I got my prescription & the distance between my eyes so that I can get frames from Zenni now. But my eye pressure jumped from 19 to 22 so I have to go back in a month. I narrowly avoided a panic attack in the waiting room so it could just be from anxiety. But I’m going back in a month for a check up. And I told her I was too anxious to get my eyes dilated today so I’m sure I’ll do that next month…3 days before Christmas… When I’m calm…😒
Okay, so like how when sheep/kids baaa at you and you baaa back and they all baaa again?? How would aliens react is if a human on their mission started making the creatures noise back at them until they all doing it.
The mission was fairly simple in Grutona’s mind: follow the tracks of certain creatures and use environmental clues to discern aspects of the creature’s lifestyle and needs. The group had been following the large, octagonal shaped prints of a swutonaton for the past several standard hours, and up to this point, they still hadn’t actually encountered the beast.
Good. Grutona was not keen on being eaten alive today, which would surely be the result of disturbing the beast. Protocol on the mission was to leave should contact be breached with any species that was not fully documented.
However, there was one member of the team that made Grutona worry. Maria seemed to take things like Protocol as more of a… guideline. Already today Maria had disregarded rules about eating wild tree fruit claiming “they have these on my planet, don’t worry!” Grutona did worry. Especially when Maria added: “Besides, they’re delicious.” Grutona knew what type of treefruit Maria was eating, and xhe was skeptical of the claim. These deadly fruits humans called “lemons” were HIGHLY acidic and sour. On xer home world, a fruit like that would be used by deadly criminals as a poison.
Needless to say, having a human on the crew had been an eye-opening, mind-boggling experience. Grutona was learning more about universal cultures on this mission than ever before, that was for certain.
It was a few more minutes of walking along the path, Grutona taking note of the way the plant life was smashed down to the side of the path of the tracks as if the swutonaton had stopped for a time and rested.
“Ah, so it appears swutonaton are a restful breed, and likely a predator species as evident by their choice location being one leaving them so vulnerable.” Kerip, another member of the team, said this clinically, xis eyes dilating further as his species was wont to do in order to get a magnified look at things. As he was examining he spoke to his partner, Bepin who recorded xis observations on a datapad.
There was a noise further down the trail, strangely like a yawn. Grutona looked over cautiously. Maria was gone. Grutona frowned and made toward the sound hoping it was just Maria doing some sort of human thing xhe was unfamiliar with and not the beast hiding in the plant life beyond planning an attack on the mission crew.
But when had luck ever been on Grutona’s side?
As xhe rounded the bend in the trail xhe was met with the horrifying sight. Xhe would have screamed if it were a characteristic of xer race. Instead, xhe stood there in shock.
Maria stood in front of the creature they were tracking all right. The only thing was, the team was entirely wrong about what they thought they were following here. They had assumed the animal was very large, at least nine or ten times the actual size of the creatures in front of them now. And creatures they were. There were at least fifteen of these creatures and they were all piled atop one another, drooling heavily, spiked tails and trunks laying anywhere.
“I’d definitely call this a dog-pile.” Maria chuckled, completely unconcerned at the reality that basically everything they had assumed about these creatures was wrong. Maria turned to look at Grutona, eyes gleaming in mischief. “Guess we were wrong about the elephant-sized animal with forty pig-sized feet, huh?” Grutona said nothing, still reeling. They needed to leave, Protocol demanded it, and they needed to go soon before more of the creatures woke up as one was doing now.
“Hey, look! They’re starting to wake up! They’re so cute!” Maria took another step closer to them, making cooing noises as Grutona watched in horror as more of the swutonatons started to rouse. Footsteps behind xer alerted xer to the rest of the team arriving to the scene finally.
There was a moment of stunned silence before an exasperated sound came from Bepin and Kerip started mumbling in astonishments about all the things they had wrongly ascertained.
“We should leave,” a voice of reason finally called from the back of the group: Teriwald, the ranked officer from the ship who had been tasked with “protecting the scientists” on the expedition.
Grutona found xer voice again, finally. “You’re–”
There was a sudden, loud sound from the pile of creatures “Meeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrm.”
“Okay, that was the greatest thing I’ve ever heard,” Maria was watching the herd of swutonaton with complete adoration in her gaze. Grutona had been warned to be wary of humans when they assumed a look like this one. There was no telling what kind of things they might do next.
Whatever Grutona had expected, it was not what Maria did next. Maybe xhe thought she would have started running in circles around the group or walk over and touch one, but xhe certainly did not predict that Maria would raise her arms in imitation of a swutonaton trunk and repeat the noise back at them in perfect imitation. “Meeeeeeeerrrrrm!”
“What are you doing, we need to go!” Teriwald reminded in an increasingly demanding tone.
“Calm down, Waldo, we’re fi–” Maria was cut off by several cries of the swutonaton calling back at her.
“Oh, this is too good!” More of the swutonaton had stirred now, and they were climbing off of each other and standing in a herd before Maria who laughed and made the noise again.
“MEEEEEEEEERRRRRM!!!” The entire herd of seventeen (Grutona had counted in xer moments of horror earlier) swutonaton were now calling back at Maria’s prompting.
Nobody on the team said anything as they all watched in rapt attention Maria and the herd of swutonaton yell at each other for the next ten standard minutes.
Humans, Grutona concluded, still half horrified, are weird.
A handy list of poisons for writing reference, provided to you by me, Bella
Poisoning is one of the oldest murder tactics in the books. It was the old equalizer, and while it’s often associated with women, historically men are no less likely to poison you. This is not a guide on how to poison people, you banana bunches, it’s a guide on writing about poisons in fiction so you don’t end up on a watch list while researching them. I’ve taken that hit for you. You’re welcome. These are just a few of the more classic ones.
Hemlock: Hemlock (conium maculatum) is one of the more famous ones, used in ancient times most notably in Socrates’ forced suicide execution. So it goes. The plant has bunches of small, white flowers, and can grow up to ten feet tall. It’s a rather panicky way to die, although it wouldn’t show: hemlock is a paralytic, so the cause of death is most often asphyxiation due to respiratory paralysis, although the mind remains unaffected and aware.
Belladonna: Atropa belladonna is also called deadly nightshade. It has pretty, trumpet-shaped purple flowers and dark, shiny berries that actually look really delicious which is ironic since it’s the most toxic part of the plant. The entire plant is poisonous, mind you, but the berries are the most. One of the most potent poisons in its hemisphere,it was used as a beauty treatment, so the story says, and rubbed into the eyes to make the eyes dilate and the cheeks flush. Hench the name beautiful lady. The death is more lethargic than hemlock, although its symptoms are worse: dilated pupils, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, tachycardia, loss of balance, staggering, headache, rash, flushing, severely dry mouth and throat, slurred speech, urinary retention, constipation, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, and convulsions. It’s toxic to animals, but cattle and rabbits can eat it just fine, for some reason.
Arsenic: Arsenic comes from a metalloid and not a plant, unlike the others here, but it’s easily the most famous and is still used today. Instead of being distilled from a plant, chunks of arsenic are dug up or mined. It was once used as a treatment for STDs, and also for pest control and blacksmithing, which was how many poisoners got access to it. It was popular in the middle ages because it looked like a cholera death, due to acute symptoms including stomach cramps, diarrhea, confusion, convulsions, vomiting, and death. Slow poisoning looked more like a heart attack. The Italians famously claimed that a little arsenic improved the taste of wine.
Strychnine: Strychnine (strick-nine) is made from the seed of strychnos nux vomica and causes poisoning which results in muscular convulsions and eventually death through asphyxia. Convulsions appear after inhalation or injection—very quickly, within minutes—and take somewhat longer to manifest after ingestion, around approximately 15 minutes. With a very high dose, brain death can occur in 15 to 30 minutes. If a lower dose is ingested, other symptoms begin to develop, including seizures, cramping, stiffness, hypervigilance, and agitation. Seizures caused by strychnine poisoning can start as early as 15 minutes after exposure and last 12 – 24 hours. They are often triggered by sights, sounds, or touch and can cause other adverse symptoms, including overheating, kidney failure, metabolic and respiratory acidosis. During seizures, abnormal dilation, protrusion of the eyes, and involuntary eye movements may occur. It is also slightly hallucinogenic and is sometimes used to cut narcotics. It also notably has no antidote. In low doses, some use it as a performance enhancer.
Curare:Chondrodendron tomentosum is lesser known than its famous cousins, but kills in a very similar way to hemlock. It is slow and terrible, as the victim is aware and the heart may beat for many minutes after the rest of the body is paralyzed. If artificial respiration is given until the poison subsides, the victim will survive.
Wolfsbane: Aconitum has several names; Monkshood, aconite, Queen of Poisons, women’s bane, devil’s helmet) and is a pretty, purple plant with gourd-shaped flowers. The root is the most potent for distillation. Marked symptoms may appear almost immediately, usually not later than one hour, and with large doses death is near instantaneous. Death usually occurs within two to six hours in fatal poisoning. The initial signs are gastrointestinal including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is followed by a sensation of burning, tingling, and numbness in the mouth and face, and of burning in the abdomen. In severe poisonings pronounced motor weakness occurs and sensations of tingling and numbness spread to the limbs. The plant should be handled with gloves, as the poison can seep into the skin.
Foxglove: Digitalis is large with trumpet-shaped flowers that can be many colors, but usually a pinkish shade. It may have from the term foxes-glew, which translated to fairy music. Intoxication causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as sometimes resulting in xanthopsia (jaundiced or yellow vision) and the appearance of blurred outlines (halos), drooling, abnormal heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias, weakness, collapse, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures, and even death. Slowed heartbeat also occurs. Because a frequent side effect of digitalis is reduction of appetite and the mortality rate is low, some individuals have used the drug as a weight-loss aid. It looks a bit like comfrey, which is an aid for inflammation. Make sure not to confuse the two.
Draco found the tube under his bed. He knew it was the lipstick Pansy had lost and had been bitching about for days to anyone within earshot. He also knew that she had owl ordered a new one although, that wasn’t why he didn’t give it back.
He waited until everyone was in the great hall for dinner, spell locking the bathroom door behind him before he even dared to take the lipstick from his pocket. He opened it carefully, setting the outer tube on the ceramic counter with a soft click that seemed to fill the empty room. He twisted the tube and the deep red lipstick rose, feeling accusing just by being exposed to the air, in his hands, alone in this room.
A single faint tremor went through his hand. If his friends, if his family ever found out- He couldn’t bear the thought. But it was just curiosity, nothing more. Once he had done it, he would just leave the lipstick in the common room somewhere and be done with it. It was just once.
Draco bit his bottom lip thoughtfully and then lean forward. He hastily dried his lip with his thumb and then carefully traced his bottom lip, leaving pale red in its wake. He blinked, his heart rate picking up as he carefully went over his lip until the color was as deep and rich as the lipstick itself. He was a little too hasty on his upper lip and had to use some tissue to clean up the line until it was perfect.
He pressed his lips together and let them go. It was like looking at someone else. He had never paid much attention to his lips before except in passing. They had a nice shape and the lipstick made them seem fuller and bigger. Draco leaned back from the mirror, shivering when he took in all of himself. The red was so stark against his pale skin, stark and bold. His cheeks were flushing with excitement and nerves.