A Thinker’s Game

Photo courtesy of Yarnspinnerr

Torrnex rolled his upper set of eyes.  “And why are we doing this again?”

“It’s a game,” Xeenax replied with a wide smile.

“A game,” Torrnex parroted back, derisively.  “And where did you pick this one up?”

“On Earth,” Xeenax answered, eliciting another eye roll.

Humans do this?” Torrnex shot back, mockingly.  “I might have guessed!  So now you’re taking recreational cues from those mammalian savages?  They’re still fouling their world and blowing each other to pieces!”

“Well, you said you wanted something to pass the time,” Xeenax replied as he drew another “O” on the cross-hatched board.

“I said pass the time, not waste it,” Torrnex retorted, drawing an “X” beneath Xeenax’s last “O”.  “I don’t see why we can’t play Born’a’toth.  Now that is a thinker’s game.  In fact…”

“I win,” Xeenax announced with a grin as he finished his final “O”.  “Diagonally,” he added.

Torrnex gaped at him as he drew a line through his three O’s.

“I hate humans,” was his only reply.

“Well they didn’t lose,” Xeenax replied, haughtily.

Written for the FFfAW Challenge – Week of July 24, 2018.  Word count: 174.  Read other stories based on this prompt at InLinkz.com.

8 thoughts on “A Thinker’s Game

  1. I’m a little sceptical of Xeenax and Torrnex. I get an impression that sticks a bit too close to the hackey Hollywood aliens, with guys in funny rubber suits, giving facetious commentary on human habits instead of displaying true inhuman intelligence. The problem of which is, of course, how to write such an intelligence. Have you read Lem’s Solaris?

    (Still, Torrnex is a superb name, a little like Tor-net!)


    1. You weren’t far off on the visual. After all the serious writing I’ve done of late, I felt both I and my readers needed some levity. So, I came up with this scene in which a corny, exaggerated pair of aliens are playing a game one of them came across on Earth.

      You do, however, bring up an interesting point: one wonders how we might portray alien intelligence authentically, knowing full well it may be very different from anything we might understand.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I recommend Solaris on that point! Or studies of corvid or cetacean intelligence – which, endearingly, prove that though common language might be missing, cooperation is yet possible. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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