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Jewels for Expression

D.A. Xiaolin Spires steps into portals and reappears in sites such as Hawai'i, NY, various parts of Asia and elsewhere, with her keyboard appendage attached. Besides Daily Science Fiction, her work appears or is forthcoming in publications such as Clarkesworld, Analog, Strange Horizons, Nature, Terraform, Uncanny, Grievous Angel, Fireside, Galaxy's Edge, StarShipSofa, Andromeda Spaceways (Year's Best Issue), Diabolical Plots, Factor Four, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Toasted Cake, Pantheon, Outlook Springs, ROBOT DINOSAURS, Shoreline of Infinity, LONTAR, Mithila Review, Reckoning, Issues in Earth Science, Liminality, Star*Line, Polu Texni, Argot, Eye to the Telescope, Liquid Imagination, Gathering Storm Magazine, Little Blue Marble, Story Seed Vault, and anthologies of the strange and beautiful: Deep Signal, Ride the Star Wind, Sharp and Sugar Tooth, Broad Knowledge, Future Visions, and Battling in All Her Finery. Select stories can be read in German, Vietnamese, Estonian, and (forthcoming) French translation. She can be found on Twitter: @spireswriter and on her website: daxiaolinspires.wordpress.com.
They collected our salivas--they did, with their gleaming fifty mirror-crafted eyes, their shards of cilia from their wrists. They let our spittle drop into beakers--drip, drip.
When the beakers filled up, they poured them over an infinitely rotating sphere--so agate pink and startling. Our collected slaver congealed against the stones' touch. They began to chisel into our discharge with lasers, though it would not break, not fragment, just bend a bit.
When they were done what rolled off onto cold metallic plates with a clink were the most exquisite of all pearls, the culmination of our bodily excesses: our chem-induced
excitation and higher heart rates, all the weird spicy food they fed us, all of that prodding and poking--for this.
They put these on their cilia shard ends. They punctured them--and these gleaming balls produced from our fleshy bodies, gummy mouths, stuck like the round ends of bristles on a brush. Delicate, tiny bulbs.
The balls pulsed and flickered and were supposed to mimic some erotic carnal thing to them. Even if what we think of them--these beings that appeared to be made of something caught between mirror, metal and stone--is so far from carnal.
Then they would prance around, their mirror-crafted eyes reflecting these pulsating tiny globes, these knobs exquisite, seductive, sensual, appetizing, distilled from our primal spit.
This is how we appeared to them, cattle for milking--and our product, our dainty dairy, our curdled cheese? Nothing less than rarefied and flawless. Jewels for expression and so unbearably alluring.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, September 19th, 2019


I thought of how strange humans are... and what kinds of beings would find us useful as agriculture. What processed foods could we provide from our organic selves?

- D.A. Xiaolin Spires
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