The following story also appears in my short story collection, An Optimist’s Journal of the End of Days and Other Stories, published via Venetian Spider Press.
So innocent looking, yet so deadly.
That was Karen’s last thought as she looked at the small, colorful gummies sitting on the counter. She had lined them up for tea, thinking they might melt and make nice sweeteners for the steaming brew. Who knew? She wasn’t posh. She wasn’t cultured. She liked her sweet tooth, and if the candy didn’t dissolve she’d still have a treat when she reached the bottom of her china cup.
However, how was she to know that the assorted soft candies left on her doorstep the night before were not from a secret admirer but rather the abandoned children of a lost traveller among the stars? That the traveller’s race, though tiny, was deadly when crossed and not prone to forgiving transgressions? So when Karen unsealed the little plastic package of rainbow colored gummies, she simply released them from their airlocked space. That was no matter; they were adaptable. But they could not, apparently, adapt to scalding liquid.
So as Karen poured the freshly brewed tea into her clean, white china cup, she was ill-prepared for the screams of agony emitted by the little orange gummy resting in its bottom. She gasped and nearly dropped the pot. Then chastising herself for her foolishness, she realized there must have been an air-pocket or something in the candy that caused the squealing noise. Oh well, it’d still taste fine.
She popped the little orange gummy, now flattened and mushy, onto her waiting tongue, bit down, and swallowed. The squealing stopped.
But Orangie’s brothers and sisters started, and soon she lay bleeding on the floor from a thousand small bites. They were insanely fast. As she watched the rainbow assortment of gummies advance on her prone figure, she realized that Orangie was the lucky one.
He had been consumed in a single bite.
*image courtesy of BigFoto.com
*inspired by a photo prompt at the six minute story site. Again, I ran out of time! But the story was too good to just stop, so I’m posting it here. I hope you enjoyed it!