LIMITED TIME OFFER
By Gray Winsler
Art By Caitlyn Grabenstein
Published Issue 095, November 2021
BEINGS of this wide and mysterious universe,
Do you wish to feel your life liquid accelerate? Do you wish to feel those tentacles stiffen with joy, those gills tremble in awe, those moist flaps shudder with excitement? Then BEHOLD Earth’s slender cyclones — the scourge of Earth’s nomadic RV peoples.
Despite being a Class 78F planet, Earth boasts an oxygen-rich atmosphere, perfect for all you oxy-addicts who find little refuge in this vacuous universe. Breathe in that tolerably polluted air as you gaze up at the swirling maw of the sky tentacles!
And don’t forget, these sky tentacles create CHAOS amongst the humans, concealing all unexpected activity. Because of this, human catch-and-release IS PERMITTED by the Bureau of Time and Transportation (BUTT). As with all catch-and-release activities, humans must be returned. Unless of course their death was inevitable, in which case YOU decide their fate.
And all you primitive peepers out there, let’s not forget the emotional voyeurism this journey offers! Humans are a time-imprisoned species, their tiny minds unable to see life beyond the present moment. This makes them ripe for watching a cacophony of what they call “emotions” dance across their terrified faces.
But don’t take it from us. Take it from your fellow travelers!
“I’ve abducted 15 humans in my travels to Earth. Many expect me to ‘probe’ them. Perhaps this is a common practice on Earth. But I do not wish to probe. I wish only to taste their palid flesh.”
“UNFORGETTABLE. Never before have I seen so many humans leak yellow liquid all over. Their bodily fluids are so polychromatic!”
“My fellow attached being made my attendance on this journey compulsory. I wanted to hate every moment. But seeing the look of abject terror on those human’s faces … Nothing has brought me more joy.”
Only on Earth can you witness dainty sky swirlers twist fear into humanity’s needlessly large life liquid pumps. Only on Earth can you suck in such cheap and only moderately polluted oxygen. Only on Earth are human catch-and-release programs permitted with such abandon!
You must ACT FAST before this window through space-time closes. If you wish to join your fellow travelers in experiencing one of the many horrors of Earth, simply follow this step-by-step guide: (1) Exit your nearest space port. (2) Stare out into the void of sparkling blackness which greets you. (3) Call out these words into the void: “Manny, bring me to tornado alley!” One of the infinite versions of our chauffeur, Manny, will appear shortly. Please have payment ready, or Manny will be forced to ingest you.
Please keep in mind the following hazards:
HAZARD to all beings: Travel to Earth is NOT permitted beyond 1999 or prior to Earth’s atomic end. (Note: Exceptions are made for analysts of self-immolating species.) The ubiquity of human surveillance equipment is impossible to avoid after 1999. If you are caught traveling within this time period, your travel log will be given to the BUTT, who will decide your fate.
HAZARD for Squips, Sylverians, and all other species resembling the Earthen squirrel (no offense intended): Humans often keep furry quadrupeds by their side who WILL EAT YOU. You have been warned.
Why visit a boring, Class 78F planet like Earth?
It is true that Earth and its primitive inhabitants are destined for the atomic end, save for the few thousand still preserved in zoos by the BUTT. But that is precisely what makes this such a unique experience! This is your opportunity to step through time and witness a defunct species in its natural habitat.
Other planets have bigger tornadoes — what makes these so special?
Virtually all planets with large dust cyclones are uninhabited — and what kind of vacation would this be if you didn’t get to watch the fear on those primitive human’s faces?
Will the BUTT be able to review the log of my journey?
NO! We guarantee a private experience for all of our patrons.
Gray Winsler is the first ginger to be published in Birdy Magazine, Issue 091. He loves living in Denver despite his allergy to the sun. He spends his mornings with his dog Indy by his side, writing as much as possible before his 9-to-5. If you’re curious about Normal, IL or why TacoBell is bomb, you can find more on his site.
Read Gray’s October install, Lunacy, or head to our archives to see his previously published fiction.
Caitlyn Grabenstein, a.k.a. Cult Class, is a collage artist, sketch artist, and designer out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She started doing art at a very young age and has pursued it in different forms throughout her life. While working in the music industry and running her own charitable business, BANDADE, she began creating websites, ultimately hosting more than 50 charitable shows with over 60 different artists including Imagine Dragons, Jason Isbell, Maren Morris, Ingrid Michaelson, the Goo Goo Dolls, Alabama Shakes, Florence Welch and more. During this time, Caitlyn started collaging out of necessity to create concert posters. She fell in love with the process and began collaging regularly. Caitlyn now runs her own design business, CLG Design Co.. Her work can be found in buildings around Philadelphia. Caitlyn’s pieces have been commissioned by individuals, musicians, businesses, and real estate companies from Chile to Germany to Los Angeles. Check out more of her art on Instagram.
Check out Caitlyn’s October Birdy Back Cover, The Hotel, and head to our Explore section to see her past works.