Watching The Wonods
by Joshua Blanc
"Shh!" said Carter. "There's one now. See it, Aaron? A Wonod!"
"Ooh! Look there, some more!"
Aaron squinted in the direction Carter pointed. Beyond the long grass he could just see some small objects moving about.
"So what's a Wonod then?"
"Wonods are very elusive creatures. It's amazing we happened upon them at all here in this nuclear-waste depository. I believe we've found their habitat -- or 'Sindwib' as they themselves call it. To really get a good glimpse of their world you must first take this flat cola and pour it over yourself to mask your scent."
Carter offered the can of warm cola after first dousing his own camouflage-clad body.
"Just do it. Now follow me, I can see their vending machine."
"They live in a vending machine?"
"No. It's what they've been eating, and for some time by the looks of it."
They moved closer through the grass.
"Yes, this one was killed and dragged back here a good fortnight ago I'd guess."
"Yes. Oh, wow! Look now! That one there is their Fibbler, or Grand Wonod. He's ripping the shit out of that coin slot mechanism. And look at all the little ones gathering up the pull-tabs."
Other Wonods were hacking at the vending machine with little picks and axes, and singing a happy little song.
"Christ. They're brutal little bastards. But shit, they're cute!"
"Don't let that fool ya. They aren't Smurfs y'know. These guys'll eat your toes off the first chance they get!"
"Here, stand on this fridge and we'll get a better view. Over there's the nursery where the young ones are raised, and the fungus orchard where they harvest their pus-worms ..."
"Hey!" said a small, angry voice.
"Uh-oh! They've spotted us! Better give 'em your watch!"
"Will that help? Carter?"
"Aaargh! They're on me! Ow! Owwwwwww!"
Aaron tore his watch off and threw it into the fray of puppy-eyed, potato-shaped little boogers. There was nothing he could do for Carter, the Wonods had already hacked several parts of his body off, and were singing a song about it. He ran off as fast as he could before they started on verse two: Aaron's Innards.
"Must ... get to ... car!"
He reached out and wrenched open the driver-side door. Into the seat faster than you could say: 'help I'm being torn apart by Wonods!' and flipped the ignition. There was no sound of an engine roaring to life. Not even the pathetic cough of an engine that wouldn't start. He jumped out and lifted the bonnet. The engine was gone, and in its place -- Wonods!
"Nooooooo!" he cried as the Wonods jumped him.
"Heh-heh-heh. Time for that second verse!"