Sunday, January 26, 2014

In the box

The meat animals had shut the door of the box.  They had used fire.  It would have to be forced open, but not too soon.  The meat animals were cunning.  They had stings that traveled over distances.  Faster than its kin could move.  Faster, almost, that its kin could see.  Better to wait until the meat animals were either subdued or fleeing.  Having fed, waiting was not difficult for it.  The youngkin however, wounded and hungry was making motions at the bound meat animal it had secured and brought from the well.
“NO,” it cast.  The youngkin stopped.
“HUNGRY,” it cast back and made a tentative motion towards the meat, squirming to get free.
“NO,” it cast again. 
It was puzzled itself.  It did not want this one harmed.  This one had made fire in its mind.  It wanted time to explore the fire again.  There was a cast for ‘mine’ but it was never used by harvesters.  Harvesters couldn’t own anything.  Harvesters were owned, even the juice in their gullets belonged to the colony.  “OFFERING,” it cast.  This one is going back alive.
“SHARE.”  The younkin was asking for a part, to drain off some blood but it had already drained off some blood before the battle and it didn’t know much more the meat animal could afford to lose.
“SHARE!”  The youngkin’s Need must be terrible.  The youngkin was growing desperate, hopping an anger dance and would not obey just because the order came from an elder harvester.  In the youngkin’s state, feeding would be frenzied and would not stop until the Need was satiated.  The meat animal would be drained.  This was unacceptable to it.  It made a decision.
“RELENT.”  The youngkin hopped a gladness dance and dove for the meat animal, it’s tooth extending, all else forgotten.  It slid off the wall above the door where it had been perched and quickly stove in the youngkin’s head while it was turned.  Nothing wasted, it began to drink the youngkin too.  Even in the dark, the eyes of the meat animal were obviously huge upon it.  Another spark.  A feeling this time.  Something ancient.  Something forgotten.  Something purged long ago by pain and the Need.  It picked up the carcass of the youngkin and moved to the other end of the box, even turning it’s back to the meat animal.  There it finished drinking the youngkin.  As it worked, its mind turned over the feeling and turned it over again and at last a word for it arose…
Shame.  The feeling was called, ‘shame.’

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