"Are you the only shapeshifting species?" Emily asked. She was flipping through her Braille Romeo and Juliet, summer reading. She was just skimming really.
"Not quite," Skylar, was flipping through one of Emily's other books, their translator taking the information from their fingertips and converging it into readable text on the back of their eyelids. "But, we are one of the few which can almost completely change inside and out."
"Do they all exist on Qwortar?"
"Only one, an ancestor to us Qwortarians."
"They didn't die out?"
Skylar laughed. "The intermediate species did, but not the oldest we can find with any shapeshifting abilities."
"What are they like?"
"Primitive. A single celled organism. Lives in water." Skylar shrugged. "We haven't translated our name for it into other languages."
"Well, sounds close to an amoeba." Skylar shut their eyes and looked up the creature Emily referenced.
"They do look very similar." Skylar rolled from belly to their back on the rug. "But ours can change their shape in response to various stimuli, even compress or expand to a small degree without damaging themselves or hindering life's processes."
"Huh." Emily propped her chin in her hands, Romeo's final speech ignored. "The first time we met, the way John described you, it does kind of remind me of a single celled organism. Are you technically one giant cell?"
“Yeah. My mitochondria morphed into the human digestive tract, the smooth endoplasmic reticulum is the circulatory system, the secretory vesicles have differentiated into your different glands, and the outer membrane is skin now, obviously.”
Emily kicked her feet, causing the bed to squeak underneath her. “It makes sense, but you know what, it also doesn’t.”
“What doesn’t make sense?”
“How quickly you were able to put all that together with technical biology words.”
“Darn, almost had you.”
“Did not!” Emily tossed a pillow at Skylar and the two started laughing.
“Fine. I didn’t pull off the joke, and I am a multicellular organism.”
“Okay, well, how come you can change your size so much?”
“Most of the time, my cells themselves grow or shrink as needed, but that again only goes so far.”
“So…” Emily poked the crook of their elbow, “If someone looked at your cells would they be larger or smaller than an average human cell?”
“Uhhhh…” Skylar frowned and blinked a few times. “Um. I think… I’d have to put them under a microscope together to say for sure.”
“Fair enough. Too bad I don’t know anyone with access to the type of microscope we’d need for that.”
“Yeah.” Skylar shrugged. “Too bad. Guess we’ll never know. Like the licks for those tootsie pops.”
Emily started giggling again. “No, that one we can find out.” Her hand fumbled on her bed post, nearly knocking her phone down instead of grabbing it. “I’ll ask John to bring some over.”
“Fun!” Skylar clapped.
Word count: 479