• Jeff South

Cincinnati Chili: Legend


Grover had screamed before many times. Roller coasters. Wasps. When he lost his virginity. The act of screaming was nothing new to him. This particular scream, however, was unprecedented in not only length, volume, pitch, and tone (which was full and rich because it came from his diaphragm), but also context. Grover had never encounter extra-terrestrials before, so the sight of a dozen or so lizard people in the basement of an old house that surely had bodies buried beneath it produced an unholy bellow of terror from deep within him.

“Grover!” Gwen’s soft hands cupped his face. “They won’t hurt you.”

“We might,” one of the aliens chimed. Grover’s vision was blurred by fear, so he couldn’t tell which one it was.

“Yeah,” another said. “Don’t speak for us. We make our own decisions.”

Others grunted and chortled in agreement and Grover believed they would indeed hurt him in the most imaginative ways possible. He began to hyperventilate.

“We won’t hurt him,” someone said with what sounded like an Australian accent. “A friend of Gwenny’s is a friend of ours.”

A burly, broad-shouldered member of this lizard clan pushed his way through the others and offered something Grover couldn’t call a hand. It was more of a claws.

“How are ya, mate?” the alien said. “The name’s Legend.”

“We need to talk, Legend,” Gwen said. “Grover here has the stuff, but I don’t think it’s what we thought it was. I’m not sure it’ll help.”

Legend looked at Grover again. “Did you bring the stuff, mate?”

A long pause preceded Grover’s response.


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