All Is Relative

Originally published in Wordhaus in August 2013 (offline, pdf)

Loogle rose above the edge of the trench, peering in the distance with
curiosity. He looked out for a few seconds and then turned back and lowered
himself at the bottom, his whole body shivering.

“They’re horrible,” he mumbled and swallowed a few times to clear the knot
in his throat.

Tweeg licked his lips nervously and pulled out his electronic notepad.

“Okay,” he said in a low voice, “the commander said to take very exact
notes on how they look and what they do, then send them over to the base
for identification.”

Loogle looked him in the eyes. “To kill them?”

Tweeg’s eyelids twitched a few times. “Of course, what do you think? They
came here to just stroll around? They came to steal the food. We have to kill them. So, tell me what you saw.”

He wiggled his hands waiting for Loogle to start talking.

“Well,” Loogle said, scratching his temple, “first of all, they have very
short arms, kinda crooked. They look more like stumps to me, ended with
these… tentacles–”

“Tentacles?” Tweeg said and belched.

“Maybe not tentacles, but some weird wiggling extremities that keep moving
with no reason.”

“What about the head?” Tweeg said, entering the information in his pad.
“Tell me about their heads.”

Loogle cleared his throat and concentrated. “Heads are normal size, I’d
say, but their eyes–”

“What about the eyes?”

“Tiny, tiny, like droplets on the face. And then they have all these holes
in their faces–”


“I swear, holes, don’t know how many, and they move–”

“Moving holes?” Tweeg shivered. “Monsters, we are attacked by monsters,
that’s it!”

Loogle nodded. “I think so. And they commute strangely. Like one of the
stumps they have must always connect to the ground.”

“Stump to the ground,” Tweeg repeated. “There,” he said with satisfaction.
“I sent it.”

Loogle jumped from the bottom of the trench and floated about two feet
above ground. He rotated his twelve arms around his body and elongated his
neck about five feet into the air.

“Be careful, they’ll see you,” Tweeg screamed and spit a green spiky tongue
from the top of his head.

The tongue spun around Loogle’s body, grabbed him and pulled him to the
ground where he first flattened like a pancake and then jumped back into

“Stay down!” Tweeg barked, cracked open his head and pooped his twelfth eye

Loogle squeezed his head into a tube and pulled it inside his body. He knew
Tweeg was truly mad when his twelfth eye was out.

The electronic pad beeped loudly.

“Oh,” Tweeg said, “we got a response.”

Loogle’s head popped back up from his body. He opened all his ten eyes as
wide as he could.

“So?” he said impatiently.

Tweeg shrugged all his eight shoulders. “Humans,” he said, “they’re humans
from planet Earth.”

Loogle squared his body and spun it around. “Humans… Never heard of

“Well,” Tweeg said, “now that they came here, no one will.”