Monday, April 16, 2018

Microstory 821: Fits and Starts

When the bladapods first cropped up around our world, the first people to get a crack at them were the scientists. They wanted to research their biology, and behavioral habits. No one can blame them, really; they’re fascinating creatures. I mean, chlorophyll knives for legs? Who knew evolution could come up with something so elegant and dangerous? Of course we all know how this research turned out. They multiplied out of control, and released gases capable of altering both genes and reality itself. One thing those original researches hadn’t considered was the possibility that these bladapods were actually sentient, and could be capable of communicating with us on an intellectual. One woman realized this prospect, and urged the Association International de Bladapodologie to fund a new department, one designed to crack the code for a theoretical language deemed bladapotango. Suddenly there was a huge influx in open positions at the AIB, and I was proverbially first in line. As a linguist, I was always fascinated with the similarities and differences in languages. The chance to study the communication patterns of an entirely new species was too good to pass up. Unfortunately, the bladapod gas had transformed my perfectly normal-sized vehicle into one of those tiny motor cars that children drive around the neighborhood. Since I’ve been trying to find a decent job for years now, I’ve not had the money necessary to upgrade to something more reasonable. The upside was that the bladapod gas had only quartered my car’s top speed, so it was now sitting at a healthy thirty-five miles per hour, so it could be worse. It’s frustrating not being able to drive on the highway, but since it fits in the cargo hold of a commercial jet, I was able to take it with me to AIB headquarters in Martinique. Bonus: it now has a perpetual motion engine, so it never runs out of power. I discover, however, that the car operates better while within the North American bladapodosphere. It still works, but it keeps stopping and starting, forcing me to keep coming up with new little tricks to get it to start again.

I finally make it into mall, which is where my interview is. Apparently there was literal crapstorm over the actual headquarters last week that has yet to be fully cleaned up, and the mall is being used for continuity of operations. Honestly, I’m surprised they didn’t postpone, or even just cancel, the interview, but I certainly am grateful. I’m driving through the mall, trying to find the right retrofitted storefront, when I hear a commotion across the way. I drive up to it out of curiosity and find a man throwing a violent fit. He’s covered in mud, screaming at people, and flailing his arms all around. He almost looks like me, but he can’t be me, because I’m me. I shrug it off, and try to focus on being ready for my interview. I find where I’m meant to be, and the interview seems to be going great. Then, without provocation, a mudfooted ragepanda crashes through the wall from the store next door, and starts trampling over me. I’m overcome with anger, and start fighting it with my bare hands. They tell you to stop, drop, and roll when exposed to emomud, but the only people who say that are the ones who’ve never experienced it themselves. I don’t know how I ended up traveling back in the past, but needless to say, I was unable to break the timeloop, and did not get the job. To make matters worse, I didn’t get all the emomud washed off my body before trying to drive my car back to the hotel, so now it gives me lip, and won’t take me anywhere unless I give it compliments.

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