Aphelion Issue 222, Volume 21
October 2017
 
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Where Fudge Is Made

by Stephen Faulkner




When the Terran Interplanetary Diplomatic Service opened relations with the major civilization on the planet Flomcarp in the solar system of the median stellar body called Grantius by the Terrans, Whowhatso by the Flomcarpians themselves, it was for a single economic reason. Flomcarp’s sole interstellar export was one that could only be found on their planet in such copious amounts and it was constantly being produced as a byproduct through a basic biological function of the planet’s ecosystem. This unique and highly prized substance was the only reason that the combined world government of Earth (called Terra by all other planets with whom the Earthlings had diplomatic relations) had come to Flomcarp in the first place.

There was nothing more of Flomcarp that was in anyway appealing to the travelers from Earth. Flomcarp’s landscapes, its people, its position in the farthest arm of the spiral of the Milky Way (called the Fat Blob of Lights in the Sky by the Flomcarpians in their guttural, distasteful sounding language), their pedestrian food, art, literature, architecture, music and fashion did not bring any sort of awe or delight to the tastes of the Terrans. Much of it all was just bland and unexceptional, if not totally vile and reprehensible. The only saving grace of their putrid tasting Fomcarpian liquors was that they got you blindingly drunk and with such amazing speed that you did not mind the “flavor” and were left with no hangover; only a sour, sickly taste at the back of the mouth.

But for the one export so far only alluded to, explorers from Terra would have bypassed Flomcarp and its banal little star totally based on the stories heard from a myriad of other spacefaring races with whom the Terrans had contact. In the cacophonously echoing halls of the Terran Embassy in Flomcarp’s major city, called Bigtown in their tongue, the still amazed and mostly disgusted coterie of ambassadorial staffers, assistants, flunkies and hangers-on could seem to speak of little else.

“Once you hear of it,” said an Under-Vice-Counsel to his assistant as they trod the loudly reverberating main hall of the embassy on their way to the men’s room. “And you are finally made aware of what it is and how it is so easily produced, you have no idea what to think of such a product. It takes a while for such a concept to sink in and not make you gag at the mere thought of it.”

“Right you are, sir,” said Hutchins, the assistant, as they entered the main men’s lavatory on their floor. “The aroma of it is nearly intoxicating but as soon as you reflect on its source, your first reaction if to…to….”

“Vorf?” said the Under-Vice-Counsel, using an idiom that had recently become trendy in the diplomatic corps. “Retch, barf, toss your cookies, heave-ho and away it goes?”

“Mostly just retch,” allowed the underling. “Though I did get a nasty case of the sweats the first few times when it came up in conversation.”

“Your constitution is stronger than most folks’, I’ll give you that. I was laid up with a case of the galloping gut grabbers the first time it was given to me as a dessert at a state function before I was told how the stuff was – hrmph! – harvested.”

“You mean you actually ate it then? Oh, sir, I don’t know what my reaction might have been if….”

“Pardon me, gen’m’n, but would it be possible for me to take advantage of this facility? The loo for the native citizenry in this building seems to be out of order at the moment and I cannot hold the flmfagidjic much longer or I might just pop.” The Flomcarpian embassy worker was nearly dancing on its three legs, the coloration of its face shifting from violet to mauve to a deep cerise and back to violet in evidence of its growing discomfort. Both men gestured toward a nearby toilet stall and watched with shrugging accord as the creature rushed to relieve itself.

Flmfagidjic, indeed,” muttered the elder statesman. “They can’t even say the word piss without turning nearly every color of the rainbow.”

“A very self-conscious and easily embarrassed race, for sure,” said Hutchins. “But aside from that they seem quite….”

“Boring as hell,” the Under-Vice-Counsel cut him off in a harsh whisper. “Don’t give any credit where it isn’t due, Hutchins. We’re not here to make buddy-buddy with the Floms, just to be sure that there is a steady flow of pisch-schak back to Earth and cargo ships coming here filled with whatever these three-legged ugloids value enough to trade for their – hummn! – stuff.”

“Yes, stuff,” said Hutchins. “But why don’t we stop speaking so euphemistically about this vaunted export of theirs and call it what it actually is?”

The Under-Vice-Counsel was attempting to frame an answer to his assistant’s query when, at that moment, a voluminous, whistling squeak of flatulent expulsion issued from the toilet stall in which the Flomcarpian was working his bowels.

Both Earthlings took a long, deep breath through their noses and sighed in appreciative unison. “Better than the best that our Swiss confectioners could ever offer,” said the elder man pensively. “Better than Hershey or Mars or Lindt or Godiva or any others on Earth. Their shit is simply manna from heaven.”

“Ahh,” said the younger man, waxing poetic. “I love the smell of chocolaty farts in the morning!”


THE END


2017 Stephen Faulkner

Bio: Stephen Faulkner s a guy who loves to write fiction that takes the world apart and puts it back together in interesting and imaginative ways. He also loves to share his talent with all who appreciate his singular style. He lives in Decatur, Georgia with his wife and four cats. Steve has had the good fortune to have his stories appear in such publications as Unhinged Magazine, Hellfire Crossroads, Temptation Magazine, The Erotic Review, Liquid Imagination, Sanitarium Magazine, The Satirist, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Tuck Magazine, New Concepts and Fictive Dream.

This story originally appeared in Unhinged Magazine, March, 2015.

E-mail: Stephen Faulkner

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