‘Oi! You hungry, boy?’
Oh boy, was he hungry? Yes, he was! He was Hungry, and he was hungry all the time. They tried calling him other names, like Gobbler, Chompah, or most often Don’t Eat Me!
Tiny voices roused Hungry from his slumber. The gargantuan squig opened an eye the size of a Killa Kan. A bunch of greenies stood on ramshackle scaffolding, shouting and shaking their dakka at something in the distance.
A tremor ran through the valley as Hungry lumbered to his massive feet and shook himself. Hungry felt the need for a quick bite to start his day. The greenies looked like a right proper appetiser. His colossal maw swallowed them whole, along with most of the scaffolding. Hungry was about to eat the rest of the klan when an enticing scent from downwind distracted him. Blood and meat, lots of it.
With a sloppy grin plastered across Hungry’s gigantic jaws, he bounded after the trail. Thousands of greenies joined him in their little wheelies, led by the boss greenie in the biggest trukk. He playfully pawed at them, but they all swerved out of the way, to his disappointment. It hadn’t always been so.
Back in the before times, the greenies enjoyed playing with him. He recalled his first playtime, on the very day Hungry hatched. He had just finished eating all the other squigs, mushrooms and snotlings in the caverns when the greenies came to play.
‘Hungry little fella, innit,’ one of the greenies said.
‘Dat ‘e iz. Look at dis mess, ‘e ate ev’ryfink. Ow!’
Hungry was kicked around a bunch for ripping off the greenie’s leg, but he didn’t mind. It was all part of the game, right? So the more they kicked, the more of them he ate. The greenies had grown weary and were less playful after a time, so they put Hungry into their flying metal rocks and had him travel with them.
Travelling was bothersome, since there was always less food, but the trouble’s always been worth it. His Masters, before being inevitably gobbled up, usually went out of their way to find him buddies to play with. He had played with the pinkies in the smelly metal towers. He had given a merry chase to the running birdies through dense jungles. Even the blues had been happy to see him, shaking their glowing sticks at him excitedly.
Hungry had made plenty of friends across the galaxy, and he made sure to eat them all. He was excited to make new friends here as well. He didn’t recognise the scent, which meant new flavours, which therefore just made him hungrier. Hungry could see blossoming explosions in the fields beyond the valley’s mouth. The wheelies sped up and outran him, but he could hear their dakkas rattle as they fired into the source of the new scent.
They were something Hungry hadn’t encountered before. Beneath his titanic paws, the thingies crunched and cracked like a bunch of insects. They were all teeny-tiny, smaller than the greenies, but there were plenty of them to make up for the difference in size. Hungry opened his jaws and scooped up a couple hundred.
He chewed almost contemplatively. The thingies indeed tasted like bugs. They all had the same bland acidy-sinewy taste, as if there was nothing to differentiate between them. It wasn’t all that unpleasant, but some of the chitin stuck into the gums between his fangs. He could’ve done without that, but he knew how to solve the problem. Eat even more bugs!
Hungry was happy to see that these newfound buddies were not afraid to play with him. They came at him in droves, poking and prodding him with their little pointy feet. Hungry bounced up and down with joy, crushing thousands and eating the rest. He was really happy that his Master had brought him on this trip.
Eventually, though, the bugs decided they wanted to play with the greenies more. Hungry huffed in disappointment and stomped off to relieve itself at the foot of a chain of mountains. As forests drowned in poisonous urine, Hungry entertained a new idea. If there were no greenies to play with, the bugs would surely play with him again.
With leaps and bounds, he returned to the field and chased down the greenies. They were too busy playing with the bugs to run from him, so he ate as many as he could, while the bugs ate the rest. An eating contest, how exciting! Hungry gave it his best and eradicated the greenies in a short span of time. He saved the boss greenie – the finest morsel – for last. Now the bugs couldn’t play with anyone else, but him.
The fun and games continued for days. Hungry was the happiest he had ever been. He didn’t want to ever leave this planet, as long as he could play with the bugs. Each day, the bugs that came to play got larger and larger, with each having a new trick up its sleeve. Bio-acid scarred his humongous flanks, and his paws were soaked in big-brain-bug juice. He felt the first stirrings of fatigue, but the bugs never seemed to tire, and Hungry was not one to say no to more games.
As Hungry chewed on a batch of stinky bugs, he realised he hadn’t seen the greenies in a long while. Tilting his gargantuan head to the side, Hungry looked back to the valley he had left what seemed like ages ago. The cobbled together forts of the greenies were gone, overrun with more bugs. Hungry felt a pang of longing, perhaps not for the kicking, but for the taste of greenies.
The scent of new bugs brought Hungry out of his reverie. Turning back to the field, he gazed in wonder at the titans striding towards him. They were at least as big as him!
The mountains shook as Hungry bounded off merrily to play with his new buddies.
About the Author
Daniel was born on a sunny, peaceful spring morning in Budapest, Hungary. He preferred watching television over reading books. Like, a lot. That changed when his school took him to the public library and everyone was forced to pick a book to read. He chose The Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Despite his initial disdain, our hero devoured the book in a few days and hasn’t stopped reading since. If you got this far, please send help, his budget (and shelves) can’t handle more books! Oh, and he occasionally entertains the idea of being a writer. The fool.