A Journey of Two Lifetimes

# Spawn

It was a bad first day to be alive. He woke covered in thick, translucent jelly around his body. A sea of eyeballs watched him closely as he wriggled free, then the eyeballs wriggled before disintegrating in front of his very eyes.

Then he was alone.

# Caterpillar

His life dangled on a silky thread just three thousandths of a millimetre thick.

This is the last time I go bungee jumping, thought the caterpillar. All I wanted was to get away from that bird and get out of this tree. Now here I am, swinging around in all eternity!

A gentle breeze caught the wriggling lepidopteran and sent him pendulating on his bungee rope under the oak tree. He’d been hanging around like this for hours and was literally fed up with it. It was usual to eat his thread and climb his way back up to the tree, but his jump was right after he finished munching a large leaf when a sparrow landed on his branch. He plummeted in calculated panic, casting a life-saving thread behind him as a safety rope and as a means of return. But after a few centimetres’ climb-and-swallow, his tiny stomach had no more room for anything, including the thread that would take him the rest of the way up to his tree-top villa.

I suppose technically I am out of the tree, he mused. Certainly not out of the woods though.

He waved a few of his of prolegs but it didn’t help in any way that he may have hoped. It hadn’t helped the last time either, or the time before that. He’d tried, tried and tried again, but there was no success. Maybe that strategy only worked for spiders. Or the insane.

He shook his head in as much self-pity he could muster in his inch-long body, and the movement rippled in a Mexican wave along his body to his tail, which to almost everyone else, looked exactly the same as the rest of his body, except, maybe, his head, which is odd because that’s what started the whole thing off.

A tadpole in a nearby pond watched from relative safety under the water. The ripples on the surface played with the light, but he saw the caterpillar swing in the wind, then fall as a sparrow swooped out of nowhere and severed the thread in a slightly miscalculated predatory attempt.

Momentum carried the umbilically freed caterpill...

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Paul Sterlini
May 13 2022

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What can I say? Except it's brilliant!

Paul Sterlini
May 14 2022