The Practical Realist
“I don’t like it,” said Biologist Smithson. He steadfastly kept his suit sealed.
The other landing party members took off their helmets and spread out to investigate the sandy beach of a water inlet.
“Why not?” said Captain Meier. “This planet is in the Goldilocks Zone. The soil can support terrestrial plants. The air is breathable. What’s wrong with it?”
“There’s always a down-side,” rebutted Smithson. “There’s a saying, ‘If it’s too cute, there’s something to refute.’ ”
“You’re a pessimist,” muttered Meier.
“Practical Realist,” countered Smithson. “Raccoons are really cute until the vicious critters bite you. Never trust anything that’s too cute.”
Ensign Ponce saw it first. It looked and yipped like a puppy. Its tail was insanely long, leading into the water. It’s movements were ungainly, the universal sign of an immature animal. “Oh it’s SO CUTE!” exclaimed Ponce as he ran to it.
“Don’t touch it!” warned Smithson.
Too late. When Ponce reached the puppy it leaped and bit into his arm. Its lengthy tail wound firmly around his limb. Ponce shrieked as he was yanked off his feet. An enormous fish breached the water and reeled in its tongue/puppy in a blink. It swallowed Ponce whole and disappeared into the dark waters.
Captain Meier grimaced and sighed. “How did that saying go again?”
Written for Matthew Wright’s Mega Short-Story writing challenge. Look for the original prompt right here: https://mjwrightnz.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/this-weeks-mega-short-story-challenge-9/