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Ztarflies and Humanity
A lean woman of thirty-seven stood with her long metallic-nailed fingertips resting on her hips. She looked out onto the Skyway. People coming from work zoomed in their colourful jets. Her lavender eyes scanned the blurry orchestra of turquoise, black, yellow, purple traffic, but there was no mini-blue jet anywhere in sight. She flicked her long hot pink hair and returned to the chrome and glass-furnished chairs encircling a large metallic table. From a compartment within the table, an apple juice shot up, landing in a little girl’s soft palm.
“ I don’t like this ztarfly. Mum, can’t I leave it on my plate?” the little girl whined as she laid down her fork beside the hald-empty glass of juice.
“Zally, just eat up your telizer and ztarfly.”
“But, look, it haz all theze really weird zpotz everywhere!”
“That’z just zome pepper.”
“When iz daddy coming home?”
“Don’t change the zubject…” She then turned around and yelled, “Clyde, dinner’z ready! Don’t have me call you again!”
“Mum, don’t zream zo loud. You’re hurting my earz”
“Just look at your plate.” she snapped. It was too late. Sally started crying. Her mother dropped the fork and walked over to her daughter. She hugged her tightly and combed her motherly touch through her daughter’s lime green hair, which hung brightly in floppy pigtails. A familiar sound echoed in the living room. The silver automatic sliding door made an electronic buzz and revealed a tall gaunt-looking man in silver trousers and a bright pink coat jacket, holding a metallic suitcase in his left hand. He brushed his dark blue hair back with a rough hand and smiled effortlessly at his wife comforting his teary-eyed seven-year old.
“Honey, I’m home.” He walked towards the two, and pecked his wife on the cheek. The little girl jumped out of her chair and onto her father with an eager burst of excitement.
“Daddy! You’re home! Guezz what! Guezz what? Today we were drawing homo zapienz in hiztory clazz… and…and…”
“Humans? Interesting…well, what did you learn about them? Anything to make me smarter, Sally?”
“…they had lotz of hair and big brainz and they invented lotz of ztuff and they had zcientiztz and they were taller than we are and they had all theze really funny inventionz and rock muzic and thiz woman called Madonna-“
“I think Zally zhould ztart eating. Traviz, you’re distracting her from dinner.”
“-and humanz sounded kind of different they –“
“They zpoke like your father doez. He thinkz it iz noble to speak like humanz.”she rolled her eyes and shot a disapproving glance at her husband.
“ I think it’s important that Sally talk with us during dinner. After all, talking is just as important to us, homo alienus , as proper nutrition.”
“Daddy, why do you talk like that? You never talk like everyone else! You make this really weird zound when you zay “Z”…did humanz talk like that?”
“Humans had many different accents and languages. Sort of like we do today, honey. If we’re talking about English, then, yes, they talked like I do.”
“Zally, please eat some ztarflies. You need your proteinz.”
“Well, I suppose you can call it evolution. That’s when a species evolves into another. When homo sapiens evolved into homo alienus, they probably lost the abilility to pronounce some sounds.”
“…I’ll go up and give Clyde hiz dinner. Teenazers theze dayz…” his wife interrupted, as she muttered under her breath. Androealle Zender touched a sensor on the wall and the metal door slid open. When it opened, she disappeared into Clyde’s room with a silver tray in her hands. Clyde hung upside down lazily in his room, food spilled all over the glass-made ceiling. Music was booming loudly as his door slid open with an electronic beep.
“Clyde, why don’t you ever eat dinner with uz?”He didn’t seem to hear what she said. With a frightening thud, she slammed the tray on the ground and stormed out of the room angrily.
“They found a human? Alive?”
“Yes, dear. A little girl was born with blonde hair a few years back.”
“How doez zhe look like? Iz zhe pretty?”
“ I don’t know, dear. But as you know, it’s a big deal because humans are supposed to be extinct.”
“Daddy, do you think there are humanz ztill out there?”
“Tell me daddy, pleaze!”
“Have you finished your dinner?”
“Well, finish up, and I’ll tell you…”
Androelle stood in the corner of the hallway, listening intently to the conversation between father and child. She waited.
“Yes, Sally? “ he looked up from his plate.
“Now stand up, and get ready for bed. I’ll tell you right now if you promise not to give mommy any trouble…”
“Yez, anything!” she answered, her lanky five-year old legs fidgeting.
“Well, Sally, that little girl is still alive. And there are humans out there. There are families of humans. So you’ll never know even if you meet a human.”
“When I grow up I want to marry a human boy.”
“Why?”he chuckled warmly.
“Because I love blonde hair…and I want to have babies with gold hair, daddy!”
“Now, run off to bed…”
As Sally skipped to her room, Androelle slipped out from the shadow.
“I feel so bad sometimes, Travis.”
“We’re doing the best we can.”
“But look at her…it just –“
“It breaks my heart too.” He sighed heavily.
“Well, I’ve got to go wash her hair.”
“Wazh her hair, you mean. With that grimy lime…”
“Travis, “ tears swelled up in her eyes, “please. We’ve got to keep our past a secret.”
“You’re right. Noone needs to know.”
“ZZZZZZZ not SSSSSS, Travis.”
And with that, Androelle flicked her fake tangles of magenta hair and followed her daughter upstairs with the green bottle of dye wound tightly in her palm.