By Matthew Garcia-Dunn

Snooker had never felt this low before. His job at Steve’s Sprockethouse was weighing him down with extra shifts. The restaurant was booked out for months, and yet nobody seemed to show up, so he always had to turn down his friends when they showed up. He even had to fill in for the chef for a week. And now the task of creating a new menu had fallen on his very human shoulders.

“This is too much,” he said to Kana. She always had a line for her food. Her customers were happy, and her menu was constantly changing. “Where do I even begin?”

“Do you love cooking?” Kana said, leaning out of the Sashimichanga window. “Like, really love it. Where you can’t stop dreaming up dishes like space-squid linguine, or supernova tapenade? These dishes speak to me, waiting to be created and perfected.”

“I do not have that experience,” Snooker replied. “I mostly dream about normal human things like sheep leaping over fences or showing up late to a human classroom in my pyjamas and there’s a test I haven’t studied for.”

“It’s okay to not love your job, Snooker,” Kana said with a smile. She handed him a bowl of shimmering silver noodles with flecks of twinkling seeds. “In fact, that’s very human. Sometimes you just have to vent your frustrations and let them go.”

Snooker smiled, feeling grateful to have found someone who understood. That was exactly what he needed to hear. Vents opened up on his back, and blue hot jets of flame blazed to life.

“Frustrations, vented.” Snooker said.

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