A short story by Tanner Davenport
I assure… ou… …continue to exist. Unfortunately, I took your advice to smack Doug in the head while we were operating in low levels of interstellar medium, which caused a small puncture in his helmet upon impact with my fist. The subsequent deficiency in his oxygen intake before I was able to support him back to the ship likely caused slight brain damage, which contributed to his forgetting to refuel the ship when we stopped for gas.
When we encountered the gravitational field around the planetoid C-43X2 several months later in our voyage, we had no means of escaping its influence and crash landed on the planet. Doug perished in the landing. I had to temporarily abandon my mission and assimilate into the alien society on the small planetoid, in which time I fell in love with a green-tentacled beauty named Cilqdreqrt. Within months we were engaged to be wed, until I caught her in the middle of one of her many affairs she had been having. She subsequently robbed me and left me penniless. I am now alone and destitute, living in a back alley while I attempt to repair the fragments of both my ship and my broken heart. I just received the bubblegum toothpaste and the whisk, which serve as bittersweet reminders of the home I may never be able to return to.
Also, while I am flattered by your assumption that I am an intergalactic traveler, I have so far traveled exclusively on an intragalactic capacity and am not yet licensed to operate beyond that.
BZZZZT… BRZZZZZZZT… BRRRRZZZZZZZZZZZZT…
…pologies, I am currently (sic) interruptions in my efforts… my …mitting responses. As the planetoid moves (sic) western quadrature in its orbit, the pathway of our correspondence… this …binary system’s stars their greatest propensity to interfere through solar activity…
…is a shame about the wedding. I had booked the Wambarg Zarbooglers, the best neo tentacle-metal band this side of planetoid C-43X2, with special guest Juq’wus Ni’a’alqi, who of course requires no introduction. When Juq’wus heard about my engagement going sour, he invited me backstage… BZZZZZZZT …concerts (sic) even pulled me on-stage to join him in a duet. My thoughts were still on my beloved Cilqdreqrt, and I wept bitterly throughout the song, but it turns out that the noise of incoherent crying and drunken shouting is what the majority of mainstream radio airplay resembles on planetoid C-43X2.
My transformation from heartbroken vagrant to swaggering rock star occurred overnight – literally, for night lasts several weeks on the planetoid. My first three albums each went 60x platinum. Critics hailed me as a virtuoso in unintelligible sobbing. Unfortunately, with the fame came my first ventures into alcohol and drug abuse, prostitution, and soon after that widely publicized confrontations with the press, with other bands, ex-spouses, and my friends.
At the apex of a particularly raucous party I had held at my mansion, I hurled the very toaster you had sent me as a wedding gift at my dearest friend Juq’wus, who was struck in the head. Weeping, Juq’wus picked up the toaster with one tentacle and stared at me, crying, “Look at your life! Is this really what you want, Euripides? Is this what you want?” And he slammed the toaster on the granite floor. The toaster broke, so I am unable to return it to you in its current state nor can I be considered responsible for the damage it has sustained, but if you are agreeable I can provide you with an address that you can reach Juq’wus at.
…deeply aggrieved to hear about the [misfortunes] you have encountered in your efforts to rescue me… BZZZZZT …regards to your vanishing message, I perfectly understand the need for secrecy. The umbrella was more appreciated than you know, although a previous package of yours unfortunately has had disastrous consequences for me: the bubblegum toothpaste, which I used as an additive to one of the dishes I served at a dinner in my manor with the Drurhiic, ambassador to planetoid C-4X32. What I did not know at the time was that the ambassador was a crucial figure in preventing a fragile alliance of multiple planets in the system from destabilizing into war. I also was not aware that Drurhiians are mortally allergic to bubblegum.
Two months later, the old C-4X32 republic finally toppled, and the revolutionaries had strong political motivation to have me assassinated. All day and all night, the C-4X32 government forces rained hellfire on my remote manor, reducing it to rubble while I remained burrowed in the bomb shelter dozens of feet below.
In the morning I resurfaced and made my trek across the desert of Neimghod, with your umbrella my single cover from the acidic rain that descends in that region. The soles of my boots dissolved beneath my feet, and I bled profusely over the caustic sand dunes, but still I struggled on with my sights on the pillar of smoke on the horizon. My vision blurred, my head swam, my legs screamed, and the scarlet trail behind me evaporated in the heat of the two suns with a sinister crackle.
About the author/artist:
Tanner Davenport is an emerging author/artist residing in Austin, Texas.
“A self-proclaimed ‘punk-hippie singer-songwriter weirdo-artist,’ Tanner has always had his greatest passion in writing stories and poetry. Originally an English major at the University of Texas at Austin, he transferred over to Alcoholism and Waiting Tables Inattentively after a semester of college while continuing to create in the varied media he loved. After living in Austin for three years, Tanner released his debut EP ‘Invertebrate Musings’ in early 2018, written largely about his experiences and relationships with dear friends that continue to be among the most cherished parts of his life. His book further pursues the themes addressed on his music, most of all the personalized difficulties and tragedies youth experiences in the turbulent energies of the city.” - source Amazon.com
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