by Lorna Wood
Useful. Keeping busy. Reading the trails, bringing home food.
Warm day, scurrying along, pavement warm, sun bright, right overhead.
“Hey guys, watch this.”
“God, he looks so big through that thing.”
Vibrations. Air movements. Darker, cooler, shifting shadows. Meatshape! Scurry faster.
“Watch out–he’s gonna escape.”
Heavy sky thing above. Hotter. Cooler just beyond the edge. Hurry scurr—
“Oh no you don’t.”
Big vibrations, shifting shadows, meat-smell, movement. Twig! Sweeping, blocking, disturbing the air. Try to climb over, but it’s moving. Not with the air. Against it. Change direction now! Twig gone.
New trail. Food ahead. Useful scurry.
“He’s feeling it now.”
“Push him back.”
Air different. Hotter. Heavy sky thing. So much light! And the air, moving less. Scurry faster to cooler, dark shadows just beyond—Twig! Twig! Grab it! Meat-smell.
On the twig now, clinging, wild ride. Fierce air, cooler. Claws dug in furiously. Attack! Attack! Not the twig, though. Too hard, just a plant-thing.
Crashing twig. Sky, pavement, trees, meat movement, smells, all blurs. Vibrations knocking, air pulling—letting go—flying—landing—
“Aw look. He’s lost.”
Nothing. No one. Light, heat, strong through heavy sky thing, but no one, nothing. Empty. Blank. Lost. Sun through sky thing a hot heavy stream. Where are they? Not far. Move faster. Faster! Find them.
Trail. Useful-useful-useful Turn here. Food ahead.
“Not long now.”
Sun different. Super-hot white light, streaming through heavy sky, no water. Moving super-fast away from it. Pavement hot-hot-hot!
“Look at him!”
“He’s not going anywhere.”
White heat torturing heavy sky stays above. Sun scream stream no water anywhere, must keep moving, sun screaming “Faster!” Can’t—moving feebly—white light screaming everywhere—legs waving—faster! but no, curling—new smell, not us, streaming death-smell no water sun screaming white heavy sky stream all around, meat shadows cooler just beyond, but now