Ever noticed how readers and writers think differently? Whenever I really like something I’ve written, my audience is lukewarm at best. When I feel my work is a bit dead and repetitive of something I have read a million times, readers eat it up. Twiggys and Poofs is probably one of the best things I have ever written, in my opinion, which of course means you will likely either not understand it or like it. I am my own worst enemy.
Regardless, here is rendition of an alien mating ritual. Be kind.
Twiggy Celt scrutinized the battlefield, analyzing his next move. The battle seemed at a stall. Over there, a Twiggy, thin, heavily armored, top heavy, short rooted during battle, tilted a degree too far and had toppled. All he could do now was roll until he found an incline sharp enough to set him back on his roots. Otherwise, he would have to wait for the medics and their techno-savvy pulley-and-lever bots to help him into an upright position. How humiliating. Two, three, no six more Twiggys felled. That was a lot for so early in the battle.
He went on to count the Poofs fallen in battle, which was harder to do. Poofs didn’t typically fall. They bounced. They skidded. They fell out of play, unless their practically impenetrable, rubber membrane of a skin was in fact penetrated while failing to hold their handles. Most importantly, one must hang onto a Poof during combat, if for no other reason than bragging rights. Twiggy Celt was a first-class braggart, having survived many battles and always having taken down a Poof or two in the process. Two Poofs floated away into the upper atmosphere. Some Twiggy had poked too hard without holding on. There was no coming back for those Poofs.
Poof Izzy flitted about, looking for just such a Twiggy as Celt. She had puffed her Poof body, lavender powered her membrane, did her warm-up exercise, and now she was prepared for the annual game. She so loved game day with the Twiggys—hide and seek, chase, freeze tag, tumble and bumble, but most of all, boing. Absolutely no one played boing better than Celt.
Izzy waved to Poof Pizzle and Snizzle as they floated to the upper atmosphere. So much fun, so freeing way up there. Only Twiggys could catapult a Poof hard enough to gain that altitude. It was all good though, they would float back down when they napped. Two other Poofs engaged in bouncy-poo as they left playtime, giggling on their way back to the launching site, out of time, out of play until Izzy and Mibzy had their turns. Only a handful of players in at a time. No reason to overwhelm the Twiggys, who weren’t the best players, but at least it was more fun than playing Poof on Poof all the time.
So there was Twiggy Celt and Poof Izzy on the field together. Celt to do battle, Poof to have fun. So much quicker than Celt, Izzy flitted and darted, always a branch length away, tittering and chattering about what, Celt had no idea. Celt was on a mission, a time-sensitive mission, one that was a matter of honor, of bragging rights. His was a rite of passage marking the ring of time.
For a while, they played chase, followed by tag, then bop as Izzy booty bumped Celt from behind, but Celt had been coming to the field for many years. He knew better than to play offensive with Izzy. He knew the very best way to catch her attention was to practice patience, let her come to him. He stood very still, ignored the tags, counterbalanced the booty bumps, lest he end up on the receiving end of a pulley-and-lever bot.
Eventually, Izzy and Celt were face to face. All Celt had to do now was grab her handles—at least one to be sure—so he held out a limb as one might to a friend, and the gullible Poof sniff and tittered about it, stopping a second to exam his offering. A second was all Celt needed. He nabbed one handle, then fumbled for the second, but eventually he had Poof Izzy right where he wanted her. With the grace and speed born from experience, he impaled the enemy with one clean thrust. The high of victory clouded his vision as he withdrew and turned away, the battle won for another year.
Poof Izzy floated back to the launch site, a little dejected and subdued, at least for her, because playtime had ended. All she had to tide her over until next year were her memories, the anticipation of a game well played, and the tiny little secret that only she knew for sure.
Six months passed, six months to go until the next game day. The field now served a new purpose as Poof Izzy floated along, singing, giggling each time she hiccupped and a Pooflet appeared—nativity at its finest, if she had to say so herself. One little, two little, three little Pooflets. With a huge burp and a fart, a Twiglet followed suit. Two more Pooflets, and Izzy was done, her responsibilities forgotten, while Twiggy Celt’s had just begun. He strolled onto the field to collect his spoils while Izzy chased a butterfly over buttercups and clover.