Then she sighed as Janice watched her carefully. “He really is a nice guy, you know,” she pointed out. “Oh he’s alien and all, but aliens are people too! He and Himex have been nothing but sweet to me.”
“Look, I can tell it’s been bothering you since you first saw their machine. Really, there’s nothing to worry about.”
“Well, what are they doing here?”
“Oh, some kind of mission. Glax says a poor translation comes out to ‘terraforming,’ but that sounds so aggressive, so military. Ever since they started seeding the lake with their fish, life has gotten better for me. Their fish taste fantastic and I can have all I want.”
Janice couldn’t help looking furtively at the fish head. “Yeah, about that…”
“The fish? Oh, so it has four eyes on stalks. Whatever. The taste is incredible.” She ran to the fridge and withdrew a bowl of fish chunks in coconut milk and spices. “Try this.”
Janice hesitated, her stomach turning as she looked at the head. “Glenda. How long have you been eating this fish?”
“Oh, about three years. Why?”
“It’s just…well…isn’t it possible Glax is terraforming more than just the lake?”
“Now you’re being judgmental,” she admonished. The four antennae on Glenda’s forehead twitched. “Why would you say that?”
Every Sunday, Alastair Forbes presents an original photo as a writing prompt. Look here for more stories based upon the photo above: http://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/sunday-photo-fiction-july-13th-2014/