Rumble in the Library!
Published by Vincent L. Cleaver at Smashwords
Copyright 2011 Vincent L. Cleaver
Article One- Let the stars above us bear witness that our two species must be at peace with each other, now and forever. To that end let us therefore establish a new order of things, so that each kind may be free to pursue peace, prosperity and happiness.
Libraries are great places for people-watching. They're not necessarily on their best behavior, and not overly guarded. But they do often share my expectations of civility, quiet and tolerance. The fight that broke out a little ways down the aisle between the shelves of books was none of the above, which annoyed the hell out of me. I clapped the book I was browsing shut, loudly. That caused the offending parties to turn towards me. I set the book on a shelf regretfully and walked their way.
"Stay out of this!" The little alien chittered, and my ear-bud translated. It was, literally, a starfish alien, one of the weirder ones, a three-armed starfish with a few tendrils for grasping things. It went bipedal now and aimed the melted-looking long object in the tendrils on the back of its third tentacle at me. I saw no obvious eyes, so I wondered if the tendril-tips were light sensitive, and what this did to its' perspective on the universe.
Philosophy had to wait, though, because the big ugly monster it had been arguing with stomped over just then. It was some sort of hooved carnivore, a sort of centaur on three hind limbs. It had three arms with four-digits and a long switchblade claw in each paw, each of which now snicked open. The large head with no real neck had three eyes set far forward and close together. He, or she, didn't look too damn bright, and smelled like rotten meat. I waved a hand at the stench.