Author : Cheryl Wood Ruggiero

You’re right. I really should not have touched it.

I certainly know better. My mother always told me not to touch odd things I found in the woods. I told my own children the same, and my grandchildren.

But it was so shiny. And so smooth. And when I touched the green fallen leaf it lay on, it quivered like a quarter-sized pool of mercury. I had to touch it. I just had to.

And of course, it spread itself up my finger, which only looked silver plated for about half a minute.

I don’t feel any different. Haven’t I always had the smooth complexion of a young girl? Very smooth. Almost luminous. Haven’t I always been able to pour myself under leaf litter, around the fruiting stalks of fungi and rise up again into my beautiful body a mile away? Haven’t I always absorbed the dead detritus of the earth and dead skin cells of my fellow humans as I touch them? Haven’t I always been a vital part of the food chain?

You think I’ve changed? You’d rather I didn’t touch you? Oh.

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