“I apologize, but the answer remains an unqualified no.” The dark-robed Opodian peered up over his blunt furred snout at the pudgy human who stood before the gilded entrance of the Great Temple of Ope’mot.

“Are you quite certain?” the gray-haired man inquired, shoving a handful of carrots toward the temple’s gatekeeper. “I offer a gift to the high priest in admiration and respect.” Like the Opodian, he wore robes, but his were a humble brown with crisscrossed carrots stitched into the hem.

The Opodian priest tilted his snout, eyes narrowing as the Outverser presented the vegetables. He leaned close, giving them a sniff, and then scoffed, saying, “They’re dirty. That is your idea of respect?”

“A clean carrot is an affront to the mighty Urf, the mosterer mostest above all,” the offworlder said, his words rushing together.

“You are silly,” the Opodian growled. “Your dirty carrots are also silly. Furthermore, it is no great leap to suggest that your religion, which no one has ever heard of, is the silliest of them all.”

The human clenched his jaw as his eyes widened in anger at the insult. “I am Father Weymouth, zealot of the Urfist movement, and although we may not be well known in these savage reaches among strange stars, we are strong and we are determined. You have besmirched the good name of the one true god, the mosterer mostest. I will have satisfaction.”

“Go away,” the Opodian priest snapped.

Weymouth raised a beefy finger. “Of course! If you can best me in the holy competition of Throw Bar.”

“The what?”

Minutes later, the sanctuary doors burst open from the weight of the battered Opodian priest slamming against them. The pretty robes fluttered in shafts of gleaming sunlight in the rotunda as Father Weymouth waddled in to regard the assembled elders of Opodi’s most revered temple. Six snouts turned first toward the unconscious priest on the floor, and then their eyes came to rest on the fat human.

“In the name of Urfkgar, mosterer mostest, I come to this wretched place with the intent of saving your souls from eternal damnation,” Weymouth said, stepping over the battered creature and extending the handful of carrots to the elders. “A gift, in admiration and respect.”

By Brody

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