Humans are Weird – What I Saw
Twistsfirmly hummed quietly to himself, enjoying the resonance that the massive medical pool sent washing back over his appendages as he worked. He had balanced his appendage between bracing his mass against the nicely textured sides of the pool and the half-dozen or so abrasion brushes he was working over the sides. The soft evening light the humans called golden hour filtered through the skylights and the mineral rich water to fall on the mineral surface of the healing pool. The human melody he was sounding out had a pulsing rhythm that went well with the work and it wasn’t long before it caught the attention of his coworker and Prodsuneasily submerged his leading end into the healing pool.
“What is that song?” he asked curiously.
“I don’t know the sound name of it,” Twistsfirmly said with a cheerful wriggle of his lagging end, “however the context is a collection of lower caste humans enjoying themselves in a warm shallow body of water with music and food.”
“It sounds delightful,” Prodsuneasily observed.
The other Undulate fell silent and watched his colleague adding the fresh therapeutic abrasions to the sides of the pool. Twistsfirmly politely increased the volume of his humming and Prodsuneasily let his appendages dangle further into the pool to enjoy the alien melody. After a few rounds of the refrain his coworker sounded him again.
“What has prompted this maintenance?”
Prodsuneasily gestured at the freshly abraded surfaces of the pool.
“O, you know how it is,” Twistsfirmly said with a depreciating wave of a lagging appendage. “It’s been so long since the last time a human had a session and they have such poor traction on these artificial surfaces. When a patient comes to me for treatment I find it rather unprofessional to send them up from the pool floor with worse injuries than they came in with.”
Prodsuneasily gave an appropriately amused full core ripple at the jest and bobbed his leading end in sympathy. A human’s near legendary instability in anything but a fully limp and flat position was both a disturbing reality and a source of near endless entertainment.
“You know they have a running cultural joke about that,” Prodsuneasily observed.
“Do they?” Twistsfirmly asked.
“Yes,” Prodsuneasily went on. “It involves the outer membrane of a domestic mutant being left on the floor and a human approaching it in a state of near pure internal focus. The assumption is that they human will step on the membrane and then proceed to entertain their fellows with a display of regaining their standard balance. I believe the humor is increased by the fact that this particular fruit reflects light in the range that is easiest for humans to see so it is even more of an indictment of the human’s spatial awareness that they don’t respond to it.”
“Did that joke exit in their culture before their contact with us?” Twistsfirmly asked.
“For centuries before,” Prodsuneasily assured him. “I was privileged enough to see a display of the various manifestations of the joke at an art gallery. Mostly two dimensional presentations but one of the local art students had carved a representation of the joke out of soap stone.”
“How thoughtful of them, take my abraders will you?” Twistsfirmly requested.
Prodsuneasily reached out for them and helped him out of the pool.
“So why are you doing this now?” Prodsuneasily asked again.
“Human Friend Freddy will be coming in for a muscular strain session this evening,” Twistsfirmly said.
Prodsuneasily shifted his bracing appendages in confusion.
“I did not feel Human Friend Freddy on the patient list,” Prodsuneasily said as he hefted his share of the brushed and started moving towards the storage cupboard.
“That is because Human Friend Freddy has not made an appointment,” Twistsfirmly said.
“Friend Twistsfirmly,” Prodsuneasily began, “you know I do not approve of Shatar style ambush medical sessions…”
Twistsfirmly positively writhed with amusement.
“I assure you that this is not an ambush session,” he said, dismissing the idea with a flick of a lagging appendage. “This is – a little help here – a yearly tradition with a conditional timing element. Neither of us know when the session will be needed until certain conditions have been met. Those conditions were met as of the ninth hour of the solar day.”
Prodsuneasily climbed up on Twistsfirmly’s dorsal side and used the increased leverage to pull a long, soft foam rod out of the bin. It was rather covered in dust and in cleaning it off as he followed Twistsfirmly back to the medical pool he realized that there was a banner with human writing on it wrapped around the rod.
“What are the conditions?” Prodsuneasily asked.
“Human Friend Freddy goes out with the internal combustion powered crystal saw for the first time in the spring to begin clearing the walking paths of the winter’s fallen growth and spends more than an hour using it,” Twistsfrimly said. “Now Human Friend Freddy is just coming in, and will leave the saw in the external shed for Human Friend Gregory to preform basic maintenance on. For some reason the basic care of the machine is never forgotten.”
That puzzling statement was said with an almost irritated set to his appendages. Prodsuneasily was pondering this odd behavior on his colleague's part when Twistsfirmly took the foam rod with a polite gesture of gratitude.
“You sound,” Twistsfirmly said. “Because the humans do no, or very little saw work over the winter storm season their trained muscles fibers loose strength and flexibility. Now a human should carefully ease back into using the wire saws gradually, a few hours a day at most until they have rebuilt their muscle density.”
“But Human Friend Freddy really likes using the saw,” Prodsuneasily observed, beginning to sound the depths.
“Human Friend Freddy really likes using the saw and considers it mandatory mental health self care,” Twistsfirmly stated. “Not one spring has sounded Human Friend Freddy expressing proper caution and self-control in this matter. There is no reason to suspect that this year will be any different. So we have agreed that I will prepare the proper medical/social reaction to counter act the damage she has done to her muscles and then I will give her a gentle reminder to attend.”
There was a series of vibrations that indicated a human arriving at the secondary door and this drew Twistsfirmsly’s attention away from their conversation.
“Please begin warming the pool to the maximum human settings,” Twistsfirmly requested.
The Undulate dropped down to the floor and carrying the foam rod over his central mass he shuffled quickly across the floor to the door and out into the hall where he positioned himself in the center of the walkway. He lifted a good third of his mass up off the ground bracing the rest of his appendages firmly on the floor and held the rod in his gripping appendages high above the ground.
Prodsuneasily observed all this with fascination. Just then the human in question came around the corner and Twistsfirmly began flailing the rod wildly around. It was just long enough that despite Twistsfirmly’s complete inability to aim the blows it was quite impossible for any human to pass but without receiving a stout blow to the shins. This is in fact what happened, as oblivious to the flailing Undulates as the air pieces had been to the fruit membranes Human Friend Freddy walked right into the foam rod and it connected with the human’s shins with an oddly satisfying thunk. This brought a silence that made Prodsuneasily realize that Human Friend Freddy had been humming the
Human Friend Freddy glanced down in surprise, the human’s face was coated in sweat and crystal dust, and even bore some minor outer membrane abrasions, but the human’s colors surged with fiber long pleasure even if it was coated with fatigue.
“Yo Twizzler,” the human greeted her friend. “Our yearly spine realignment session. Right, you get the hot tub ready and prepare to yoink my bones around a bit. I’ll just-”
To Prodsuneasily’s shock Twistsfirmly began flailing the rod again and the human danced backwards, bursting out with a laugh.
“All right, all right, lay off with the stupid stick Twizzler,” Human Friend Freddy said, waving her hand to dismiss the assault. “I’m headed for the shower in your office now, no detours where I might fall asleep, no excuses.”
The human turned and entered the office, reached out to pat Prodsuneasily in greeting without breaking pace and disappeared into the cleansing rooms. Twistsfirmly was shuffling back towards the medial pool with a distinctly satisfied set to his appendages, the foam rod trailing behind him. Prosduneasily noted the words more carefully now.
Get in the hot tub Human Friend Idiot, was written in large print.
“Twistsfrimly,” Prodsuneasily began, taking care not to sound accusatory. “Is this strictly professional behavior?”
“Perhaps not,” Twistsfirmly admitted, “but I’ll be stuck in a coral before I spend another week watching some idiot human hobble around like they were half frozen because they failed to do basic maintenance on their muscle fibers again.”
“Besides,” Twistsfirmly said, dropping the foam rod and climbing onto the pool to wait for his patient, “I’ve yet to meet a human who didn’t find getting thwhacked with a foam rod amusing.”
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What does it mean when your human friend says “Watch This?”? Why does this simple phrase seem to terrify any alien that has first appendage experience with humans? #HFY #HumansAreWeird #HumansAreSpaceOrcs #EarthIsADeathWorld #EarthIsSpaceAustralia
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