This week’s prompt:
Shellfish, camouflage, applesauce
I have no idea why I did not reject this one as soon as I made it. Random is fine, but this one is nuts.
A pink tail zinged out of the bushes to land at Zane’s feet. There was a small pile collecting there. The patio looked almost like the real thing, if you could ignore that the sky was fake and the horizon, and everything else.
It had been a good idea to make this limited environment for the creature. It had proved very adept at escaping and camouflaging itself. In a real world environment, they would have lost it in only a matter of days.
No one knew what it was, or where it had come from. It was not anything they had ever seen before. The craft, or pod, or whatever it was it arrived in had been so badly damaged by its trip through the atmosphere they had not expected to find anything alive in it. But when they opened it up, this was inside. It looked a bit like an octopus crossed with a naked monkey.
The hardest part of the first weeks was making sure no one outside of the compound found out about it. The last thing they needed was an alien invasion panic. People were on edge enough.
Another tail landed in the pile.
They had figured out very little about it in the weeks since. It took awhile before it recovered enough to move around on its own. The general consensus had been that it would never be mobile.
“Ok Zippy,” Zane said, looking at the bushes. He had been told not to name it, but he had to call it something. He could not see the thing at all, but the sound of slurping and crunching, not to mention the constant shell tossing meant it was in there. “Time to head back inside.” There was no answer for a moment, and then a shell bounced off Zane’s forehead. Followed by another. And then an empty apple sauce packet. It was completely collapsed and partially torn open.
“You’re in a mood today.” Zane reached into the bush and felt a soft tentacle. It pulled away before he could close his fingers around it. “Did you empty the pantry?” He asked it as a new pile of empty shells dumped onto the paving stones.
He heard the strangled burbling noise he associated with its laughter.
The other team members said he was giving it too much credit for human emotions, but he knew they were wrong. Not only did it have emotions, it had a sense of humor. It was about the same level as a first grader, but it was there.
Another burble and a shower of apple sauce hit Zane. The alien was playing with him.
“OK, Zippy,” he said in a mock stern voice, before wiping his face and tossing a shrimp tail back into the bush. It came right back out, so he threw three more after it. They came back one at a time, each hitting a different part of his face. The noise was almost non-stop now. Zippy was playing a game.