THE TELLTALE BURP
Story and Artwork
Only yards away from the young, helmetless astronaut, the creature's maw opened, and both hot, moist air and a disturbing screech blasted outward. The mouth was as wide as that of a whale shark back on Earth, but this was no shark. They were on land, not immersed in a sea, since the only water to be found on this planet trickled from shiny black rock formations, or oozed up from the sand.
The creature was wriggling its way up a rocky slope toward the human. It's skin was a scaly, mottled, grey-green; the eyes were the size of baseballs and were on stalks extending from the sides of its head; its body was long and horizontal and so far beyond chubby that it made Jabba the Hutt look downright anorexic.
The screech became a roar, and the astronaut's caramel-colored hair blew straight back as he pressed his lips together and squinted his eyes, standing his ground. The creature rose up. Its mouth, full of dozens of scimitar-like teeth, was now a mere ten feet above him.
The astronaut wiped gooey creature-spit off of his brow.
“Goddamn, Boo, your breath stinks. What the hell have you been eating, Beta-slug soldiers?”
Alien creatures' burps can be tricky things. Some are quiet, and hard to differentiate from a growl. Others involve projectile vomiting, or a belch literally loud enough to pop your eardrums (or implode your whole damn skull). This one sounded pretty much like an ordinary human belch. But this was Ceylus Alpha IV. Nothing was ordinary here.
A transparent bubble emerged from the creature's mouth. It was big enough that the astronaut could have fit in it if he scrunched up a bit. It wasn't typical saliva-bubble strength, or it would have popped the second it slid across one of those scalpel-sharp teeth.
The bubble cleared the creature's mouth and floated outward and upward, headed toward the top of the rocky mesa behind the astronaut.
“Well, that answers that question,” the astronaut said with a smirk.
In the bottom of the bubble sat a silver, blood-streaked, slightly dented helmet. It was big; at least five times the size of a human's. Perfect fit for a beta-slug, though.
The creature's mouth widened even further in what looked very much like an endearing pit bull puppy smile. One stalked eye winked as it said, “Ohhhh, Earffffling...”
It's jelly-belly convulsed, holding in a booming laugh it knew would knock over its human friend if let loose.
“No can re-zisss dem bay-duzzz. Dey tayyyyste jusss like chikkken!”
Copyright ©2016 Nik Barnabee. All Rights Reserved.