Observation. Flash Fiction.

“Anything interesting today?”
“Not really, same old same old. Percy isn’t the leader anymore, got taken out by Bob.”
“Which one was Bob again?”
“He was the one with the white stripes on his head.”
“Ah. Ok, yeah, I thought Percy would be going down soon, surprised it was Bob though, I thought it’d be Frank for sure.”
“Yeah, I thought that too. It’s nice to know we can still be wrong.”
John sat down in a chair and took a sip of his coffee.
“Any other developments?”
“No, they made a fire, did some cooking, had a small scuffle. I think one of them was burned, but I couldn’t see how badly.”
John briefly examined the screens, taking a quick count of the creatures in the group.
“How long do you think it’ll be before they’re back to fifteen again?”
“Give it a day or two, though I think one of the females could be pregnant. She hasn’t been out of the house in a few days so it’s hard to get visual confirmation.”
“Who’s the father?”
“Either Bob or Frank.”
“Least it wasn’t Percy.”
“Yeah. God. I remember what happened a few years ago, you weren’t here for it. They tore a female apart, it was difficult to watch.”
“I saw some of the footage. It was brutal all right. Though it’s good they’re so aggressive with one another. Prevents them teaming up. I mean they go around in groups of fifteen or so, most we’ve seen was what, forty? And that tore itself apart in a few months. They’re violent, aggressive and smart, but not smart enough to band together against us.”
“Yeah, though I’d say if we tried to coordinate an attack with ground troops they’d team up pretty quick, unite against us.”
“Really? I wouldn’t have thought they’d have the discipline.”
“Well, they’re smart, they use tools, build fires and homes, they’re smart enough to do that, they’d be smart enough to band together for survival. In some of the harsh climates they tend to be able to stay in larger groups, never more than thirty or so, but they stay at those levels. They sometimes band together for hunts, sure there’s some fighting afterwards for the meat, but never anything too bad.”
“Good thing they don’t do that here.”
“Yeah, well, we were here to keep them in smaller numbers. They learned, didn’t they, knew to stay away from us and not become a threat. The others didn’t have that. They could grow as large as they liked.”

A loud growling hoot came from the speakers, John looked back at the screens, “I don’t have anything on these, do you?”
“No, I don’t see any danger. Maybe they caught the scent of an animal? Maybe another one of them?”
They watched the screens, waiting for the creatures to make a move. They banded together closely, around the small hovels they used as houses. A large group of the creatures emerged from the trees. They were human in shape, hunched, with elongated facial features and long, thin fingers. The new comers carried weapons. John sighed.
“I hope they win. I don’t want to pack this up and move again. We’ve only been here a month or so.”
“Just wait and see. We can compare this warning for danger with the others, see if there’s anything in common. I think it’s similar to the one from the last group, but I’m not sure.” They watched the screens as the battle begun. John took another sip from his coffee.

“Oh, look, they’re using slingshot like weapons, haven’t seen that before. Make a not of it, would you?”

About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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