Before anyone realized a lab born disease was starting to ravage the wilderness, Qwortarian farmers and ranchers were doing really well. Expecting at least double their usual, one Qwortarian farmer was ready to make even more extra profit. They held a meeting with one possible buyer in their kitchen.
After setting the table for tea and making sure the strongest chair was ready for their guest, Caol took one last look over their numbers before welcoming Glub into their home.
"Thank you for meeting me Caol."
"It is the least I could do." Caol tried not to allow their eye stalk to drift towards the floor, for a better view of Glub's sagging body fat over the edges of the chair. "The Food Appreciation Club is full of outstanding members such as yourself, and I'm honored you are considering purchasing some of my crops."
Glub's laugh was loud and full, shaking his whole body, rolls of excess skin slapping against itself, adding to the cacophony filling Caol's small office.
"Please Caol, I know what people call us really. The Glutton Club. And it has a nice ring to it actually."
"Right." Caol nodded their eye stalk, though the tone of his voice let on they didn't understand one bit. "So, er, I have a huge crop this year, what exactly is the Food, er, Glutton club looking for."
"You are known for your brineberries, right?" Glub wrapped their tentacles around themselves, shifting all their weight onto the seat of a chair. Of course it was momentary, because as soon as the tentacles were gone, Glub's body sagged over the edges again. "We want them all."
"That's quite a lot-"
"And we'll pay you triple the going rate per bushel."
Caol's eye bulged, before blinking rapidly set it back in place. "Uh, well, I guess I can't say you aren't offering enough..."
"Exactly. Better we eat it than to see it languish at market or worse, in the government's food stores." Glub stretched out their tentacles, curling the tips around the edge of the table nearest Caol. With a grunt they pulled themselves closer, ever so slowly, until their beak touched Caol’s. “No one else will ever pay that much for brineberries.”
Glub and Caol had no way of knowing the brineberries The Glutton Club enjoyed in two meals would have been able to sustain thirty Qwortarians for an entire month, three if they did survival rations. So Caol sold their crops and enjoyed the flush of money until the famine caused life as they knew it to crumble.
Word count: 428