Time: 15 minutes
Prompt: "...as far as I could scan it, it appeared the most uncouth animal I had ever beheld..."
Source: The Bible in Spain by George Borrow
I'm a simple man. I like simple things. I like a warm bed, a wet bath, and an intelligent toilet.
I have a quiet job. A job that should be quiet. Boring. I should get bored with my work. Bored is good. I like bored. That's what I like. That's why I took this job. You can have the excitement, the thrills, the stimulation and shit. Give me a nice piece of boredom with nobody to bother me and a nice little wage that isn't big enough for any of you to want to cut. Don't give me any of this strange animal shit. This kind of responsibility. Not like I was asking for intrigue and adventure, now, was I?
So yeah, technically—technically—my job description includes cataloging of all intruders. Yes, that includes anyone—or anything—not glowing an authorization aura. And yes, I'm technically supposed to be ready, at all times, to catalogue such intruders, be they human or otherwise, regardless of whether my scanner is operational. I passed the cataloging tests though, didn't I? Guess maybe your tests weren't any good, were they? Don't get on my case if you passed a flunkie.
Besides, who'd ever want to intrude 'round here? By far the most boring place on earth. That's why I took the bloody job, isn't it? I happen to like boring and this job was supposed to be boring. That's what I was led to believe. A chance to spend my mornings lazing 'round the flat, then come in here to work four in the afternoon till midnight. Watch the sunset, maybe, whiles walking the grounds. Just stroll about with this here scanner on my shoulder and point it at any little bugger that moves. That's my job.
Tonight? Well yeah. So tonight wasn't boring, was it? Fucking weird, it was. Don't like that. I like boring. But tonight—well tonight, just as I was settling in for a nice little walk about the grounds—just as I was going past them thermal diffusion tanks, out beyond the stardrive assembly plant—yeah, you know where I mean—well, that's when it jumped out at me. Okay, so it didn't jump really. More kind of rustled and slinked and slid, I guess. Fast though. One second I was flashing my beam around at the tree tops and next minute, there it is in front of me, filling up the whole path and a lot taller than me. Couldn't make out how far it went back into the dark behind. But those pinchers! Fuck.
I done my best to get its image. Didn't come out so good, but I did try. As far as I could scan it, it appeared the most uncouth animal I had ever beheld. And its talk was worse than its appearance. That's for sure. I turned that scanner beam on it straight away and it says—it actually talked!— it says, "Fuck you." Would you believe it? A creature like that? Speaks my language is bad enough, but then it says, "Fuck you. Fuck you, fucking Earthling." That's what it said. Least that's what I think it said. The mic on the scanner cut out same time as the scanner, so I'm not super clear. And it had a weird accent. That's for sure.
But then, after it said "Fuck you," it turned around. It just said, "Fuck you, you stupid, fucking Earthling," and then it turned around—all fifty feet of it, with all them slimy legs—or what do you call them—you know, like what octopuses have. Sort of like that. But not that floppy. Shit, I don't know what to call them. Legs, I guess.
Well it whips its self around on all its legs—must have been a hundred legs. Maybe more. Bet even you couldn't have counted them fast enough. And when it's got all turned around and is going back down the path, away from me, it farts. Yeah. Farts. Big cloud of the foulest stink I ever seen. Man, was it awful. Nearly passed out then, didn't I? Tried to take another scan of the animal as it left, but that billow of butt stink—something in it must have fried the scanner, 'cause ain't nothing of that animal's ass in the images.
No. Course I don't expect you to take my word for it. Expect you'll fire me and pick up some moron to replace me tomorrow. That's what I expect. Won't change what I saw though. It was there alright. Uncouth motherfucker with a thousand legs. Hell. Go ahead and fire me. I only wanted this job 'cause it was boring. I don't need any of this stimulating crazy weird uncouth animal shit. Keep that for yourselves. I just want a nice little wage and my quiet mornings.
I'm a simple man, and it's been a hell of a long night. And frankly, I'm sick to hell of talking to you. I've got an early appointment with my toilet, and it knows when to talk and when to shut up, so to hell with all of you. I'm gone.
[about my timed writing exercises]