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Thursday, December 22, 2011

From "Upsetting the Tides" by David Englund

On a new world, stuck in a cage, Clark listens to the creatures talk . . .
“I’m hungry.”

            “I’m hungry.”
            “Me too.”
            “Yes, yes, we are all hungry.”
            “We can’t interrogate the stupid thing.  It isn’t intelligent enough to communicate with us.  We probably couldn’t learn anything from it anyway.  It barely even knows how to walk.”
            “This is all Frumptoff the ancient explorer’s fault.  If he hadn’t gone through that transcendent to other worlds, we wouldn’t have to deal with these situations.  These amateur explorers need to mind their own business and find a way to be content staying on their own miserable world.”
            “Come now, what possible harm has ever become of these strange creatures coming through the transcendent?  They only come through one at a time and never have any of them posed a danger to us.  The transcendent has done nothing but give us sport and an additional food source.”
            “This is true.  Besides, there are not as many travelers coming to visit us as there once was.”
            “Maybe that is because we have eaten them all.”
            “We have no choice with this creature.  We will simply have to leave it here to keep it from getting into any mischief until we can figure out how to eat it.”
            “I’m hungry.”

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