“We’re all human, even when we’re not.”

From Chuck Wendig’s blog, the flash fiction challenge. It was supposed to be 1000 words but I am running short on time at the moment and cannot keep writing.

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Princess Sophia (R.I.P. babygirl!)
We\'re all human, even when we\'re notShandi-lee / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Used to be we could lollygag out into the streets and pick our food at random. Used to be we could swim in the sewer and no one cared. Yesterdays we spent our whole of summer gorging ourselves on trash from the nearby dumpster on the corner.

That was yesterday.

Now the garbage is used for fuel, the sewer is filled with chemicals to maintain its integrity and no one wants to be in the streets. The street cleaners will get you, man. That is if you manage to even make it to the middle. Most times a car or truck or one of those hybrid things come roaring by and you end up like so much flotsam on the bottom of someone’s shoe.

Now we hide in the shadows of the metal pipes that carry our old food sources below ground. Down there we can’t even get to it, and we’re used to squeezing our round bellies through all manner of impossible places. Now there’s no sewer, no dumpsters, not even crumbs left behind by careless kids.

With food so scarce, and travel so difficult, is it any wonder we started seeking out the labs?

At least in a lab, a gal can get three squares. Yeah, we have to endure a little poking, a little prodding, but in the end, we get fed. Can’t everyone say that, right? Most of us are travailing our way through life only to end up on the end of a pointed stick. Don’t let me forget to tell you the story of how my mother was skewered.

It’s an ugly business. We’re all human, even when we’re not, you know what I mean? A mind has to be active, a belly has to be full. Heck, I have a brood of babies to keep fed. I know what I’m talking about.

The lab ain’t so bad comparatively speaking. Yeah, the lights are bright, and the stainless is cold, but playing all day on a wheel while eyeballs ogle you…well, let’s just say it could be worse.

I had a buddy one time who developed a cough. He ended up getting needles jabbed into him a few times a day.

Yeah, I’m staying clean, all right. No way I want needles. Makes me shiver just to think about it. Who knows what gets injected in you. Or slurped out of you. Either way, it ain’t for me. No way.

About my brood…yeah, they put me in with a mean dude. He was like all humping all day. I knew that was intentional. They were punishing me for nipping at the glove. Not my fault they put them where I can bite it. So I get all preggers and have a whole nestfull. How on earth they expect me to keep all these mouths fed with the pittance they put down the bottle is beyond me.

Well, hey, they just turned on the wheel for me to get a little exercise. I did get somewhat chubby after popping out the kids. So, I guess I’ll see ya around. Oh yeah, and maybe next time I can tell you about the shish kabob they made of Mama.

About master

Kim Smith is the author of Disk of Death, The Dread Room, Love Inn, and An Unexpected Performance.

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