Suddenly, A Giraffe (The Gritty Reboot)

The microphone of the esteemed Professor Ethan Staggebaek—recently appointed chair of the Department of Interspecies Studies at Yale and the author of the recent New York Times bestseller, “Humungulates: How Humanity And Giraffity Will Learn To Coexist In The Coming Millennium” from Oxford University Press, his choice of publisher causing no small amount of kerfuffle—is cut off.

He taps the mic to test it, but A warm, slightly tinny voice has replaced him. “Thank you, Professor.” Whoever the new speaker is, their voice sounds like springtime and altitude. “You will no longer be needed.” The tone is gracious, yet firm, like a grandfather oak that is also an actual grandfather.

Staggebaek mutters and muddles his way offstage, visibly yet unnoticeably distraught. The crowd is far too excited about the speaker to be at all concerned with their colleague’s impending suicide (or so it will be deemed.)

While its owner remains hidden, the voice continues: “Sentience, as the professor was so valiantly trying to convey, was once something that could only be ascribed to humanity. Anything else was fantasy, surely. ‘At best,’ you reasoned, ‘we might find it out amongst the stars, in the vast emptiness of the heavens. Maybe, if we’re damned lucky, those dolphins will show us what for? And certainly the dinosaurs could have managed all sorts of wonders.’ Never in your wildest imaginations did you think that it would come at you from your own white picket fenced backyards.”

Suddenly, there is an unfolding of space—and possibly time, and certainly narrative—in the middle of the stage. It is over before it began, quite literally due to weird time stuff, and now, standing in the middle of the stage, is one of the most well composed giraffes you ever did see. There is not a hint of awkward gangliness in his demeanor; just a quiet satisfaction as he takes in the cheering audience. He is wearing a human-styled suit, condescendingly. On his mind, is conquest.

(to be continued)

(illustration courtesy of Ezra Butt. He is handsome.)

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