Challenge #02301-F111: Self-Entertainment HazardsteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  6 months ago 

canstockphoto29391258.jpg

"Oh god. Please, I beg you, stop this terror-inducing nightmare!!!"
"...dude, I'm just clicking my pen."
"W H Y ?"
"I dunno, I'm bored"
(highly sound sensitive alien meets human with non-stopping clicking habit ^^) -- Anon Guest

Fact: Humans need enrichment in their environments for the best mental health. Fact: Humans can accept a vast variety of potential entertainments, even whilst performing other duties. Fact: If a Human's environment is not sufficiently enriched, the Human is capable of making their own enrichment.

Fact: Clicker pens still exist.

Thorqak tried not to twitch as the Ships' Human erratically played with their clicker pen. All attempts to confiscate it had failed. He knew this because he had a dozen of them in a secure storage area, and yet Human Zi found more. Or, Thorqak was starting to suspect, the Human could manifest them out of thin air. All of Human Zi's time on duty, when both hands were not needed for a task, were accompanied by an arrhythmic click-click-click-click-click.

Five days in, Thorqak had run the gamut of alternative enrichments for Human Zi. Music only gave Zi a rhythm to maintain. Visual entertainments distracted. Actual, quieter fidget toys failed to grasp Zi's attention. Tactile fidgets became neglected. All that persisted was the insistent click-click-click-click-click whenever Human Zi was on duty.

It sawed away with a blunt blade at Thorqak's last nerve.

"Can. You. Please. Cease that nightmarish noise?"

"Dude, I'm just clicking my pen."

Thorqak knew that. He could hear it. He could do nothing else but hear it. "Why?" he begged, oozing exasperation.

Human Zi paused, and paused clicking their pen. They contemplated the object in their hands as if seeing it for the first time. "Uhm. I dunno. Just bored, I guess."

Thorqak had already guessed that much as well. "Then what could you possibly need to keep you interested enough to not peck my soul away with your infernal clicking?"

Human Zi put the pen away. "I'll install some casual games on my station. That'll give me something to do when I have nothing to do."

Thorqak could only pray that it would work.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / justtscott]

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