Coffee and Donut

“It is not uncommon to get melancholy when it rains. As it trickles–” The book hit the wall. “What kind of drivel is this?” I asked my partner-in-crime, Donut. “I requested one of those bookits that would knock the steam from my antennae.”

Donut looked up from the shredded pile of clothes and snorted. “It’s called a book, Coffee. You know, I like the names you chose for us: Coffee and Donut. I love how these humans promote their names on large panels. We’ll blend in for sure.”

He rooted around, pulling out a shirt with letters on the front. “Look! I found another one. I wonder how much brain juice this has: O-L-D-N-A-V-Y. Old Navy. Oooh, I wonder if it’s a secret code. Sounds intriguing.” His star-shaped nose wriggled in excitement as he licked the rubbery print, the thick hairy feelers on the tip probing for power. His three eyes clicked in disappointment. “Nothing.”

I slid over to the row of books, inhaling the rich aroma. “Stop licking everything you see, Donut. You’re supposed to taste words with your nose.”

“Where’d you learn a silly thing like that?”

“The girl human in the room down the hall.” I pointed past my second hump. “She’s got a book stuffed right up to her facial segment. She’s using her eye-orbs to learn and her nose to taste the words.”

Donut rotated. “You didn’t tell me there was a human here! Absorbing word power, too. Quick! Let’s observe her tactics.”

We rolled up our tentacles and used the slime layer to move in stealth. A hissing, like the noise we make in greeting, crept up from behind.

I squealed. “A darling cat-creature! Doesn’t it look just like our pet, Gharttik? It’s even arching its body in the welcoming manner.” I reached down, stroking the cat’s head, and received a razor-sharp scratch in return. “Oh, Donut,” I said in dismay, “I don’t much care for this creature. Gharttik never does that.”

In the bedroom, we found the girl leaning against the window, legs tucked to her chest. A thick book rested in her taut arms, but her face was nowhere to be seen.

“You see?” I whispered to Donut. “She’s using her nose.”

“But what does a book taste like?” Donut asked.

I huffed in frustration. “I don’t know. When I tried, all I got was a musty stench, the wails of dying trees, and a tickle on the nose from a tiny mite.”

Donut peered around the corner. “What’s her secret?”

Just then the girl uncurled her legs and placed the book on the window seat. She stared out the window, a faint smile flickering across her youthful face. Her thick red spectacles winked at us in the sunlight.

“That’s it!” A twittering gurgle escaped my tubes.

We stared at one another as the knowledge spread from one silky horn to the other. Where could we find a pair of spectacles?


Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on Finish That Thought:

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