Look, if I’d known you weirdos thought these things were so bloody delicious, I would have disguised it as something else.
It’s not my fault, I’d only just got here and I didn’t have everything figured out yet. It was the right size and shape and I didn’t think it could be food because it’s enormous and you have tiny jaws and can’t swallow anything bigger than you can fit in your mouths. I didn’t realise how your food works for quite a while (knives are cheating, you know) because the only thing I’ve found here that’s edible are cats (which are everywhere. At first I thought I’d fallen on my feet – this is a cat joke, but you might not get it because I’m not very good at your humour – but boy, do people notice when they go missing). I thought it was perfect: an inedible plant, no-one’s going to think anything of that, are they? I could leave it unattended while I was hunting because if someone happened to stumble into someone else’s nest and happened to see a plant they couldn’t eat – as opposed to, say, a white translucent egg with something strongly resembling a squid growing inside it – they’d just ignore it, right?
Wrong, as it turns out. People love watermelons. Apparently they are “Oh my God so refreshing” when it’s “Oh my God so hot I’m melting!”. Whatever that means. (I haven’t seen anyone actually melt yet, so I assume it’s a figure of speech). I told one person that it wasn’t really a watermelon and he said “oh, cool, is it a bowling ball or something? Hey, it doesn’t have finger holes though.”
Ha ha, mate. Yeah. You think these are really fingers? Funny.
It’s too risky to change it now and I can’t leave it behind in the nest, so I have to take it with me everywhere which is not the inconspicuous effect I was going for. I did so well with my appearance. Everything about me says ‘pretty, but not remarkable’. Except for these things stuck to my chest which are attracting more attention than I expected but I’ve given up trying to understand humans. If they’re for feeding your young, why is it that the people who stare at them are full-grown? (And never mind that having your young feeding on your bodily fluids is disgusting. It pales in comparison with having it growing inside your body, like a parasite, instead of in a tidy hygienic egg, like a civilised creature).
Anyway, the point is that I was trying my best to blend in and now I’m stuck carrying a watermelon around like some kind of loon.
This is all a roundabout way of saying: this guy who just pulled a gun on me and said “Give me your money and your watermelon” is just the latest in a long line of people who want to eat my baby and I have had it with people wanting to do that. Plus I stole this money fair and square and I’m not going to let him take that either.
His face takes on a peculiar expression which I think means ‘did I really just say “give me your money and your watermelon”?’ and I use this fleeting moment of perplexity to gain the upper hand. Or upper tentacle, I suppose, because I’ve flipped the transmuter to ‘half’ and he is now confronted not with an unremarkable human female, but with a creature who has a human head, shoulders and milk glands, but apart from that is mostly – from his perspective at least – giant flailing suckers. His face is a picture. He’s trying to scream, I think, but every time he tries to force air out all that happens is that he takes another terrified breath in, and it’s completely immobilising him. The idiot.
I use one tentacle to grip the watermelon-egg and whip it behind my back while a second snatches the gun from his useless hands and a third wraps itself around his neck. I have so many more arms than I need, it’s marvellous. Out-armed as he is, the whole thing is over in about four seconds. Of course I have killed him, but on the upside I have a gun now, so it’s all good.
On the downside, it’s clear that walking around with a watermelon is only going to lead to trouble. I have another two weeks to get through before my rescue gets here, I’m going to have to think of something else. And then I have a flash of inspiration: I can rig up some kind of harness out of fabric so I can carry the watermelon under my dress. With the right padding I’ll look like one of your gestating females and no-one will be able to tell otherwise unless they touch the bump. I can’t think why this didn’t occur to me before. Even with your body-feeding and parasites, the taboo about touching someone else’s egg must be universal.
This is the best idea I’ve ever had.
Everything’s going to be fine.
For this flash fiction challenge, inspired by this image: