Smog (Feghoot VII)

By Reginald Bretnor writing under the pen name Grendel Briarton.

In 3588, the space liner Asimov Maru was forced down on a seemingly unknown planet. Her interstellar transmitters were wrecked and her supplies were all ruined.

Her captain sought out Ferdinand Feghoot, who luckily was one of the passengers. “Please help us,” he begged.

For a moment, Feghoot regarded the landscape. Then, “Bring baskets and a bit iron griddle,” he ordered. “Follow me!”

They obeyed. For hours, they trudged over burning sand and dry cactus. Finally, when they were close to despair, he pointed at an advancing wall of brown fog.

“I thought so!” he cried. “This planet is called Even Greater L. A. It is famous for its edible smog, which tastes just like mushrooms. Light a big fire! Heat up the griddle!” Beckoning to the men with the baskets, he drew his machete.

Soon the men were back with succulent chunks of the edible smog, and these he immediately threw on the fire. They jiggled and twitched; shrill cries seemed to come from them.

“Mr. Feghoot!” the captain exclaimed. “That isn’t just smog. Th-the inhabitants seem to be in it!”

“Think nothing of it,” laughed Ferdinand Feghoot. . . . “It’s all mist to my grill.”

(Copyright © 1958 by Mercury Press. First published in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, January 1958.).

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Henry Troup

     /  March 6, 2016

    I think a typo has jumped in the third paragraph, it should be a “big” iron griddle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *