Q is for Quatro

Quatro Petrie is one of the characters in FORCE OF HABIT. Imma interview him. But first, a description:

Black fuzz covered Quatro’s skull, like the plush on a cheap toy. Now, as usual, so did a wig. His long, thin fingers and toes had vestigial webs to the first joint. He was tall and thin, like a walking test tube. 

MA: You’re not a Terran, are you? Or, as some people say, an Earthling?

QP: No. My sister, Tetra, and I are Gilhoolies. That is, we’re from the planet Gilhoo. My sister and I are both fluent in Allesesperanto and … frankly, too many languages to list.

MA: I need to inform my readers that Gilhoo is a water planet.

QP: Indeed. Why else would I have these gills?

MA: Possibly because you’re all wet.

QP: I beg your pardon?

MA: That’s all right. So how did you come to be teaching on a spaceship?

QP: I applied and was accepted. But perhaps you wonder why I applied.

MA: Yes. Yes, I do.

QP: My sister said that she intended to do so. I consider her somewhat madcap, I regret to admit, and thought it might be best if accompanied her. As it happened, it was well that I did. My sobering and clarifying presence has proved invaluable aboardship on more than one occasion.

MA: Zzzzzzzzzzz– Oh! Uh, yes. Yes. Well, thank you for visiting with us today, Quatro. Uh, farewell, and … um … just keep swimming.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Interview an extra-terrestrial.


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I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Q is for Quatro

  1. Jane

    April 20, 2012 at 9:45am

    Oh, that Quatro! Like the interview.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. MARIAN ALLEN · T is for Tetra (Not the Fish) #AtoZ

    April 23, 2012 at 7:01am

    […] to reader requests, I’m answering Leslie Lee’s call for more from FORCE OF HABIT. Last week, I gave you an interview with Quatro Petrie. Today, we have his sister, Tetra. Tetra, if I may step outside the frame for a moment, was created […]

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 24, 2012 at 7:54am

      Hello, Heidi! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a link to the Arowana site. I had never heard of Arowana, but I’m so glad to learn! Carnivorous fresh-water Dragon Fish. I love this line: “Should you decide to give your arowana some non-arowana tank mates, do not put in fishes that are small enough to fit easily into its mouth.” That conjures up a picture of everything you need to know about the social attitudes of this fish. SO cool!


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