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Earthlings for Dummies: Chapter 3 - What is Not Food

by Elfboy, QueenShadowGem

I wake up, a little surprised. Had I been... sleeping? This is strange, I have never slept before, but I have no memory of the last few hours, and I feel very much refreshed, so that must be what happened. Momentarily panicked, I feel my face, afraid it might look like the sleeping human's again. It doesn't feel plastery, and my skin is still tanned, so I must be fine. Hmm, perhaps that other human isn't sleeping... But something is different now-- It feels like a kind of emptiness in my abdomen. What has happened to me? Suddenly, my stomach cavity makes a strange growling noise, and I realize it must be what the humans call 'hunger.' I sit up, exclaiming to myself. "Oh dear, I did not bring any edible packages! I need sustenance."

Based on my prior experience, humans do not seem to eat textiles. I need to find what they do eat. And yet... Perhaps they may? In case I am wrong, I decide I had better try the textiles at least once more.

I move over to my discarded garments from yesterday, pondering which to sample. The one the humans referred to as a 'rug' was quite undesirable, so I will try something else this time. The brightly colored rectangles that the humans called 'shower curtains' look much more desirable, so I think I will try one of those.

I pick up a blue and pink-- curtain?-- that looks good enough to consume and sink my mouth-spikes into it, attempting to tear some of it off. After some struggle, accompanied by oral pain, I succeed, managing to rip off a small chunk of the hypnotically alluring textile... It tastes of chemicals, though not particularly pleasant, it is a little better than the 'rug,' so I continue struggling to chew it. It takes several minutes, but I eventually manage to swallow some of it. I pause for a minute, trying to evaluate the success of my experiment...

Based on the many unpleasant sensations I felt during the endeavor, I do not think that 'shower curtains' are food items. After this unsuccessful venture for food I decided to test the walls-- I recalled one of the few documentaries I had managed to collect, one about a war between the Hansel tribe and the fearsome nation of Witch. As far as I could discern, it was fought over a shelter made of food, which the humans tricked and attacked each other to eat it. Like most wars, it was about lack of sustenance. I look the built's walls over and see places where they have already been broken.

Perhaps hungry humans have already tried this built? The walls seem to be made in layers of different textures and appearances. There is a thin, papery layer that is not unlike a less invincible ‘curtain’ that chips and crackles and tears off in sheets. However,upon further inspection, it seems to be a different material than ‘curtains’ altogether, more organic I believe. It too has patterns, though they are swirls of dingey beiges and dull browns. It is on the front portions of the inside walls of the shelter, and seems decorative.

Hopefully it tastes better than it looks. I strip a piece from the wall that seems most untouched and put it in my face hole. Sadly, it tastes much worse than it looks. I close my mouthhole on it and to my distaste it softens slightly, giving off an awful taste of dust and... something else... a chemical-like flavor that is very subtle. I chew and it coats my mouth spikes and the roof of my mouth and becomes so slimy I can not force myself to swallow it.

I spit out the shelter piece, unsatisfied, and grab the rug to clean my mouth hole. Maybe it's rough fibrousness will help in that way. After I’m satisfied that I have no more shelter slime in my face I look to the other wall portions with somewhat less hope. I will try one more layer, if it is not satisfactory, then I must depart the built. Looking the remaining layers over I find a very hard fibrous one, it seems like it would be much more painful then curtains. I look at the next layer and it is dry and dusty white stuff, it seems like nothing but compacted discolored beach powder, and I have tasted of that enough already.

Another layer shows a fluffy-looking colored substance that makes my mouth crevice spill. It seems to reflect light, and perks my interest. I pick up a piece and analyze it. It reflects flecks of light in places, and is an interesting shade of maroon-ish violet. As I inspect the fluffy maroon-ish compound my opposable hand extensions begin to burn and tingle. Is the fluffy material biting me? I drop it immediately, but to my dismay the burning and sharp tingles do not stop. It’s poisoned me!

If there is an antidote for fluff bites I do not have it, so I will have to let the venom run its course I presume. I wait for the burning to cease a small while, but it persists. Hmm... I suppose it would be wise to return to my ship for disinfection... but Dr. Zaylar would never let a small poisoning stop his research-- I must go on in search of sustenance and continue my book. If I go back I might lose daylight and maybe even this form, I am not certain how long humans can go without sustenance.

I must exit the built, as sustenance will not be found among the miscellaneous cloth pieces. Before I exit the built, I do a final check of my new textiles. They certainly don't fit as well on my larger body as they did on the slender ones of the humans at the beach, but they're good enough, and I'm too hungry to shapeshift right now. Perhaps I will not shift even when I'm stronger, I somewhat prefer this form, and I've grown fond of it. The cloth wrappings are most certainly much better than the rug. I again take note of their style as I see them on myself in the sunlight. The majority of my abdomen is covered, and my limbs are almost completely bare. Strange…

I play with the frilly colorful edges of the upper textile, and then have an idea; since all humans require sustenance, that means if I am hungry, surely they are as well! I look at my scanner, looking to see where the humans are located. I see small groupings of them spread throughout the area, and a few solitary ones here and there, but a little more than a lenic away is a massive, swarming hive of them. That must be some kind of tribal center, a large collection of builts all in one place.

Surely, at least some of the humans there must have edibles. Taking one last experimental nibble on the curtain, I head out for the large gathering of dots on my scanner. It looks like I will need to cross the beach again, but this time I brace for it. I still slip, but manage to land on my outstretched limbs, a marked improvement. After a few moments of walking, I come across a long, flat black path. According to my scanners, humans are traveling along this path for great distances, apparently to and from the grouping of builts.

I follow the path for a distance, until I come to the first built on the way. Many people are outside of it, they seem to be frenzying. I see them walk into the built in groups and then exit in groups holding small cylinders with pretty designs- a brown stripe around the cylinders mid section and odd green circle in the center of that. The built has the same circle, this one with print under it. It reads "Star Buck s".

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Points: 291
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Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:15 pm
Saucynugget259 says...

Nice, this is Gucci.

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549 Reviews

Points: 30142
Reviews: 549

Sun Jan 31, 2021 4:30 pm
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Tuckster wrote a review...

Hi Ethan and Gem! Tuck here with a review for you.

For starters, this was a very entertaining story written in a fitting and appropriate style to the content. The short and punchy sentences were fitting to the point of view that you selected and supported the narrative that you're constructing of a misguided but lovable alien. It was definitely an amusing story that entertained me and brightened my morning!

However, something that I was looking for that I felt I didn't see in this chapter was some backstory as to who this being is and how they came to inhabit a human body. You hinted that perhaps they are a shapeshifter, but what kind of shapeshifter would transform into a being when they don't have even a basic understanding of how to survive in that body? I think it could be amusing if this was some sort of curse instead; maybe they were cursed by another being to inhabit a human body, and they're now trying to figure out how to survive in a body they don't understand. You have some potential for funny backstory that would also build the ethos/rapport of your main character.

Another suggestion, if you're interested in really overhauling this to make it the best it can be, would be to incorporate some sort of moral, lesson, or other takeaway from this story. It doesn't have to be fable-like in how obvious it is, but some greater, abstract concept (like the importance of curiosity, the importance of adaptability, or maybe the importance of resiliency, to name a few that could be applicable to your story) would give this work some more impact. Right now it's a really fun story, and if that's all you want from it that's completely fine! Our world needs more humor and light in it, and your story provides that. However, if you want to touch the reader a little more deeply, connecting this to something deeper would be the way to do that.

I hope that these comments were helpful to you! I know that I focused a bit more on the negatives than the positives in this review, but that's because this was a really well-written and well-executed story with potential that I'm excited to help develop. You guys did a phenomenal job with this story, with my one nitpick being some more backstory to help develop that main character more than you have already. Like I said, incorporating a teachable principle into this story would take it to the "next level", so to speak, in terms of how it affects the reader. Nonetheless, this is phenomenal work and I'm excited to read more from you guys! If you have any questions please feel welcome to reach out.


I'm glad you enjoyed the story thank you :>

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52 Reviews

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Reviews: 52

Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:30 pm
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VioletFantasy wrote a review...

Hello, Violet here on this glorious review day! This story made me laugh so hard! There’s something so entertaining about seeing the human world through an extraterrestrial’s eyes, and you two have done a wonderful job at describing it.

After reading and rereading this chapter, I only found one tiny possible grammar mistake! That’s pretty amazing.

- a brown stripe around the cylinders mid section and odd green circle in the center of that.

I believe adding “an” in front of “odd green circle” would improve on this.

My favorite part of this chapter is when Bob decides to try the walls as food. His reaction to the taste of plaster is priceless!! I love how humany (not a word, but I’m using it) his instincts are during that part. He immediately takes the rug and tries to get the taste out of his mouth, something that I always do (except with something not from the floor) when I’ve tasted something bad. The attention to detail in this chapter is wonderful!!

Now, my last comment is actually a question. What is the fluffy material?? I’ve been desperately trying to guess, but I’m still not sure. I originally thought bricks, because they are maroon, but they aren’t fluffy. Is it some kind of insulation, or something else entirely? I understand if you don’t want the readers to know, but.... I would appreciate it. :)

I greatly enjoyed this masterpiece. It definitely brightened my day! I can’t wait to read any future chapters!! Have a wonderful day <33

Elfboy says...

Ahhh thank you for the review! I'm really glad you liked it, and I know Gem will be too(psssst @QueenShadowGem loooooook we got a review!)! The material is supposed to be that fiberglass insulation stuff, which upon googling I realize is not always pink, oops-- apparently me and Gem just happen to have the same stuff in our walls >.>

But yeah that's definitely one of the things that are tough to work on, sometimes descriptions we think are painfully obvious make literally no sense to anybody else in the world(this has happened a few times whoops). Do you have any suggestions on what would make that a little clearer to you? If not no worries, but either way thank you so much for your time and your review!

:> Thank you <3

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113 Reviews

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Reviews: 113

Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:59 pm
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Necromancer14 says...


I love this series

Elfboy says...

Haha yes at long last XD

Actually you're the main reason we eventually got back to it, so thanks for sticking with us XP

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48 Reviews

Points: 866
Reviews: 48

Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:57 pm
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Elfboy says...

(By the way, here's chapter two if anyone's interested!)

If you run now, you will be running the rest of your life.
— Reborn