The Immigrants

Pompeii mosaic

Pompeii mosaic

It was a Tuesday, the sky recently sprayed. Night was slowly loading. Our arrival on the planet proceeded without a glitch. We were led to our beds, they were coated with the smell of past visitors. I covered the bed with my scarf – you know how wary I am of other species’ bacterial debris. He lay across from me, his lips knitting a string of sounds. Did he admire my hand, dripping and cold, and yearn to bite it?

After the light switched off, my face began to glisten, sprouted scales, His fingers came searching, soft then angry, picking at my skin. His hand explained nothing, it retreated, sated, back to his arm. Between us the floor glinted, littered with scabs. I got up and slapped him. His lips locked and I listened to his screaming head. Words gushed into his eyes, both cheeks bulged. I expected him to throw up.

My body sprouted and shimmered, until I shone brighter than the moons. He paid no attention, but the visitor next to us did. She craned her neck to see, looked me up and down. I smiled and waited for a coo of approval. She burped and marched off, kicking a pile of discarded toes. This made him weep. He commented on my behavior, lectured me on not pestering humans, demanded humility. He talked endlessly, so long I faded and died, right there on the bed.

Microfiction