They Were Just Lion Around
In retrospect, the purchasing of the interior of the crater might have been a rash move. To be sure, it was a lovely patch of land and – at the time – it had been going for a song, but he had perhaps been too hasty in snapping it up. Now he had it, he had no real idea what to do with it, at least other than keep it maintained, and while that had been a fun project to work on at the time he now had it completely under control and his vast expanse of lawn stared back at him every day, a testament to his ability to control it and taunting him with how little else he could now do to it.
And on a beautiful, crisp, clear morning such as this it was hard not to feel that there was a certain something lacking. It was a void. An empty space that gave him nothing back.
Further musing on the subject was cut short by a sharp and sudden pain in the man’s belly. He grunted, face twisting, doubling over and clutching at himself. A great weight and pressure built in the pit of his stomach, as though he had immediately consumed a hearty meal. To his horror the man could feel himself begin to distort and expand as something inside him took shape very, very rapidly. He retched. Something was catching in his throat as it forced upwards, and nothing he did could fight it back down. Collapsing onto his hands and knees and retching again, eyes bulging, as a slimy, pulsing mass forced its way out of his face. There was little dignity in what followed, but at least it ended with a very great weight lifting from him – albeit via the rather unorthodox method of physically exiting his mouth in a big fleshy sack. The sack writhed as he stared at it with horror.
“Oh God…” he breathed, wiping his mouth with the back of a shaking hand and unsteadily getting back onto his feet. The sack pulsated, clenched and then burst, splattering him with hideously warm fluid. From the mass emerged, fully-formed, a perfectly unnatural sales-thing, which smiled at him with a smile that went far too far either side of its head.
“Hello Sir! And what a fine evening to find you on!”
“Oh God, what are you?”
“Sir, that’s hardly the issue here! The issue here is your lawn! As magnificent as it is, don’t you think it is missing some vital element?”
This was eerily similar to his previous line of thought, but not eerie enough to outweigh the appearance of this thing. It was too smooth. Too perfect. It did not belong in this world.
“But what are you though?” He asked again. The sales-thing laughed and point off randomly into a different direction, addressing empty air instead of the man.
“That’s right Sir! Lions! Your lawn is missing lions! Thankfully, today is your lucky day, as lions – or at least, top-of-the-line pseudo-lions – happen to be my area of expertise!”
The sales-thing immediately launched into a long and barely coherent spiel about the benefits of pseudo lions (real lions were a legal nightmare, apparently) and all they could do for his tedious, boring expanse of lawn. The man listened, if only due to his mounting horror. The words coming out of the sales-thing’s mouth did not match the movements their lips and teeth made, and both of those seemed to be moving at different speeds to one another relative to the rest of its head. A terrible ringing started in his head, and his skin began to burn.
“What’s happening to me?” The man grunted, falling to his knees again. A compulsion forced his hands and reached up, tearing open his shirt. Pressing against the skin of his body, perfectly outlined, were at least half a dozen miniature faces of lions, roaring silently. His eyes bulging, he poked one and it snapped after his finger, skin stretching to accommodate it.
“Oh God!” He said, again. His imagination fled him at times like this.
“Ah, marvellous! I see you have you received your free samples! I imagine you’ll find them more than adequate to convince you!”
Without tearing, the lions pushed forward, exiting his body silently and still draped in his flesh. They leapt forth and grew as they did, expanding to full size before they’d hit the ground and leaving lion-shaped craters in the man’s body in their wake. He watched them go, mouth agape, and as his vision grew dim he did have to admit they added something his lawn was lacking before. The final ounces of his strength leaking out, he collapsed with a smile. Worth it after all, the crater.