A very short, silly story. I didn't intend to write a story about a Cuttlefish Shee, but little bits of it kept popping into my head so I finally decided to write them down. This is the result.


The Cuttlefish Shee
July 26, 2008
Status: Completed

One day, a Shee by the name of Albert was fiddling with the genome for the cuttlefish (that is, Sushi hazardous), when one of his house Norns accidentally dropped his good tea set on the laboratory floor. The air was split by a horrendous crash as it instantly broke into a million pieces. Albert jerked sharply in alarm, accidentally cutting himself with one of his tools.

He swore loudly in Sheeish, then clapped his hand over his mouth and stared at his Norn, hoping that somehow she hadn't heard that. Fortunately she was still preoccupied with the shock of what she'd just done, and he breathed a sigh of relief. If any of his Norns learned *that* word, he'd never hear the end of it! This thought distracted him from the fact that he had just contaminated his experiment with his own DNA, and vice versa.

Then the clock began to chime, and he realized it was only an hour before tea time. Albert made his way to the kitchen and began to set about making the muffins, but stopped when he got a good whiff of the milk. Goodness gracious, just how long had that been sitting in there? He wasn't really sure, but it seemed to have expired. Probably some time last month. He would have to go to the nearby market, then, and buy some more. Albert just couldn't imagine having tea without some fresh muffins to go with it.

He went to the closet to fetch his jacket, but when he looked into the mirror built into the door he realized he was growing little frilly finlike bits out of the top of his head! Clearly this was a side-effect from the little accident in the lab. Oh, this wouldn't do at all--what would the other Shee think if they saw him like this? Albert decided he'd better design a device that would create a hologram around the top of his head to make it look like it was still perfectly normal. He couldn't do all that just now, though, so for the time being he would just have to suffer through it. Then, glancing outside, he realized it looked like there might be some rain. Just to be sure, he slipped his hat on before he left the house.

As luck would have it, there was only one carton of milk still sitting on the shelf when he arrived at the market. But as he was walking toward it, another Shee seemingly appeared out of nowhere and snatched the carton.

"Sorry old chap," the other Shee said, with a not-quite-apologetic smile. "It's just, it's almost tea time, and I must have my banana bread to go with the tea, you know?"

"You put that milk down this instant!" Albert exclaimed angrily. He had just been mutated into a half-cuttlefish and his best tea set was destroyed; he was not about to let this other Shee ruin tea time completely!

Albert started to turn red. And I don't mean his face was flushed--he was literally changing color, becoming a brilliant crimson. All the other Shee in the market stopped to stare at him in fascination. This was an unexpected development to be sure. How had it come about?

Albert noticed everybody staring at him, and started to feel a little self-conscious. Perhaps he had overreacted just a little.

"I just wanted to make some muffins," he explained weakly. "It is almost tea-time..."

"Well if it bothers you that badly," said the other Shee, looking slightly disturbed. He took a small pot off of a nearby display and poured half of the milk into it. "Here. I'll pay for the milk if you pay for the pot, just so we aren't late."

"What an excellent idea," said Albert.

The cashier didn't even bat an eye at the two of them, he rang up the milk and the pot and Albert and the other Shee went on their way.

Albert was walking down the street and staring down at the pot of milk in his hand, thinking about his marvellous good fortune, when he bumped into something... squishy. He opened his mouth to apologize, then got a good look at the thing he had bumped into.

"Holy cow!" Albert shrieked.

He had never seen a cow, nor had he ever heard of one, but somehow the exclamation seemed fitting. Because the thing standing in front of him was not a Shee wearing a suit made of raw bacon, as he had assumed, but a giant mutant cuttlefish!

"Glub glub," said the giant mutant cuttlefish, which when translated probably meant something like, "I see you've gotten the milk. Jolly good! Let's go back to the house and make some muffins to go with our tea."

Albert found that he could understand this, probably because he was part cuttlefish himself. He also found that he agreed with the giant mutant cuttlefish, so the two of them turned and strolled back to his house, hand in tentacle.

Now a lot of the neighbors noticed this, and in some of the fenced yards he could see Norns pointing and staring in shocked amazement. It wasn't every day you saw a Shee scientist walking down the street, hand in tentacle with a giant mutant cuttlefish and holding a pot of milk in one hand! But they were only Norns, and Albert and his new friend paid them no mind.

Everything seemed fine, but Albert was just taking the muffins out of the oven when there was a knock on the door.

"I wonder who that could be?" he asked, glancing at the giant mutant cuttlefish, who just shrugged.

He walked over and opened the door, and found himself face to face with one of his neighbors, who was holding a pitchfork in one hand.

I did't know Henry had taken up farming, Albert thought, then noticed the large mob gathered in his yard, armed with torches and more pitchforks. Wow, there must be a farming convention going on--an all-nighter from the looks of it. Although he couldn't imagine why they would think that his yard would be a good place for it. He was hoping Henry could explain this, but oddly the other Shee was now staring with a stunned and somewhat horrified expression at something on the top of his head.

"Hello, Henry," Albert said, hoping a little conversation would bring his friend out of the odd stupor he seemed to have fallen into. "What brings you here?"

"Hello Albert," Henry said. "We hear there's a giant mutant cuttlefish in your house. Is that true?"

"Why yes," Albert replied, thinking nothing of it. "We've just finished the muffins; would you care to try one?"

"Unfortunately no," said Henry. "Thank you, but we are actually here to drive out the giant mutant cuttlefish from our neighborhood. Now please be a good chap and stand aside; we want to get this over with before tea time. I still have Masham cookies to bake, you know."

Albert's mouth dropped open. He... he couldn't allow this to happen to his cuttlefish friend! After all, he had helped bake the muffins. So Albert slammed the door--it was awfully rude, he knew, to slam the door in one's neighbor's face, but he could apologize for that later--and raced down to his workshop. There he scrounged together some old parts he'd been meaning to work on but never got around to, and used these to whip together a spaceship that could take his friend somewhere far away, where he would be safe from Albert's over-zealous neighbors. The giant mutant cuttlefish seemed to understand, and taking a cup of tea a warm muffin off the tray, squeezed himself into the cabin.

"Well, Cuttle," said Albert, as the ship began to rise into the air, "I guess this is goodbye. So... toodle-oo!"

"Kut-oo-loo," said the giant mutant cuttlefish, which wasn't exactly right, but he supposed it was probably the best one could do with a beak for a face.

The ship began to gain momentum, tearing the roof of Albert's workshop completely off and carrying it up into the sky, until it burst into flames and disintegrated in the upper atmosphere. But the ship kept going, and was very quickly out of sight.

Albert sighed and returned to the front door, where Henry was still waiting. Henry looked horrified, but this time his gaze was fixed not on Albert's head, but high above them both, in the direction the makeshift ship had disappeared in.

"Albert, you idiot," Henry cried, "did you even bother setting a course for that ship?"

"No, why?" Albert asked.

"It's headed straight for Sphericus!"




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