• Jeff South

Cincinnati Chili: Misfit

“Legend is my soulmate.” Gwen’s voice conveyed a genuine affection that disarmed Grover.

“And I look like a giant reptile thing,” Legend said. “It’s a little off-putting to you humans.”

“So, if we want to have a life together here on Earth, then we need the DNA morphers.”

Grover handed Legend the container and everyone stood and watched. Legend opened the lid and stared at the contents for a moment. He looked at Gwen, who offered an adoring smile. His fellow Herpezoids leaned in with anticipation. Legend nodded, opened his snout wide, and tipped the Cincinnati chili into it. He chomped and slurped and chewed in ways that reminded Grover that he hates the sounds of chomping, slurping, and chewing. Grover also realized a fork would’ve been beneficial.

Legend burped. Legend waited. The whole room waited.

“If this works, mates,” Legend announced, “we’ll be home free. No more lurking in the darkness of this planet. No more feeling like misfits.”

“And then we’ll take over just like you said!” called out a Herpezoid voice.

“What?” Grover asked.

“Ignore him.” Legend squeezed Grover’s shoulder with his significant claw. “Alien humor.”

“How do you feel, babe?” Gwen asked.

Before Legend could answer, the convulsions started. Tremors formed in his hands and spread up his arms. His torso rocked and jerked. He cried out and fell to his knees. His back arched and his scaly skin began to morph into human flesh. He rolled on his back as his body flopped. With one final scream, he stopped. All was quiet. Legend slowly stood and faced his beloved Gwen.

“How do I look?” he asked.

“Wonderful. Amazing.”

“Can we get him some pants?” Grover asked.

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