• Jeff South

Cincinnati Chili: Dark

It was a dark and stormy night. The darkness rivaled that in Grover’s soul. The storm equaled that which raged in his stomach. The night symbolized his leaving the light. Grover’s life had become a cliched metaphor written by some hack writer in a story no one wanted to read. He stared at the P-47 Electro-Photon Multiblaster in his hand and released the slow sigh from his lips. The pelting rain blurred his view of the house of Herpezoids. He pocketed the blaster inside his jacket, exited his vehicle, and marched toward the porch. He knocked on the door and after a few seconds of trying to convince himself to turn back, the door opened.

“Grover!” Legend greeted him with his broad human smile. “Come on in, mate.”

Grover took a tentative step into the living room where five Herpezoids sat around a card table playing Sorry! while Gwen sipped a cup of coffee.

“Oh, hi, Grover,” she said.

“We’re glad you’re here.” Legend slapped on the back hard enough that Grover had to hide how much it hurt. “We were just talking about you.”

“I draw a 11,” cheered one of the Herpezoids playing the game. That might be enough to finish you all!”

The blaster felt heavy in Grover’s jacket. He wanted to leave, but also wanted to stay and play Sorry! because that was his favorite game as a child. These Herpezoids didn’t seem like bad aliens.

“Talking about me?” Grover asked. “Nothing bad, I hope.”

“Nah,” Legend said. “You’re gonna help us get more morphers.”


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