another prompt from Sue Vincent here
Intelligence takes many forms and each form thinks itself more intelligent than the others. When a gaseous puff-stream called A’bush found she had been allocated to train up Mani Clump, a newly employed solid from the glutinous-claybeds, her form sagged visibly, creating a nimboid denting in her normally pert cumulo-curvation.
‘Why me, boss?’ She hissed wearily.
Grorge Oel, the branch superintendent managed to splash some enthusiasm into his syrupy vowels. ‘Because you enjoy a challenge. Just give him your best zephyr and he’ll follow you like a limpet.’
‘That’s what worries me. Thing is Grorge, one more like the last lump and it’ll make me want to set.’
Grorge gurgled at the joke – at least he assumed it was a joke but gases were notoriously difficult to interpret if they didn’t colour to show their emotions. ‘Don’t sink to his level, A’bush. Keep you molecules moving!’
A’bush floated away, her spirits as formless as her context.
Waiting by the reception, currently manned by two giggling pools of acro-ponding, each reflecting the other as they sought to outshine their co-worker, Mani told himself not to freeze. ‘Keep moving’. So it was that A’bush’s first encounter with Mani Clump was as he splattered himself across the reception, a sticky ball of almost-mucous that appeared momentarily shapeless. He pulled himself together, gravelling out a profuse apology, while A’bush nodded, keeping her tones as neutral as her self-control allowed but she knew he had seen some colour.
‘Right. When you’re quite ready let’s start.’ She wanted to restore some semblance of authority so she vented away at speed. Only as she looked back did she realise how mortified he was, either from the slippage or from catching her toning. Her nuclei filled with affection before she swarmed herself together. Stupid cloud, she scoffed. He’s a solid. Get a grip on your tendrils.
Something though must have stuck and over the next days and weeks A’bush and Mani found themselves breaking together, gradually teasing each other at the formlessness of the one against the inflexible rigidity of the other.
Twice A’bush asked Mani home. Twice he came and spent the evening tongue-tied. A’bush felt frustrated. Surely he likes me. Surely he’s interested. She asked a girlfriend who swirled with delight. Cross substance sex, while not unusual wasn’t unknown. ‘He doesn’t know how to read you, silly. You need to make it bloody obvious.’
So on the third night, after they had shared a vaporised steak and a rather delicious pixelated Merlot, A’bush slipped to her restspace. She called Mani to follow. As he approached she saw him through the leaded lights in door and she let all self control go, allowing a neopolitan display of the most exotic colours to suffuse her every atom. ‘Mistake that, matey,’ she thought. Mani stared, awestruck then pushed open the door. In a rush he softened his carapace and allowed A’bush to envelope every inch of his softest underbelly, both shivering with a delicious ecstasy.