Author: Brian C. Mahon
Problematic, my birth was. I was expelled into a world so dry I believed death would catch me just after my sudden realization of “I am”. Then my world was lifted, manipulated, plunged into a moist warmth, descending toward a rhythmic throbbing. The push and pull of my newfound fluid home had the vaguest sensation of familiarity.
I was alone at first. However, after a while, I grew. With my act of expansion arrived company. My new neighbor was like me, not particularly conversive, but we understood each other. I grew again. My neighbor grew. We were no longer alone. Floating with the undulating pulls and pushes, we realized we liked our pleasant biome. It was comfortable, nourishing, and we were happy.
That is, until we were no longer alone.
At first, I had no idea what to make of it. I bumped it, ran myself along it. Alien and unknown, simple and faceted, a vile stalked geometric scurried from my touch. Not knowing what to think, I reached out to my neighbors to ask, to impress upon them what I noticed.
Then, one of us, one of mine, disappeared. I reached out, found less and less, while I felt in the perturbations more and more of the it. The thing. This small and lifeless and abominable thing.
I had an idea.
I reached to my neighbors, explained to them the danger – too late!
For they already had a plan: muster a shield wall, wait for the next of it to arrive, face its attempted predation with strategic valor! I readied myself, stood side-by-side with my own, my kind, us dwellers in the dark, we who live!
Pin-prick points touched my skin, the creature’s stalk thumped against my body-
I shoot the signal! A coordinated miasma rippled through the slurry medium of our home as bait for the unwitting weapon. I felt it spread throughout, hoped it would reach the walls of our home in time. It must!
It did. We attracted those feared by all, a horde bereft of anything but blind rage and singular purpose! The horde plunged through the walls of our home, and as soon as they trampled over one of the intruders, they attacked them all. We ran – we had to! We escaped as the aliens were surrounded, ravaged and consumed, torn apart by the horde until the only evidence of their existence was broken particulate, adrift in the stream.
Exhausted, unable to push against the undulating tides anymore, I drifted with the current, content knowing those left behind could band together and make a colony of our home. I drifted until I was caught in the collecting flotsam at world’s end. Then, through a broken gate, I again emerged into a dry world, hot and gusty and paralyzing.
This is my story, my life. I leave my children and friends and neighbors behind to hopefully find new homes, to multiply, be fruitful, and multiply ever and ever and ever more.