“Testicleeze, I’m hungry. What can we eat?”
“I tried the grass. It just made me want to throw up.”
They’d spent a long night huddled together. When they awoke, they both looked to the sky, knowing that Nella’s hop-junger was probably skipping around space, triangulating a path home.
Damitol asked, “Do you think anyone will come for us?”
“Even if they did, would they recognize us in our new forms?”
They hung their heads and panted, their tongues lolling from their mouths. Suddenly Testicleeze raised his snout into the air.
“I smell something. I think it’s food.”
They both sniffed and turned toward the trees.
“Not in there,” Damitol said. “Please, not in there.”
“We have to try.”
They trotted to the edge of the forest and stopped, peering into the darkness under the canopy of trees.
“Are you sure it’s food?”
“No. But it smells like something I’d want to eat.”
She nodded her head. “Me too.”
The bushes grew in a thick mass, but the couple was able to push through. The branches swished over their bodies and slapped into the thick leaves around them. Ahead, they heard a crashing sound and then thuds, like loud footfalls moving away.
He barked at her. “It’s bolting. Chase it.”
They both broke into a run, trying to follow the sound of the retreating food. They were still awkward in their bodies and bumped into trees and stumbled over roots and rocks. The sound got quieter, and the smell in the air diminished.
“We lost it,” she said.
The same thing happened to them the next time they smelled food, and the next. They never got close enough to even see what they were chasing.
The next time, Damitol smelled it first. It had a stronger smell, tangier. They had gotten better at following smells now, so it didn’t matter that this one was quiet. The air became more and more tangy as they raced ahead. They broke into a clearing and into an overwhelming aroma. They saw a beast lying on the other side of the clearing with its belly ripped open. The tangy smell came from its blood.
“Food?” Testicleeze was uncertain.
“Uhh, there’s something else here.”
Another animal raised its head and stared at them over the carcass. It looked like a mewber, but much, much bigger.
“Do you think it’ll share?” he asked.
The almost-mewber raised its head and snarled, showing long, sharp teeth.
They waited on the other side of the clearing, salivating over the smell of the food, until the big mewber leapt over the carcass and moved toward them with its mouth open.
Damitol and Testicleeze spun around and ran away. Fortunately, the mewber seemed to be satisfied with its kill and left them alone.
They sat to rest. She asked, “How do we get our own food? And what if that thing comes after us again?”
“I don’t know, but I’m starving.”
They wandered through the woods, but couldn’t find any food of their own. That night, they slept together in a small cave, keeping their noses pointed toward the opening so they could smell anything coming their way.
The next morning their bellies shouted louder because they were even emptier. They were no closer to figuring out how to get food. At least, they had learned to be cautious and not to chase after every sound. Now they knew what the big mewber smelled like, but there could be other animals that would hurt them.
This same mix of hunger and caution made them sit together and wait when they heard noises coming their way. Testicleeze had been leading them along a trail that had many smells, both food and mewber. Along with the noise ahead, they could smell that tang in the air, but it wasn’t as strong as the day before. They crouched at one side of the trail, ready to either jump on the food or run away.
A bipedal creature with two upper appendages appeared ahead of them. Its head protruding at the top of its body seemed to be more than twice as high as theirs.
Testicleeze moved forward a step and snarled at the creature, “You look like food.”
One of its appendages came from behind its back. It slowly brought that forward, and Damitol saw that it held something long and hard. It was too white to be a branch, and it had globs of red stuff all over it.
“Watch out,” she yelled. “It’s going to hit you with a club.”
Testicleeze bared his teeth, the way he’d seen the mewber do. The tall biped stopped. It made a noise, soft and low. Then it bared its teeth, but they weren’t sharp and pointy. In fact, Testicleeze felt safer when he saw that expression.
“What’s it doing?” Damitol asked, not taking her eyes off the strange beast.
“I don’t know.”
“Can we eat it?”
“It’s pretty big. But it doesn’t have sharp teeth. Just the club weapon.”
The creature continued bringing its upper appendage forward, making slow, calm sounds.
Testicleeze sniffed. He took a cautious step forward. The creature leaned over, holding out the weapon thing. Testicleeze stepped back, but the club had a good scent to it, so he crept forward. The tall beast tossed the club onto the ground just in front of Testicleeze. He scampered away, then crept forward again.
“What is it, Testicleeze? What is it?”
He suddenly rushed forward and grabbed the club, running back to Damitol.
He dropped it in front of her. “It’s food!”
They both tore into the bloody red fibers that clung to the club. The food smelled like the thing that the mewber had been eating, but it wasn’t as fresh.
While they ate, a second biped joined the first one. It was not as tall, and it had globes on its front between its arms. It tossed another food club to them.
Damitol and Testicleeze ate until nothing was left on the smooth white clubs, and then gnawed on them until they broke open. They found more food inside each club, and shared that between them.
The taller biped stepped forward when they had finished. It leaned down and scratched Damitol behind her ears, then did the same to Testicleeze. It felt really good.
“I haven’t given a name to anything like you,” the tall one said. “I’m going to call you dogs.”
Damitol and Testicleeze ran around his legs, leaping in the air. They didn’t understand his words, but they knew they’d found friends.
Image of the big blue Earth from NASA.
Thus ends the Last Gonzo Joy Ride to the End of the Galaxy. If you enjoyed it, please let me know in the comments below. If you’d like to see what else I’ve written, sign up for my mailing list by clicking here.
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