Monday, February 3, 2014


“You know?” Ch’Voga said to the Monotooth, “I do not have any experience or knowledge of your kind aside from legend and rumor but I’m beginning to suspect you are an uncommon example of your people.”  It was hopping about in front of him and thrashing the sand, throwing it on its head, the shutters on its eyes clicking together as they almost rhythmically fluttered; not entirely un-like castanets.  “I don’t know whether to be more scared or less.”  It stopped.  Just stopped.  Then it slashed the air and resumed the display.

“You didn't kill me initially.  You’ve kept me alive,  dragging me all around this desert, even giving me water, thank you by the way.”  Every time he spoke, the Monotooth stopped and adopted an intense listening posture.  It would hold still even long after he was done speaking.  “You’ve killed your own kind before they killed me.  Again, thank you, I think.  Why are you doing this?”  The Monotooth held still in a squat before him, its skull-like head extended forward as if straining to catch every sound he made.  “Can you even understand me?”  Its hand twitched a chopping motion.  “You want me to be quiet?”  It slashed at him with its hand.  A violent motion, but then, all its motions were violent.  It sat still, staring intently at him.  The silence stretched out between them.  Then it climbed nearly into his lap (it was amazingly light) and took his mouth in its spidery fingers (it was frighteningly strong!).  He tried to pull away but he was still tied and laying against a rock face of the cave.  There was nowhere to go.  He kept expecting the tooth to extend but it didn’t.  Instead the creature worked his jaw, open and shut, open and shut.

“Ah yew heckin’ fuh caffitieth?”  The Monotooth jumped back to a more respectful distance and did its listening squat.  “Thank you, but my usual dentist is a bit more gentle.  Wait.  Not teeth!  Talking! do..want me to talk?”  Again the chopping motion with the hand.  “Does that mean, “yes,” then?”  The same chopping motion!  “Oh, my sweet Lord!   Dear friend!  We have just communicated!  This is momentous!  This is…Has anyone ever spoken with your kind before?  I mean, of course, and lived to speak of it.”  The hand slashed the air in the opposite direction.  “Does that mean, “no”?”

The former chopping gesture.

“O Yahweh be praised!  We have two words between us!  Chop-Yes and Slash-No.  Binary communication.  Amazing!  And now my mind can conjure only “why” questions.  Typical.  Yes or no, Ch’Voga, yes or no…mm.  Well, the pressing question would be: have you kept me alive for a purpose?”


“To eat me later?”  The Monotooth stopped.  It had been hopping in a slightly circular pattern.  Now its bony shoulders slouched and its eyeslits almost closed and it seemed very, very small.  “Not yes but not no.  You don’t know why you are keeping me, do you, friend?”  The body did not move.  The soulless, mechanical eyes alone opened a hair wider and stared at him.

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