Loom Vs. The Slorg
Loom was having a rather problematic day.
Of course, Loom had endured a great deal of problematic days in his short life. According to his brother Mar, he just ‘had that sort of face’, a statement which he wasn’t sure if he was supposed to be offended by or not.
But this day was proving to be far more problematic than the average day. Loom was quite certain, almost completely sure in fact, that he was being followed.
This, he thought, was quite an impressive achievement, really. Very skilful, actually, for one very important reason. The reason being, that Loom liked to walk around the Neohome on the ceiling.
There were definitely perks to being a Robot Grundo, even if the light bulbs in his antennae came loose more often than not. While usually discarding most of his casings for their bulkiness, Loom’s most prized possession was his Anti-Gravity Boots. They allowed him to walk up walls and stroll along the ceilings of the rather vast Neohome he shared with his brothers and sisters. He preferred to stay well out of their way, as they all moved slightly too fast and too suddenly for his liking. It was easier on his circuits if he stayed above ground, where he couldn’t get flattened by a passing sibling in a hurry.
Coincidentally, above ground was where he was at the moment. Standing in the kitchen, on the ceiling, he surveyed the area upside down, looking for signs of the intruder.
It had all started after breakfast that morning. Loom always cooked; it was something he was very good at, and one of few things he would venture onto the ground for. He left Marloute to clean up afterwards, because he liked doing that kind of thing, and would go a bit loopy if someone else did it, because then they wouldn’t do it right. Loom had waltzed out of the room (on the ceiling) and spacewalked his way into the upstairs library to organise some of his recipe books. When he had come back down to the kitchen, he had seen the window open, and an odd line of green slime trailing in.
His first thought was one of amusement, at what Mar would say. His brother would certainly flip out at the mess. But, as he followed the trail of slime around the kitchen, he began to wonder what had caused it. Finally, he came to the end of the trail, and stared down at a large, squishy green Slorg.
The Slorg looked back at him innocently, with large, dark eyes, and he lectured it in a series of stern beeps and whistles, before gingerly picking up the slimy creature and putting it back out the window. Figuring it had simply found its way in from the garden, he closed the window, and left the mess for Marloute to have a panic attack about when he came home.
Several hours later, though, he was forced to conclude that the Slorg, while not big or even very clever, was certainly persistent. It had somehow found its way back inside the house, and no matter what Loom did or where he went, it was following him everywhere.
There were slimy trails all over the house, on the floors, up the walls, and most importantly, on Loom’s precious ceilings. He could barely take a single step without getting his Gravity Boots stuck in a slime trail. And the slipperier they got, the more dangerous walking on the ceiling became.
He was not happy about this. He was Loom of Ceiling Land, he explored and lived in the world of the upside down, and no Slorg was going to ruin it for him.
Loom carefully inspected the kitchen, which was covered in slime trails. He was just about to settle above the kitchen table and fix one of his light bulbs, when a squelching noise came from the door. He let out a startled whistle, and turned to see the Slorg making its way into the room, and wiggling happily towards him, along the ceiling.
Loom beeped and chirped in an annoyed fashion, and glared at the Slorg. He did not like Slorgs. He did not like slimy things in general, really, because they made his circuits sizzle when they came in contact. He mistrusted such things. The Potted Tentacles in the Dining Room had a squelchy air about them, and they had proved over and over that they would eat Loom as soon as they had ample opportunity.
The Slorg continued to noisily make its way over to him, looking overly cheerful and very gooey. When it eventually reached him, it sat and stared at him with its bright, shiny eyes. Loom, who was getting rather annoyed, picked it up, waltzed down to the floor, and once again opened the window and put it outside.
He stood and stared at it suspiciously for a minute. It was just sitting on the other side of the window, staring at him. It was quite unnerving actually, and the fact that the Slorg still looked unnecessarily happy made it even more so.
Loom turned away, and made his way back on to the ceiling. He left the room upside down, trilling and beeping to himself. He avoided several slime trails on his way down the hall, and wheezed a laugh at the thought of what Mar would do when he came home. He decided to position himself by the front door when it happened, just to see what he did. With that happy thought, he turned and made his way to the staircase, passing the large hallway window on his way.
And the Slorg, sitting on the other side of it.
Loom stopped dead and whirled around. One of his Gravity Boots protested the sudden movement and disengaged from the ceiling. He stood there for a second, flailing, and managed to reattach the leg to the plaster, letting out a shrill whistle of relief. Falling to the floor from this height wasn’t an enjoyable experience. The last time it’d happened, his circuits had taken ages to stop rattling. He turned more carefully this time, and looked back at the Slorg.
There it was, staring at him with its big, endless eyes, mouth open in an unreasonable large grin. There was a slime trail leading off the side of the window. How had it gotten there so fast? Weren’t Slorgs supposed to be slow?
He beeped at it in an admonishing kind of way, shaking his fist at the window, and then stomped angrily up the stairs. Upside down, of course. He didn’t stop until he reached his bedroom, and he was so annoyed by the Slorg that he stopped paying attention to much of anything.
He navigated his way carefully into the room, as walking through doorways from the ceiling was a rather difficult skill to master. Walking into the middle of the room, he sighed. This was definitely his favourite room in the house, mostly because there were no rabid pot plants or run away petpets hanging around. For a while, Loom had even considered nailing his furniture to the ceiling, to complete the transition into an upside down life. He had decided against it, however, when he realised that he would have to also nail his pillows to his bed, his books to their shelves, and his rubbish to the bin in order to avoid spilling it all over the floor.
Still, he was quite pleased with his room; he spent a great deal of time there. Loom did not much like going outside, it made him very nervous. He turned around to close the door, and froze.
The Slorg was staring at him, attached happily to the ceiling, two inches away from his shoes. When it saw that Loom was watching it, the Slorg made a loud squelching noise, looking up at him in complete adoration.
Loom stared, dumbfounded, at the slime trail leading out of the room, from the exact place he had come from. Well, now it was official.
This Slorg had some kind of supernatural power. How else could it have moved so fast? Loom took a hasty step back. The Slorg looked at him, and then followed, slithering forward another few inches before stopping again to stare at him. Loom whistled as loudly as he could, waving his arms about in an attempt to scare the Slorg away from him. He almost fell again, his movements were so enthusiastic.
The Slorg blinked at him.
Loom stopped waving his arms like a lunatic, and dropped them back to his sides. His antennae drooped. How else was he supposed to get away from the Slorg? He wasn’t sure what else he could do. Loom beeped in a defeated kind of way, and moon walked until he was hovering directly above his bed. He positioned himself carefully, and deactivated his Gravity Boots. He fell with a soft thwump, landing haphazardly on the mattress. He sat up, and tightened one of the light bulbs in his antennae.
With a squish, the Slorg detached itself from the ceiling, and landed on his head. Slime dripped down the side of Loom’s face. His circuits sizzled. He looked up, and found himself staring into a pair of big, dark eyes, inches from his own. He was too resigned to be startled anymore.
There was nothing else for it. He would have to keep it.
Loom reached up and grabbed the Slorg, putting it gently on the floor. After a moment's deliberation, he patted it on the head in an affectionate sort of way. Then he got up, and started to head for the door. Slime dripped off his head.
He would need to wash his light bulbs.