Control freak

As Spegg and I neared the small cove, a bewildering cacophony of grunts, hoots, and wails bellowed on the wind, echoing off the jagged, icy outcropping that surrounded the inlet.

The giant fish stopped and removed from his pocket a small white device that I immediately recognized as the instrument he had paralyzed me with in the science laboratory.

I stepped back.

Spegg shook his head. “No. Take it,” he said.

I gave him a skeptical look and quickly snatched it out of his hands. It was about the size and weight of a television remote, and had no visible seams or fixtures—a simple looking device with rounded edges and one small clear, round button in the center.

“Just point and click,” he said.

I did. Spegg instantly collapsed.

“Whoa!” I shouted.

The device buzzed lightly in my hand, nothing like the swarm of bees I experienced when I was on the other side of the thing. I bent down and lifted Spegg’s long, thin arm then let it fall limply into the snow. His black eyes stared blankly at the sky. I snapped my fingers and waved my hand over his face, but nary a muscle twitched. “Can you hear me, big guy?”

I stood up and clicked the button again. Spegg suddenly gasped and grabbed his head, howling. He glared at me then snared a fistful of snow and lobbed it at my feet. I danced out of the way, chuckling.

“Serves you right,” I said, twirling the device.

“Be careful with that, you fool!” He spouted. “You could drop it and paralyze us both.”

“Oh? You mean like this?” I clicked it again and Spegg fell face first into the snow. I giggled and thumbed the button once again. The giant fish lifted his nose out of the powder and shook it off like a wet dog.

“I hate you,” he grumbled.

“Well at least we have something in comm—”

Suddenly a terrible squeal came from the behind us. I spun around, whipping the device toward the location of the sound. There, perched on one of the larger boulders of the outcropping was a dark, bulky figure. My mouth dropped open. The thing hooted loudly, then slowly backed away, and disappeared into the shadows.