Squid - A Storm Story


     From his dark corner, the world-jumper sipped whisky from an oversized goblet, observing a couple of odd aliens that were similar to a few he had met on Slugnar. They were at a metal table, huddled over a plate.

     "He's still wigglin'," said the little one. His snout was wet and dripping, even when he wasn’t talking. His voice was whiny and course, probably the younger of the two. "Stick yer fork in it. At'll make it stop."

     The bigger one had a longer snout that dripped more heavily. And he was almost as broad as the table. He snorted and blew out some slobber. Then he snatched his fork and thrust it down so hard that his plate clanged on the table. The jab sent blood and ink oozing, and the wiggly thing squirmed ferociously, throwing the black and red liquid everywhere. "It's called a squid," he said. Then the big one sucked the squid down, tentacles slapping his snout as he slurped it in. He licked the blood and ink from the fork and said, “And that’s how ya eat ‘em!”

     He looked around to his left and right, halting his gaze when he noticed the world-jumper staring at him. Everyone was staring, though.

     The little one snorted and laughed. “The wiggly thing make you thirsty?”

     The burley one kept his eyes on the world-jumper. He stuck his hand up inside his vest and scratched. It was a slimy sound when he scratched, not a dry itch sound. When he pulled his hand out, it was overly damp, and he wiped his watery snout with it.

     Then his little friend said, impatiently, “I said, ‘Does the wiggly thing make—“

     “Yeah. It does.” The he pushed his chair back and stood.

     He didn’t gain much height when he stood, though. His legs were short and equally as damp as his hands. Maybe it was sweat; the world-jumper couldn’t really tell. But he wasn’t as interested in the weird alien’s appearance as he was about what might be a real threat heading his way. The slobbery brute was at the table before the world-jumper could put down his goblet.

     “I’ll have some whiskey,” the broad oaf said, interrupting a drink. He reached out his hand, fingers beckoning for the glass. He was so close, slobber and snot dripped onto the table. The room fell silent and a few chairs burped against the floor as people hustled to clear the area.

     The world-jumper slumped down further into his seat without relinquishing the whiskey. He angled himself in a way so that the moist bully could see his hand hiding inside a low pocket.

     “Weapons were checked at the door,” the alien said through a gummy grin that looked like it once had teeth.

     The world-jumper never responded, just sat there confidently like he had the upper hand. An angry fist hammered the table, sending sweat or something into the air. The world-jumper flinched, but his confidence never wavered. His only other movement was sliding his hidden hand from his pocket to reveal a small glass vial. The alien’s nervous eyes went to an object on the table then back to the world-jumper. “And some weapons have been sitting in front of you all night,” said the world-jumper. There was an angry sound from deep within the snouted, wet nuisance, and he backed away slowly, returning to his own table. And it’s a good thing; it could have been a messy scene.

     The room chattered back to life. Most people forgot the excitement while some still had curious eyes and whispering mouths. The world-jumper took one last swig from his goblet and set it down gently on the table. Then he placed the glass vial, his weapon, back on the table next to the pepper.

Storm Stories are short, brainstormed stories that either are or will be put to audio. I incorporate them into my blog feed, so be sure to pay attention if you are following along with The Ternary Code or another story on the blog feed. If you want more Storm Stories, just click on their category.