A Moment in Sci-Fi, by Daniel Backer
I'm delighted to introduce Daniel Backer, novelist and film maker, who has written the following sci-fi short piece for your entertainment. For links to Daniel's book and comedy sci-fi TV show, read to the end. Take it away Daniel!
“You sure make a lot of noise,” said Tony, holding a creature from what he thought was the scruff of its neck. It had woken him up. He couldn’t tell what orifice the sounds were coming from.
There was no mouth to bleat out of or trunk to trumpet or exoskeletal washboard for stridulation. The thing appeared to be a huge exotic alien pile (HEAP) of fur that excreted slime out of its folds that dripped onto Tony’s porch and was absorbed into the thin layer of dust that had settled due to almost no foot-traffic. Today was the day Tony would put a nice set of footprints into the dust.
As he tried to leave, his fear of the outside stopped him in the doorway as if it were a solid sheet of glass, much to the HEAP’s dismay. It lurched outside, bringing Tony by the hand with it. He got up, startled to be on the first steps of a new journey after being alone for so long, which reminded him… He straddled the unsightly body print in the dust and stepped a set of footprints on either side of it.
Over the course of the four-day walk, Tony found himself talking to the HEAP. The HEAP was all ears, even though it wouldn’t be easy to tell where they were. He told it about his life, his sister, his big accident and being alone. The HEAP gave him all the niceties of an audience, cooing at the right parts and even intoning “huh?” at a particularly dramatic pause that Tony took before revealing that he was excited to see his sister after so long. Four days after he left, the HEAP made a sudden yelp, and startled, Tony dropped it. Blue feathers on a tranquilizer dart stuck out of the HEAP. She had always loved blue.
She screamed from behind him, “Did you speak to it?”
“Did you say anything to it? Anything at all?”
Tony turned around and saw his sister towering above him with her gun strapped around her shoulder. She was literally twice his height and it shocked him that she had managed to sneak up on him.
“Hearing words makes them stronger. They draw conclusions from our language until they achieve an intelligence that wants wipe out the human race… or what’s left of us after you nearly did that.”
“How many times do I have to apologize for that?”
“Only once, and you should continue to do so by going back to your house.”
“You’re certain you didn’t say anything to it?”
Tony looked out at the expanse around him. He looked to his sister. He looked to the HEAP. It was twisting his words into an intelligence that probably didn’t have a concept of inside and outside. At this thought, he lied to his sister.
“I didn’t tell that HEAP a thing.”
They entered the compound and caught up for a little while.
YouAreAbraham, Daniel's novella with added film and music http://www.youareabraham.com
Danny’s company have recently released a sci-fi comedy web series. Here is the first episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR3YFx5Ap7I
A link for the book on Amazon: