It was a long day, and I needed a break. I headed for the safest place for me, the Uthorogud restaurant. It was not my usual hour to visit but I needed something that would fill my tummy and ease my tension. The physical labor didn’t bother me… I actually appreciated some hard work after a long stretch of boring lectures and humdrum BS… It was the mental and emotional labors that were killing me. I truly believed that I was never going to win; my enthusiasm for my idea was draining away. Suicide had come to my mind on several occasions, but without possessions, I had no means to achieve such a thing. In short, my situation was a joke, if not completely sad.
It was a typical crowd in the restaurant; the line wasn’t too long. When I entered, Forelache beamed with joy to find a familiar face inside his place. I barely gave him a head nod; my aching body dragged towards the counter of foods. He could tell that I was not in the greatest of moods and tuned down his energetic personality. He scooped up some ragitoad. (My favorite! The sautéed lung from a shark-like fish in the Uthorogud colony of Korsis.) The lungs were small and easy to eat with my fingers; the preferred way to eat any Uthorogud food.
I sat at a table in the center of the room; my chosen eating area was void of customers, surrounded by a moat of empty chairs. Everyone else was lining the walls, quietly eating like they were afraid someone was going to catch them enjoying Uthorogud cuisine.
The food was enjoyable; the atmosphere was somber quiet. Until, Jig entered the establishment. He was one of Alex’s friends who gave himself the nickname of “Saber Saw.” For those of you who are ignorant- although sounding scary in name- the saber saw was a small blade that made circular and curvy patterns in wood. It was deadly if someone wanted to take the time to cut off a finger in five minutes. It had another name, the jig saw. So in turn, I called him Jig; it just seemed to fit his personality.
When he walked, there was an odd bounce to his body, almost cartoon-like. He was bold and confident when he shouldn’t have been. He fancied himself as a linguist and apparently had studied some Uthorogud language, poorly. He entered Forelache’s restaurant to test out some tasty words that he plucked out of an Uthorogud dictionary.
He bounce-walked towards the counter and stood there eyeing the foods as he hopped in place. He nodded his head approvingly like he was an expert in Uthorogud cuisine and judging their quality. After several moments of contemplation, he said, “Ohhh, retijeel and fornishens. Very nice selection.” He was trying to impress… well, someone. The mispronunciations were hurting my ears. I wasn’t offended by the insult to their culture; I was offended for my friend. I could see his face fighting against the urges of his angrier nature, restraining himself from launching a fist across the counter.
For the record- and according to Jig- Forelache was offering Tragorikhan feces and a children’s toy used for a game of Tag. (Ignorantly, most humans referred to it as Cooties Tag because the game was intended to instill the idea that boys and girls remain separated until they were ready for mating and pooping out babies.)
Jig continued to bounce in place, ignorant of the insult to the cook and oblivious to his impending doom. “I see you have sautéed some georgians and gorgishshnauz.” Listening to him mispronounce the words was making me wince. It sounded like he was mixing German with baby words. I could translate the last word as ear sausage but the formal word was the name for people from Georgia; there was no word in Uthorogud anywhere close to georgians.
He pointed a finger in the air to add something, “Let’s not forget to add some terentino sauce to that!” He wagged his finger at Forelache as if shaming him. Forelache’s face scrunched into an insulted scowl while his head tilted sideways. He was using all of his strength to avoid grabbing the insolent moron, laying his body on the grill, chopping him up and serving him for dinner. It would have been more than appropriate considering that terentino meant “serve me up.”
But Forelache was still restrained, eyeing the moronic human, still brewing in his evil thoughts to enact revenge but reminding himself to remain calm. Jig still jiggled in place like a toy that was wound up.
It was not Forelache that laid a hand on the boy, nor I. There was another Uthorogud in the restaurant. He suddenly stood up. No one noticed him before that moment and then everyone saw him. The Uthorogud had been scowling in the corner for the entire time. The shadows had swallowed him up, like the lights refused to brighten his face until he came out of the corner. When he stood, he was at least seven feet tall, the tallest Uthorogud I had ever seen. He could have lifted a hand and raised the ceiling with his pinky. His facial expressions warned anyone that he was a quiet man who spoke through his actions.
He took two steps (ten steps for the average person for the same distance), and he towered over Jig. Jig looked up his nostrils and smiled confidently. He was not intimidated by his size, too sure of his shield of arrogant invincibility by the reassuring lies of the Conglomerates.
He jiggled in place while pointing fingers at the Uthorogud’s stomach like he was orchestrating a symphony. “Ah, so I see that you wish to tussle on the ghorishintik pharinthin plagists.”
(For the record, these spellings were the best choices for the mispronounced words.) I was pretty sure that my obnoxious peer was trying to accept a challenge to wrestle ghorkishins, which is a type of alligator crossed with a pig. I did not particularly care for the meat but their tongue was delicious when mixed in a salad of pharin entrails. Obviously, that was not what he said. The best translation would be, “Shall I feast in my own blood.” Although that comment made Forelache turn a curious stare towards the human, the taller Uthorogud’s face remained stoic.
Jig added with extra zeal while stabbing his finger into his stomach, “Frakish zhen zooks porinst faeirnt.”
Again, I apologize. That second idiotic phrase was more self evident in translation as to what he was trying to say. He attempted to speak a common Uthorogud phrase, “Then you shall offer me the respect of your finest daughter.” The old phrase was a surrender to the resolution of a conflict with respect. This common phrase was not taken literally in contemporary times. The race no longer considered their daughters as something to be bartered like livestock. The females were accepted as equals throughout society, earned by the first female Emperor Kirnest who challenged her predecessor to death after he had ordered the execution of her husband. She didn’t have to issue any amendment or decree to demand equal rights for the rest of her sex; it was accepted once she arose to power. It was accepted by example.
However, what he really said was, “When your mother wakes, I shall eat her.”
I was not sure when I stood up, but between the two insults, I had arose to my feet. After the last comment, even the tall Uthorogud revealed a shocked expression; his two eyes widened slightly (that was him being shocked.) A momentary pause passed; I could hear my Adam’s apple gulp. I even noticed that the other patrons had stopped eating. I was sure that they couldn’t understand the words but knew that the foolish human had made an insult. I always wondered how people could sense trouble coming, a sixth sense developed out of the silence, like empathic waves of hostility, the crushing blows of egos preparing to do war…
Like a bag of oranges, the Uthorogud lifted Jig from his feet. The Uthorogud barely growled at the foolish human as he smeared his face into the ceiling. At first, I thought the Uthorogud was going to snap his back in two pieces but instead, he dumped the boy into the counter of food. He dipped his face into some rekigard and then slid his body over the florektine. I giggled as he soiled Jig with Uthorogud foods. At the end of the assault, the Uthorogud slammed Jig’s body to the floor, and it thudded three times across the tiles like he was skipping a stone on a pond.
Just then, the yellow jackets arrived. Chief of Security Highbrow looked over the place, sizing up the scene, determining the culprits; mentally dividing the guilty from the innocent in the matter of seconds.
Copyright 2011, 2014
By Jax E. Garson
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