Of all the hermaphrodite joints in all the world, it had to slime into mine. My photoreceptors eclipsed. ‘Nice butt,’ I thought, then it turned around. ‘Nice butt,’ I thought. It could plant its setae on my settee anytime.

“Here’s lookin at you, kid,” I said, hopefully, and wha’d’ya know… it turned and slithered on over. ‘Nice wiggle too.’ “Do ya come here often?” It wasn’t the most original line but I’ve been slapped in the face plenty o’ times by lots of hermaphrodites–nothing a little vegohol couldn’t fix. “Wanna drink, sweetheart? How’s about a sloe gin and a quickstep?–better than a slug from a forty-five any day.”

“I like slugs,” it said, “and the name’s Jello.”

I could tell Jello meant it. It had a classy chasse–perfect concertino. Might not be so easy worming my way into this one’s five hearts. I thought I’d try a more intellectual approach.
“Eaten any good books lately?”

“Actually, I’ve been studying Greenleaf’s work on wormholes,” Jello said sipping the gin, slow with its moist prostonium. “It’s all to do with electric currents and… magnetic charge.”

Jello dripped those syllables like grape must. I was way out of my depth.

There was something about its feminine side that appealed to my masculine side–if you like those kinds of distinctions. I squirmed round to take a better look at the line of it. ‘Very smooth clitellum.’ “What business are you in?”

“I’m a soil scientist,” it said. “I work with dirt… like you.”

‘Ouch! Was that ever a double entendre?’ “Of course, we’re all in that line, I meant do you specialize?”

“Aeration,” it said, “but I’m thinking of moving into soil conditioning. I find this a bit confining. I need… variety.”

Sure that was a come on, I tried a posterior wiggle that just brushed its damp tail. Then I pulled Jello closer. “We could make beautiful music,” I said.

“Bird song, I’ll bet! You’re not going to try that old ‘hill o’ beans’ speech now, are you?” it asked.

It takes two to tango. I gave up in the end.

Ya know the saying… ‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the compost.’ ‘What the hell,’ I thought, ‘I’m short and slimy enough to get by on my own.’

You do your best, you eat dirt, you scrape a living and it just gets harder and harder as time goes by.

Oonah V Joslin calls this, “The underground version of ‘Casablanca’ and Woody Allen’s ‘Play It Again Sam’.”

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Every Day Fiction