Outland: Part V

The Human Outlands

Part V: Human Weirdness

Being in a human cafeteria was intimidating; there were a lot of people, hundreds even, and I didn’t know anything. One by one, I examined the counters, trying to understand the foods being offered, some of them more understandable to me. Sadly they didn’t have the things I’d grown used to eating in Johannesburg…

Also most of it used land animal meat which scared me; I didn’t want to be sick.

After a few minutes I was drawn to one of the counter, the sign said ‘teppanyaki’ but I didn’t know what the word meant. Unlike the others, that counter was strange, the cooks making the food right before you, tossing it around a flat heated surface. They were really good, handling multiple orders at the same time.

The humans around me ordered things but I didn’t know what they were. But It had to be really good because lots of people went for it.

“What can we get you?” One of the two cook asked, a human male. His features reminded me of Mace and Annabelle, maybe they were of a similar ethnic group? I didn’t know…

“I don’t know…” I said. “I’m not familiar with human food. Do you have something without land meat?”

“We sure do! Can you eat seafood little one?” The man asked.

I nodded.

“Alright, I think we can hook you up then.” The man said, putting a bunch of stuff on a flat grill, which included some noodles, some vegetables and  curled up pink things, which he doused in sauce. Once it was all cooked, he set it up in a bowl.

“There you go.” He said, giving me the bowl. “Shrimp yakisoba noodles with gyoza and miso soup.” He explained, giving me two other items; a cup with broth and a pair of dumplings. The whole thing smelled amazing

“Thank you!” I said.

“You’re welcome little one.”

I took my cabaret and looked around until I found Annabelle and the others sitting at a table.

“Hey, what did you get?” She asked me.

“I don’t know. Yak-something noodles and shinks, I think it was called.”

“Shrimps.” She corrected me.

“Yes, that was it.”

“Well, it looks good.”

I nodded and started eating. I still didn’t know what shrimps were but I knew that they were delicious. They kind of tasted a bit like Run’tuk; which were like big larvas my Zukii-zuzu love to make.

“So, what do you think?”

“It’s good. But I wish they had Ibarian food.”

“Hey, what do you guys think about having a party this afternoon where we can show off our powers?” Caroline asked, coming closer.

“That sounds fun.” Annabelle said.

“I’ll do it too.” I said.

“Great, see you at five in the backyard.” She said before leaving the table along with Charlie.

Annabelle and I finished eating and we then went to the administration to get our things. I even got a money card but I didn’t know how much dollars were worth… The only human currency I knew were Rands, but they probably didn’t have the same value.

That done, we went back home and not too early; I was getting really tired as it was almost time for my afternoon nap. I don’t know how humans can stay awake so long; earth days are just so long…

Once inside, I lied down on the couch, which was big and comfortable and had all those tiny pillows. Since the house was calm, it didn’t take me long to fall asleep.

After a short dream about home, I woke up after about two hours and found out that someone had put a blanket on me.

I looked around but the place was empty. I could hear noise coming from the backyard so I went over there, finding most of the my other classmates there. They had music playing and some food, which I took some, I was hungry again.

After a quick snack, I looked around and saw Annabelle talking to some human males. I decided not to disturb her and instead went toward Rowan, who was alone their legs hanging inside the the pool.

“Hello Rowan.” I said.

“Hi.”

“Do you like water?” I asked, looking at their legs gently swinging about in the water.

They nodded.

“Do you want to swim with me? It’s always more fun with friends.” I said showing my teeth. I don’t know why but humans like it when you do it.

“Sure I guess.”

Having my friend want to swim with me made me really happy. I quickly removed my clothes before diving in.

“Want to play Zutv?”

“What’s that?”

“You have to chase the other and touch them. If you do, it’s their turn to chase you.”

“Oh, so tag?”

“I think.”

“I can do that.”

Them wanting to play with me just made me happier.

“I’ll be the riton. That’s the chaser.”

“Alright.” They said before swimming away. They touched the end of the pool and I did the same on my end before we began.

In the water, Rowan was kind of silly looking; they just paddled awkwardly like an Iravii who fell in a pool. Still, they were strong enough that it was fast enough I couldn’t stay idle, still played risky so it’d be fair.

“You’re good.” They said, their breathing much heavier.

“Of course I am, I’ve been swimming since I was a little larva.”

“A larva?” They said, blinking their pupils rapidly. Which was a sign of confusion I think.

“You know, before you pupate and become an imago.” It took me a moment to remember; humans are born as imagos, they don’t have larvas… “Wait, no, you don’t have those.”

“What’s it like being a larva?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t?”

“Duh.” I said, using a human expression I’d heard often. “Larvas aren’t smart, they just eat and grow.”

“Oh.”

“You don’t know a lot about Itharii do you?” I asked.

“No, but you don’t know much about Humans either.”

“That’s true.”

I’d had some biology classes on humans but it was mostly just the basics, plus I’d been too busy practicing English to really research human customs.

“Everyone ready to get started?” Charlie asked really loudly.

“Oh we better go.” Rowan said, swimming to the edge and climbing back up.

I on the other hand stayed in the water, just swimming to the edge of the pool where the others were.

Charlie decided to show her power first. She threw some things in the air and they came back. Which I guess was her power? I didn’t really know.

Caroline went next, she turned to the pool, raised a hand and just stared for a second.  

Around me, I felt the water change texture becoming thicker like jelly. Before I could react, the whole pool’s water went up and I followed along with it until it was several meters up in the air where it formed into a sphere.

I stayed in the bubble for a moment, trying to think about how to get out safely until I remembered my powers. I activated my armor, which also allowed me to fly. Carefully, I floated myself down and onto the pool’s edge, trying not to think about the height.

I don’t like being in the air. Land or water is much better…

I looked around and found Caroline.

“I was swimming.” I told her.

“Opps. Sorry…” She apologized. “Wait, why are you naked?”

“I was swimming?” I answered, not sure why she asked.

“Don’t you have a swimsuit?”

I didn’t know what that was supposed to be.

“A swim what?”

“Swimsuit.” She repeated, but I still didn’t understand what she meant. “Clothes you wear to swim in?”

“Why would you wear clothes to swim? They’re going to be wet.” Wet clothes aren’t fun; they’re heavy, they stick to your skin and they become stinky.

“Well, it’s really awkward having you buck ass naked.” I didn’t get it. What’s so weird about being naked?

Still, I walked away and put my clothes back on. “Humans are weird…” I muttered to myself.

I mean, I didn’t understand them, they didn’t understand me, but I had to live with them. This was going to be a funny year…

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