Alfred: Banana Ball Python
A Short Story
I woke. Surrounded in warm, soothing liquid, but encased in a hard wall with barely the space to turn around. I was immediately overcome with the need to escape, to get out. MUST GET OUT!!!!!
Clawing, pushing, probing, digging at the walls, a small opening forms. Pressing, pushing, stretching, make the slit larger, large enough to peek out. Surrounded by bone white domes and some granular substance, light is dim. Then movement, movement from a short distance away. It looks, it looks, it looks like me……
What seems like hours, days ,or maybe months later I manage to escape my round white tomb. Around me are many others like me, empty tombs like mine and tombs still sealed shut. This is great, this is good, but now the craving for freedom has been replaced. I now crave to eat. Pain gnawing at my mid-section, I must find snacks. Looking around I see that the others aren’t quite like me. They aren’t food though, they are friends. They are just different looking friends. I see a couple white like me, with blue eyes, while others have pink eyes and then there are the black and yellow ones. Striking, really, bold colors, they stand out so much more than I do. Suddenly I have these thoughts of being worthy. Worthy of what though? What is my destiny? What even am I?
Wasn’t long before I was removed from the group room and placed in my own room. I had water, a place to hide from the evil sky cranes, and sometimes snacks dropped in from above. Snacks were fun! Tiny, active, dusty, ran about making me chase them. Oh what fun to hunt them down, pretend they had a chance, then POUNCE! Oh so very tasty. Perfect mix of crisp coating over a soft yummy inside.
Days went on, we could see huge beasts strolling by our windows. Some would pause and glare into our rooms with their giant eyes. They issued guttural tones that made no sense and sometimes chortled. Most of us respond to such attention by hiding till the lights went off and the huge beasts stopped shuffling and chortling and only then would come out of their caves to hunt their tasty treats.
I kept wondering if this was the right path to follow though. I gazed out my window day after day and watched the attention the giant dragon across the valley got. He was active and the huge beasts flocked to him. Then there was another beneath him, dancing across his window, stealing attention from the dragon. It wasn’t till I noticed the same huge beasts coming to view them over and over that I realized we may be doing it wrong.
So when light came the next day, instead of running into my cave, I crawled out and laid comfortably atop it. It really was quite comfortable, why hadn’t I considered this before?
Sure, I did get more attention from the huge beasts, but I couldn’t hold it. Needed to work on my game. What was I missing? I tried dancing like the dragon and that did not go well. I was taken from my home, put in a small cloudy plastic container and probed. Never, ever, do the dragon dance in public!!!!
Once finally returned to my home I was even more determined to find someone to get me out of here. There has to be a better place to live. There just has to be!
One day, deeply depressed, lounging atop my cave despite the absence of huge lumbering beasts, I thought how awesome it would be to be having fun, instead of watching the Dragon across the valley have fun. Sure, I had snacks, I had water, but I didn’t have fun. I had no place to wonder and dream. I had no, wait, what is THAT?
I looked up and saw the empathetic eyes of a giant beast looking back at me, nay, looking into me. It was like he could see my thoughts. What is this? He summoned a far larger beast who glared down and chortled and shuffled away, yet the smaller one stayed. I turned toward him and he tilted his head, so I tilted mine. I don’t know their language and I’m sure I never will, but I felt like I might almost be touching it. Can it feel my desire to leave this place? Does it even have the ability to make my escape happen? Does escape require the assistance of the larger, chortling beast? Most importantly, will the larger chortling beast eat me if he helps me escape? Sometimes I wonder if my type is expected to consider such things.
After what seemed like days, beasts gathered about my home, ceiling removed and I was placed in a small round tub with a lid. After an initial panic that I just got sold as food I was handed to the very beast I had so very wanted to reach out to. Did it work? Is he taking me away from all this? Granted, I’m cramped with no food, no water and it seems drafty, but I have faith. Well, I don’t know what faith really is, but I think I’ve made a connection.
It got cold, it got dark, it vibrated, but when I looked up I saw that same face looking down at me, full of compassion. Then for a bit it was dark, but warm and much chortling in the background. Then this crazy enclosure was opened and I was in a whole new world! It was insane! There was a shallow lake on one side with a cave next to it. Tubes, vines and such across a wide expanse leading to a hotspot with coconut husk cave and natural cork climbing ledge. This! This is what I wanted! This is where I was meant to live.
How Not To Be Seen
Nope Ropes, Sneks, & Danger Noodles
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