To market to market to buy a fat Gnorph

Submitted into Contest #67 in response to: Write a space adventure story that features a visit to an alien marketplace.... view prompt


Adventure Funny Science Fiction

Marc held on tight to his father’s hand. This was to be his first trip to Octavia in Sector Three and he had heard from his older brothers just how big the Octavian markets were, how easy it would be for a little Forian like Marc to become lost forever.

‘You can let go for now, son,’ Marc’s father Yon sent, butterfly like antenna wiggling and waggling as the mental message was sent.

Marc’s shorter detectors vibrated as the message was received and the youngster released his deathlike grasp. Marc fidgeted then, jostled about by the flight path of the omnibus. One turn caused Marc’s footing to slip and he fell sideways for a step or two running into the rear of a rather large Hypothos.

“Hey!!” growled the pink marshmallow as it turned to face Marc and Yon. It gave both a blast of its sewer breath. Hypothos dwelt in the bowels of Sector Two where the worst of all worlds eventually ended up. Their diet was famous for its variety and distastefulness both, hence the breath that could fell a Juju-Nup at six paces.

“My… son… Means him… No disrespects…” murmured Yon, two of his three hands raised pleadingly.

Forians had little use for their mouth and tongue so vocal speech was often a challenge for them.

“Oh… My son… My son…” garbled the Hypothos before spitting a piece of rotting Doss at the pair. Little things like antenna sprouted from the top of the hulking marshmallow. They wiggled for a moment before slurping back into the pink creature’s head.

“Translate that for him!” the Hypothos growled before turning away again.

‘Pa?’ sent Marc, slits thrust open wide to show his fear and shock.

‘Fear not son, that kind are all bluster,’ replied the father. ‘They always prove to be soft on the outside, soft on the inside and nothing in the middles.’

The remainder of the trip Marc spent in his father’s shadow, well away from the Hypothos who had turned from pink to a frustrated orange.

Eventually the journey from Sector Two came to an end. Marc considered the omnibus landing far gentler than takeoff. A smart, young Forian he realized that there would be another takeoff before he and his dad were on their way home again. Before that though was the exciting exploration of the Octavian marketplace, Marc could not wait to spend his Gro-bucks. His brothers had boasted of the flavorsome sights and smells that the market place offered and all at a genuinely discounted price.

‘Stay close,’ urged Yon, thrusting his son out in front of him and giving Marc an encouraging shove as the blast doors of the omnibus slowly shuddered open.

Two waves crashed together as those wanting off the bus attempted to flow through and past those whom wanted on. For those familiar with the dance it was simple but for Marc the scents of muck and sweat and so many bodies crashing together was overwhelming. The inertia of so much movement wibbled Marc’s antenna and he received an overload of stimulation. For a mere moment the younger was blind. When the moment was over Marc’s father was gone. Marc was forced to follow the crowd; even the three arms and four base claws he ahd been birthed with were not enough that the Forian could hold his ground.

“Are you lost, little man?” growled the voice of the Hypothos after the crowd eventually flowed on by.

Marc froze for what seemed like a stretched out eternity before he slowly turned to face the giant. With all sensors closed up Marc could still detect a hint Doss and something else extremely unpleasant seeping into his skins. Marc’s annual bath could not come soon enough.

“Yes… Sirs?” the youngster replied.

“You must be first time to market?” suggested the marshmallow, turning from pink to blue and releasing a calming scent like the sweetest pilo from a herd of Koo-ah-wahi.

Marc recalled learning at schools when the Hypothos became blue they could be trusted. He extended his antenna and opened his slits. The Hypothos nodded.

“I may be bad smells but my smeller is better than all,” it promised. “We shall find your Yon before he finds us.”

True to its word the marshmallow did not take long to pick up the smells of Marc’s elder. Within an eighth of a sos the Forian pair were reunited. They were at the very verge of entering Octavian markets and thankfully Yon had stopped to pay. As a sign of appreciation the Forian offered to pay for the Hypothos too but the marshmallow waved away the offer.

“We owe you… Kind… Apolo… Sorries…” stated Yon to the Hypothos as all three arms wrapped around his son. Back with Yon and this time not letting go of his father’s hand, Marc forced open his slits to take the whole market in. True the place was huge but a Forian with a navigator’s mind like Marc calculated the layout quite quickly and easily. The moment the pair waddled their way through the first security gate Marc’s map mind was switched on. The blanket of browns and blues, salts of red and stones of the purest black. The smells were of spices and niceness and the greatest of ices. Of all the stimuli of produce it was the creatures that interested Marc the most. Races he never knew existed where there in ones and twos and droves. Language buzzed through the air from tongue and mind and everything in between, Marc observed and learnt what he could of these different kinds. On occasion Marc would send an inquiry to Yon but most often he himself could work through his misunderstanding. By the time the two Forian left for the return trip home Marc had not spent a single Gro-buck spent. His knowledge and experience, for Marc was worthy of a trillion moneys or more.

It was a most tired Marc who boarded the omnibus set for Sector Two. All three of his hands clung tight as could be to the three arms of his father. Yon continued looking downwards upon his son and smiling, thankful the boy was with him. Marc’s antenna wriggled and waggled as he shut down. He murmured in slumber the old egglet song:

‘To Octavian to Octavian to buy a fat Gnorph!

Homeward bound homeward bound via Tharoff!’

‘Hansgrath!’ thought Yon. ‘We forgot the Gnorph!’

Those that shared the omnibus with the pair of Forian shuffled away from Yon as he secreted the smell of embarrassment so common to his kind…

November 09, 2020 05:13

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02:43 Nov 17, 2020

Had lots of fun reading it, the creatures in this story gave me rick and morty vibes lol. Maybe u can check out my entry and give some much needed pointers haha. 🐫


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Tim Law
11:27 Nov 11, 2020

It was just fun to write a story that was purely and simply out of this world...


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