Imagine the depths of space. Imagine the cold, wearying, bone-chilling vacuum of the interstellar void, pure and black and cold to its core.
Imagine a…creature. A thing so large and yet so small; so large that it can look at a solar system and revel in its futile minuteness, and yet so small that it could hide behind a single cosmic atom. A consciousness that holds no form, no substance…no emotion, and yet is driven by something that transcends mere flesh and blood. Hunger. Imagine its deep, lustful hunger.
Imagine its pleasure—no, its drooling, insatiable desire—at its discovery of a world, a world with life. A warm, wet, blue world, the third in its system, both full of life and yet defenceless.
A perfect world.
A perfect world to feed from.
Imagine the panic, the fear, the sheer, unadulterated…terror as the insect-small beings hear its thoughts, broadcast through every sound-wave, every broadcast-able channel. They can hear its wants, its desires…its capacity to eat—and its constant, ceaseless craving for more.
Imagine the poor, twittering beings during their descent into madness as the thoughts grow louder. The beings, those beings of meat and bone, and their descent into mob rule. A mob panics, and panic begets fear, and fear begets terror, and the creature is enraptured.
It feeds. It rejoices in the feeding. The mob, in their panic, cannot understand, cannot think, and give into their basest emotions.
And the creature sings! Sings in rapture as it feels the emotions weave into itself, completing it, giving it a purpose. It gives this world, this tiny, weak little world, its song; allows it to hear its pleasure, its lust, its gratitude at the gift the beings are giving it.
The beings do not understand, of course. They never do. They can never see beyond their own blind terror, their own naked craving—to survive. The creature needs to survive as well, and its own survival matters more. Why else would nature evolve these creatures to feed from if they weren’t for its own taking?
Its hunger begins to dissipate, a curious feeling, for it feels hungry so much of the time. Its song ceases.
This planet is ripe and fresh…and its capacity for madness and violence and fear will sustain the creature. And for so long.
This is a world to savour.
Imagine…imagine the silence. The silence that convinces you all is again well, and the thin layer of civilisation can resume.
And so imagine the crumbling, weeping, gut-wrenching horror you feel, one day…when the song begins again.
Imagine the fear.
Imagine the song that induces that fear.
Savour the silence.
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© 2010 Matthew Munson
First appeared in ‘Daily Bites of Flesh 2011’ published by Daily Flash Publications and Pill Hill Press.
Thanet-based author Matthew has three novels published by Inspired Quill, is an inveterate blogger, and writing is his passion.