This story is not related to anything anywhere. Enjoy. Concrit is welcome and eagerly anticipated!
(Oh, and Mom? The prompt was “jealousy”.)
Man-Eating Pygmies, by AmyBeth Inverness
Gloriana’s normally sea-blue eyes turned green. He’d one-upped her again. Sorensen had no shame, and enough money that most people didn’t care. The filthy rich could indulge in shameless behavior, so long as they didn’t Sheen themselves.
Gloriana’s accomplishments were built on hard work. She had done the legwork on life-supporting planets herself, and her contribution to the society’s menagerie was impressive. There were cross-eyed toads from Sygnus Three, bipolar bees from the smallest moon of Jamison’s Planet, and walking woodchips from Wiebe’s World.
Sorensen was the only explorer to bring back a hominid.
Not just one, but a whole village of short, bi-pedal creatures that looked frightfully similar to human beings. He had scooped them up in toto with their little grass huts and some kind of domesticated fur ball that reminded her of a guinea pig.
On the edge of the balcony overlooking their exhibit, a sign proclaimed The Peaceful Pygmies of Colantoni. Sorensen was posing for the paparazzi with whom he had a mutually fulfilling relationship, leaning casually against the railing. His tall frame teetered over the relatively low barrier. Sorensen was tall and blonde and handsome as a Ken doll, with money and brains to boot. Gloriana was just as blonde and her eyes were even bluer. The paparazzi loved her too, just for different reasons. The same two reasons Sorensen liked her, even though his respect was something he would never offer.
Gloriana looked at her reflection in the darkened glass of an exhibit under construction. Her reasons were in danger of busting out, as she had worn the most revealing possible neckline in anticipation of the press’ visit to the menagerie.
She watched Sorensen eat up the attention, and wished there was something she could do to make him lose his composure for just a moment, just long enough for the photographers to get some other expression than the toothy white smile that was permanently painted on.
She sauntered casually up to the edge of the crowd, listening to Sorensen’s self-aggrandizing speech about how he had found the little people. Subtly, she waited till his gaze wandered to her, and she took that moment to make a tiny adjustment to her bra.
It worked. It was just a moment of distraction when he lost his train of thought, but the next moment he turned back to the paparazzi and a flash illuminated his face. He teetered backwards for a moment, flailing his arms. It seemed that he would be able to right himself, but he fell backwards and landed with a splash in the moat that separated the pygmy camp from the observation wall.
Gloriana and the press rushed to the railing as the pygmies rushed to the moat. They approached cautiously, seeing the gangly explorer sitting up in their moat, his knees creating tiny islands in the water. Curious at first, there was a sudden change in their demeanor and the pack descended upon the helpless explorer. He screamed in agony as they tore him limb from limb.
Gloriana stumbled backwards, hitting her head on a stone bench. Blackness covered her sight, and she came to a few minutes later to find a handsome EMT leaning over her.
Sorensen had not stood a chance. His shoes were all that remained, and they were enshrined in their own exhibit in the menagerie’s main hall.
And the sign was changed to The Man-Eating Pygmies of Colantoni.
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