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  • Loke T Leng

A Brief Existence

Soft, velvety goo pulsated around it, as it struggled to breathe though a pinhole of a mouth, turning upside down as light shone through a tunnel that grew ever larger. It was confused, scared even, muscles tense from the familiar wetness that felt so wrong now that it could feel. Something rippled through the liquid, sound, vibrating, felt yet unheard, for it had no ears.

Something was pushing, hard, towards that bright hole. It didn’t know what to feel, this was all new to it after all. The edges of the hole soon touched its crown, its misshapen head peaking through, indented inwards like a bowl. It was dark again, the pressure slowly forcing it to push and force the hole wider, until the brightness returned, sending a jolt of pressure to be felt on its eye. Reflectively it tried to shut off the light with eyelids that weren’t there. Something felt wrong and it didn’t know why, so when its mouth came out it shrieked like a devil, the absurdly small pinhole on its face opening to show it was without teeth, tonsil nor tongue.

The air felt wrong, it was not soft, warm, velvety or wet, but instead it was cold, piercing, harsh and dry. So it shrieked harder as blood seeped through its cracked skin while its nerves lit up in agony. This was wrong, totally, absolutely definitely wrong. It knew nothing but that, the pain told it so; the difficulty breathing told it so; the blinding light on its eye without a lid told it so.

It wasn’t shrieking alone, in fact its deformed ears told it the world was shrieking, crying even, perhaps in response to it? The walls of the hole continued to pulse, pushing more of it out from warm safety into danger and pain. Two stubby arms followed, each carrying a hand with six fingers. It tried to move them as they came in contact to the air, trying to contract muscles that it couldn’t feel.

Pain and pressure were building up in its chest, already burning with a sensation that pushed it to try even harder to breathe in the air that hurt. More of it was pushed out, the testes finally showing, half-folded. The light was beginning to fade now, although it was sure its eye was still open. The burning sensation in its chest continued to grow alongside a sense of danger. It had to keep drawing in air, it didn’t know why but it did so anyway, pulling in air into a clogged windpipe.

It was entirely in pain now, its leg and a stump finally pushed out from the safety it so craved. As it dropped down completely onto a soft surface, the world spun into nothingness. The cries, pain and light that greeted it floated away into the distance as its deformed brain started to shut down, taking away the feeling of danger and confusion. Its eye that barely saw the world rolled up in its socket and for a moment, it knew relief. Thus it died, with an existence so brief that it had no memories to regret upon, no sin to be condemned for and no question for its maker to be asked.

With much sadness, it was swiftly buried, much to the delight of the dwellers bellow, who took to making babies in it as it rotted into compost. Days later, from its tiny body, a hundred worms emerged, scooting away to the next fresh grave only to be crushed by a falling coffin. They died quickly.

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