To those just joining, you are now lost in the bowels (yuck!) of Dirk Destroyer’s Less Destructive Brother, an unpublished novel. In the previous installment Elmer, our protagonist failed with his limited telekinesis to stabilize the magically levitated body of Jonma Claim which was hosting the ghost of Uriculous Wisehind. The ghost and host could have landed in a pile ewe poop as far as Elmer was concerned, had his failure not been seen as a betrayal by the winsome, euphonious, and calamitous Onomatopoeia Upsala (Ono for short.)
On her bed of soft earth, Ono’s eyes opened and met mine. “Why did you do that?” her eyes said figuratively, because of course, her eyes didn’t say anything literally.
Only a rare breed of chipmunk have eyes that can literally speak words, and they rarely say anything other than either, “please keep your cat indoors,” or “have any nuts?” I saw one at a traveling circus once. His cage was so full of nuts that the little guy could barely move around. I waited around for a couple of hours to hear his eyes say real words, and all the time I was there people kept coming by, saying things like – “hey, it’s an eyeball-talking chipmunk! Throw him some nuts.” Frequently, they did just that, more completely filling the poor creature’s already smallish living quarters.
Gamely, the little fella would munch on a few nuts, though he was already paunchy for his breed. When people saw him eating, they might say something like – “I heard about those eyeball-talking chipmunks. Look at him – he sure likes nuts. Throw him some, will you Hortense?” And frequently Hortense would respond by throwing yet more nuts into the hopelessly over-filled cage.
After spending the afternoon watching, though not throwing any nuts, I leaned against the poor fella’s cage and offered him a sip of my ice tea which he gratefully accepted.
“So,” I said finally, figuring the ice tea had broken the… “So,” I said finally, “do you have anything you would like to say?”
Lips formed grotesquely below the pupils, probably because there are not many non-grotesque ways that lips can form on eyeballs. “Please keep your nuts to yourself,” he said softly, before putting up an “on break” sign and burrowing into his massive nut pile.
I spent a century or five meditating on the words, “please keep your nuts to yourself.” I mentioned the words to Dirk, who was not impressed; though I’ve never found Dirk willing to give intelligent rodents all the credit they’re due.
I later learned that the species developed a nut allergy and were now extinct. I decided I wasn’t much for meditation, and had not thought about the eyeball-talking chipmunks until that moment when I faced Ono’s literally silent, but figuratively accusing eyes.
As I anticipated, my encounter with the extinct rodent was no help to me at all.
“You know,” said Mage-e-not. “I think she’s angry with you.”
I said nothing.
“I can usually tell these things,” said Mage-e-not as if I needed clarification on the matter.
“Thanks,” I said, offering him an algae bar that I had been hoping to offer to Ono during breakfast. Mage-e-not took the bar from my hand, smelled it, touched the end briefly with his tongue, and finally bit into it.
“What do you think?” I asked.
“It’s hideous,” he said, “but given time, I think I could really come to hate it.”
Tune in next Friday when our intrepid Fellowship of the Bring gallantly seeks escape from a massive herd of sheep.
Actually they just panic.
And they said I couldn’t write high adventure!
So I search YouTube for talking eyeballs and I find something. Either I need to watch more TV, or less YouTube.