Monday, 5 March 2012

An alien or an ugly duckling?

My story for this week's #SatSunTails contest won an honorary mention (Leo Godin was the winner, with Jeffrey Hollar being my co-honorary mention). 

The prompts were quite tough, but I like tough.  I needed to base my story around the phrase: “burrowing ineptitude” and reference the pretty picture below.  I chose to tell a Sci Fi reimagining of the Ugly Duckling - with a less cheerful ending.  150 words.

What does this look like to you?

Spawn was small.  He was weak.  The Tribe cast him out but he returned, dragging his pale belly along the floor, burrowing his way back into The Nest.   He wasn’t even good at that.  The sentinels heard him from three leagues distant, the scrape of his scales, the wheeze from his undersized gills. 

An insult to the Tribe’s glory.

He knew it too.  Heard their mutters, sensed the antennae twitching away from him. 

The Tribe were beautiful.  Crystalline.  Magnificent.  Warriors with nine pincer-tipped legs. Strong.  Bold. Brave. 

In his misery Spawn hid.  Hiding, he saw the ship land. Saw The Other emerge, putrescent bodies shimmering under the four suns.  And he knew.  There was no time to raise the alarm.  

Antennae raised in a solitary salute he did the only thing he could.  


The Tribe saw the silver tangle splatter against the sky and were warned.  Spawn had never looked so beautiful.

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