“You know what,” she says. “You and I and everybody…we’re all pretty much aliens to each other.”
i chose this free tor short not only because of my abiding scholarly interest in the field of monsterporn, but because it was listed under “humor” in tor’s genre dropdown and i was hoping for something short and snappy to start my predawn saturday morning off with a laugh. but this isn’t even a little bit funny, unless your laughter is triggered by characters with names like “marriage” and “caribou,” in which case, try some morality plays – lotsa chortles there for you. i don’t know if my current “everyday is sad!” mood is infecting everything i read, but this seemed much more gloomy than funny, full of dissatisfied couples settling,
She admits that she will marry someday and it might as well be him, and smelling weakness, he says he wants nothing but marriage, which makes her cry and hold herself, confessing that she feels dead but all right, dammit, he wins.
later, entering into a swinger-relationship with the neighbors who wrangle them into agreeing to let an alien into their bed. for diplomacy.
this is where a traditional monsterporn story would get funny.
not this one. this one just got sadder.
and i suppose the ending was meant to be a qualified happy ending, suggestive of hope:View Spoiler »“Why were you interested in me?”
“I don’t remember being interested,” she says. “But I kept thinking that something intriguing might happen, if I gave you a chance.”
“And you’re still waiting, I bet.”
“No, I gave that up long ago.”
They watch each other for a few moments. Neither can be sure when the other starts to laugh, but then both of them are chuckling, and they hug, and holding hands, they set out on the journey to the kitchen, ready to carve what can be eaten out from the middle of the burnt and the sorry. « Hide Spoiler
but i’ve had more hope for a couple at the end of a story about a girl and a swamp monster. for all their differences, they’ll always have pond scum…
again – maybe my mood, but i wouldn’t go into this looking for comedy.
read it for yourself here: