At the Edge of the Abyss of Madness

–Oh Jesus Christ!
–Sorry, I shouldn’t have moved so quickly.
–No, no. Really it’s me. I feel awful about this.
–Don’t. It’s instinct. It’s biology. You can’t help it.
–Still, it seems rude. You don’t feel the same way about us?
–Not at all. Honestly, we think you’re kind of cute the way you’ve got hair in some places but not everywhere, and the way you only have two legs.
–Oh Jesus Jesus Christ!
–Sorry. Was it something I said?
–No. It’s me, but…maybe it’s best if you don’t make any references to quantities of limbs.

–Your circular toothy maw.
–Which one?
–The cone-shaped one. The one that has the teeth going all the way back into the throat.
–Yes.
–That looks like something on a giant carnivorous plant.
–Oh, a plant. I hadn’t thought of that.
–Well, sometimes you kind of…pulse it at me.
–Yes?
–And when you do…When you do it feels like you’re about to eat me.
–Eat you? Really?
–Yes! I mean you’re right up in my face!
–I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have laughed. It’s just, that’s a personal tic of mine.
–…
–You have to understand that among us a pulsating toothy maw comes off as self-deprecating, but in a funny sort of way. I guess subconsciously I was trying to put you at ease.
–…
–I can totally see how it seemed like I was trying to eat you though.

–Yikes!
–Yikes!
–Sorry. Better now.
–What the hell was that?
–It’s just when you put your limbs around the middle and kinda pulled, pulled upwards.
–I’m not following.
–The middle of your, you know, body, and bent at the elbows. Then your lower sheath sort of, moved upwards and…smoothed itself out.
–You mean when I hitched up my pants like this?
Yes yes that please don’t do it again!…I can’t explain it. That just gives me the heebie-jeebies.

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