So, back in my I’m Baaaackkkk! post a couple weeks ago, I mentioned I’d like to start posting some fiction on this site as well. Here is the first foray into that endeavor. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up regular posting. We’ll see.
For this piece, my goal was to write a complete story in 250 words. It took me 369, but I’ll try harder next time. Please feel free to give any comments or feedback you’d like. Enjoy . . .
Max eyed the Jebalix nest and wondered if the coin Ms. Price had given him would cover a new set of hands. Judging by the various prosthetics he’d seen on the other temp workers as he’d entered the habitat, he guessed that it probably wouldn’t. Judging by their broken and desperate demeanor, Max also suspected he should probably find work elsewhere.
But a whole month’s rent was sitting in that nest, if he could just grab one of these slimy little monsters and bring it back to Ms. Price’s house. He raised his hand towards the nearest Jebalix and shuddered as it pushed a chomping beak through its gelatinous body, nearly removing his hand right then and there.
Max began to envy those other workers their hook hands and club arms. It gave the beak something to clamp on to that wasn’t going to hurt . . .
Max removed his belt and dangled it in front of the nearest Jebalix. As before the beak came forward, chomping heartily onto the leather garment. While the beak was distracted, Max used his other hand to scoop up a Jebalix and place it in his bucket.
A second beak tore some flesh off his hand and he dropped the creature before managing to place it within the bucket. It plummeted to the ground and Max shuddered a second time when he heard it splat against the habitat floor.
Max stared in horror at the beak, still clutching his leather belt. Then he smiled and tossed one end of the belt so that it lay flat across the nest. Each of the Jebalix pushed a beak forward and clamped on to the belt. From there it was as easy as holding out the bucket and pulling the belt back towards him. When gravity began its work, each of the Jebalix landed promptly in the bucket. Max beamed as he looked down at the Jebalix, sloshing and chomping furiously in his bucket. He patted the coin in his pocket and breathed deeply as he went back towards Ms. Price’s house. One month’s rent paid with no loss of limb or life? Maybe this was a job he could keep after all.