Nightshades

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Heartburn

Hera gripped her abdomen and grimaced with pain. The two human lovebirds she had eaten that morning were still putting up a fight in her lower stomach. She had prematurely swallowed them to avoid detection from the humans in her government office building and was now reaping the rewards for it. She burped up expensive cologne and faltered a little at the taste. It was clear that the male spice was trying way too hard to attract the female spices.

“Why can’t you just die already,” Said Hera as she searched her big wooden desk for the box of colored stones. The humans were always eating the colored stones to help them with their indigestion; especially the heavier ones. Hera would normally know the name of the flavorful rocks but her data disc was malfunctioning and causing all sorts of problems. She pulled open the bottom draw and found what she was looking for under a box of paper clips. She fumbled with the container as she popped open the lid and started empting the contents into her mouth.

When it was empty she threw it across the room and waited for the intense pain to subside. The flavored stones were delicious but nothing really got better. Hera burped again; this time blowing out a cloud of fruity dust into the air. She was getting desperate now. It felt like the young couple had only gotten madder at the introduction of the stomach stones. The label on the bottle had said it worked for all food groups; it obviously lied. Hera was sure she would throw them up if it continue on this way. She hated throwing up more than anything in the world… Hera came to a resolve at that moment. Throwing up her lunch was not an option!

Her next appointment was in a few minute and she had to concentrate. With her data disc broken she couldn’t quite remember all the psychological terms that the humans had created for their illnesses. Humans where full of problems…and flavor. Hera had only been in the 4th dimension for a few months and had already devoured several humans around the city. She had a big glass jar of Onyx stones sitting on her kitchen table to prove it. Each one was a different shade of green and each one represented a fully digested human.

These homo sapiens were so enriched with social complexities and emotional problems; especially when it came to love. Was it any wonder they were constantly fighting with each other? Hera could sit down for hours on end and scroll through their lives like a three dimensional book. Sometimes whole weekends would fly by in the body of a stranger she had ingested.

Maybe it was the problems that made the humans so flavorful? Thought Hera between stabbing bouts of pain in her abdomen. She ignited her Citrine Stone next to her heart and summoned a small portal. Time and space opened up to her as she watched the small wormhole take on a perfect circle in the air. She gazed through the cosmic window at her blond coworker seated in the small cubical. She was three stories down in the claims department, but that distance meant nothing to a Nightshade. If Hera really wanted; she could just open a portal and walk into the comforts of her human home right now.

“Daphne!” Whispered Hera sharply to the human imposter. She was trying to be as secretive as possible. It was forbidden by “The Giver of Knowledge” to summon portals without the other Nightshade knowing it first. Normally Hera played by the rules but this was different; her data disc was broken and she had no way of contacting anyone. She had to take the risk.

“Daphne! I am down here. Can you see me?” said Hera.

Daphne finished her data entry of one of the ‘Dead Man’ forms. It was a claim by a guy in Arizona who was definitely not one of their kind. Why do the humans pretend to be something they’re not? Thought Daphne as she looked down at the waste basket. She smiled habitually when her eyes met Hera’s. It was always a good day when she got to see her fellow sisters. She turned to her longtime friend and slammed her wrists together and shouted at the top of her lungs, “Kavala, to my sister of The Black Forest. Long live the Erlking!”

“Be quite you fool!” Said Hera sharply as she looked around the cubical. She couldn’t tell if they were alone or not, “The Sons of Adam and the Daughters of Eve might here you!”

Daphne looked confused at this rebuke. She reached up and touched the data disc at the back of her neck. It seemed to be still working properly. The thing was sending signal into her central cortex at a billion pulses a second. She was currently listening to her favorite Christian Apologist C. S. Lewis. She paused the narration to respond, “Hera I have discovered something amazing today! I know why ‘The Giver of Knowledge’ calls the humans Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve. It’s all in this story about Lions, and Witches, and Wardrobes. You have to listen to it on your data disc later… I’ll send it over to you!”

Daphne clapped with excitement and tried to transfer the content of the book to her sister via the data disc. She looked for the sticky note she had written on moments ago. She found it under some ‘Dead Man’ forms she had already filed. Her hands trembled with excitement, “It is a reference to a book called the…” She paused and tried to sound it out the best she could, “The Bi…ble. It is in reference to being human and who created the humans...”

“We don’t have time for this,” Said Hera Sharply.

Daphne ignored her sister. The topic was way too important to pass up, “I have set an appointment to have some Christians in my neighborhood over for dinner tonight! Once I am done eating them I should have all the personal knowledge I need to make better decisions on the subject matter. One of the humans coming over tonight is an ordained minister of a local church.” She paused and rubbed her chin softly, “I wonder what he will taste like most...”

“Focus!” said Hera. She threw a stapler through the portal and hit Daphne square in the chest. Daphne let the stapler roll off her lap and onto the ground. She couldn’t help herself anymore. She was getting too excited about the exchange of knowledge that would take place after digesting the religious zealots. Her human lungs started to restrict themselves and cut off the air to her brain; things were going dark. She begin to wheeze like a rusty old swing set. She gripped her chest and searched her desk for an inhaler. She hated how weak and frail this particular human body was. Daphne had mistakenly eaten a human with underlining conditions and was paying the consequences for it. She had been trying to mix together a cure that would get the blood to process sugar better. She was on the brink of a break through.

“We don’t have time for this!” complained Hera sharply through a burp. Her human eyes watered as the taste of strong cologne escaped her nostrils. She could feel one of the lovebirds coming back up her throat; trying to claw its way to freedom. It felt like the male was trying to escape the relationship early; how brave of him. She grimaced as she forced it back down into her gut. They were going to get digested whether they like it or not. She needed a good love story to entertain her tonight, “I prematurely swallowed two humans this morning and need a hellraiser tonic before my next meeting. Do you have any gizzard potion to make then digest easier?”

Daphne had managed to find her inhaler and was sucking down the gas quickly. Her lungs relaxed as she turned to Hera. She cough her disapproval of the human drug, “I am out of gizzard…potion…Hera…”

Cough! Cough!

Hera’s heart sank into her chest as the Prewitt Labs portal machine in the corner started humming softly. It was coming to life whether she liked it or not. Her next appointment would be here in a matter of minutes now. She was running out of time.

“Just give me what you have in your inventory!” Hera yelled with frustration. There was no way she was going to throw up to humans in the middle of a Nightshade interview. This would be a dead give way that she was a Nightshade pretending to be a doctor. Humans were extremely intolerant creatures. They couldn’t understand, or appreciate, the intricacies of a hostel take over. Hera burped again. The coupled in her gut had settled down a bit but were still causing discomfort, “He’ll be here soon! Give me something!” she Screamed at Daphne, “Ahh!’

Daphne yelled incoherently too; she didn’t like being placed under time constraints! The humans in the office were always giving her time constraints that pushed the limits of her capabilities. She felt like she was going to explode inside. They both where yelling at the top of their lungs like lunatics now! Their voice combining to make and awful harmony.

Daphne tapped into her Citrine Stone and opened up a portal to her home. She reached into the cosmic window and tipped over colorful vials on her office desk. They clanked to the fool as sweat dripped down her forehead and onto her nose. She grabbed a purple vial from the mess and handed it over to Hera without thinking about it. She was still screaming when Hera’s portal collapsed into thin air. Her chest was moving up and down like a crazy metronome.

“What the hell is going on over here?!” Screamed and angry voice.

A big burly man rounded the corner of the cubical like an angry bull. He was holding a cup of coffee in one meaty hand, “You’re acting like someone is sawing off your bloody leg, Brinda! Everyone in the building can hear your nonsense!”

She turned to the big human man and tried to put a smile on her face. Her human checks were turning bright red as she tried to think of an excuse for her odd behavior, “Sorry Big Tom... I was listening to a very scary book on tape and couldn’t help myself! I am a sucker for the world of suspense and terror!”

“What the hell where you listing to?” ask Tom.

“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe…” Daphne cringed inside as her choice of novels passed by her lips; it had been the first thing to come to mind. She tried to save herself, “I didn’t realize how scary it was. I am terrified of witches.”

“Isn’t that a children’s book?” ask Tom confused.

Daphne coughed and picked up her inhaler. She sucked more of the gas into her lungs and stared at Tom. After a few seconds she nodded her head. Her throat was feeling soar now from the excursion, “Yes Tom, it is a children’s book… but you know what I hate more than children?”

Tom looked confused at the question.

Daphne continued without a response, “Those bloody bleachers infecting our society!”

Tom loosened up at this comment. He held up his coffee mug and smiled at the blatant prejudice toward the Nightshade race, “You’re a woman after my own heart Brenda. Just keep the crazy down to an eleven and will all be fine.”

“That’s easy for you to say Big Tom.” Said Daphne as she put her arms on her shoulders and pretended to shiver with fright, “it’s hard for a woman to sleep at night knowing that those things are out there in our society.”

“You have been saying that for years Brinda. So long as you are with Big Tom nothing is going to happen to yeah… you hear me?” said Tom. He took a long hard sip of his Coffee and looked the woman up and down flirtatiously. Brinda wasn’t the prettiest woman in the office; that was for sure. She was slightly heavier and had a mole on he left check with a hair growing out of it… but she would definitely pass for datable in Tom’s book of riddles.

He winked at her.

Daphne pretended to be bashful with the big human man. She knew she could get to Tom’s heart with her girly expressions. The truth is, she had eaten Brinda a few months ago and knew all the prejudice this woman held for Nightshades and diet programs. She also knew about the affections that Brinda held toward Big Tom. They had kissed once at a company party and things had gotten a little spicy, “You always know what to say to put this girl’s heart at ease.”

She laughed and then snorted loudly.

Tom expression dropped. He was suddenly remind of why this relationship hadn’t gone any father. Brinda had this nervous tick that always bother him. He retreated a bit, “Well, if you need anything you know where to find me.”

Daphne watched him go with a smile. The real Brinda would have been perplexed at the reason for the sudden retreat, but Daphne knew better. Daphne knew that her human laugh was too much to bear for the big man.

“Don’t be a stranger” Daphne called out desperately.

When Tom was gone she turned back to her desk and picked up a “Dead Man” form. Her thoughts turned to Hera in the office above. She hoped shed had given her the right potion.

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