#FictionFriday – It’s the Little Things

September 2018 Prompt

“Really? I’m free?” I asked, straining to see in the blanketing darkness.

No answer came, save for the sliding of a chute door, and out I fell, once more into blinding light.

Unlike the last time I was born, I didn’t scream. Instead my jaw dropped in wonder. For before me was a gargatuan world where green stalks loomed over me and the sun beat down in merciless waves.

At least, I’m pretty sure it’s still the sun. I haven’t been released onto some alien planet, have I?

I strode forward on wobbly legs – like a newborn giraffe – to examine this new world. I also wanted to ignore the thought consuming my mind:

I died?

But…I’m also back?

I always was one for a paradox when I was alive (gulp), but this was too much for my brain to compute, so instead I busied myself with investigating the ginormous grains of sand and boulder-sized pebbles around me.

They seemed familiar, and yet, at this level, I could see new details and textures I never had before. It was all so beautiful. The shimmer of minerals at microscope-level, the rainbow reflection in a bead of water, the vibrant thrumming green of this huge…blade of grass?

Ok, I’ve definitely been shrunk. But why?

My brain’s computational abilities kicked into overdrive then, as the proverbial montage of life began to flash before my eyes like a flickering film reel sapped of color, but not of feeling. I sank to my knees as the joy of childhood birthdays morphed into high school heartbreak and then into the hollowness of mid-life monotony, all too fast for me to appreciate.

Almost like life itself.

Something like tears leaked from my eyes, but when I reached up to wipe them away, a very insect-like appendage appeared instead of my hand.

My many eyes (oh god I have more than two?) widened in horror.

The sun was blotted out by a rush of wings and cawing hunger. I was too shocked to run, to hide.

The last thing I ever saw was a beak closing in around me.

 

The attendants next to the reincarnation tunnel clucked their tongues. The one with the clipboard crossed out ‘11384’ on the list.

“Another one eaten. The bugs never last long do they?” the other one said.

“No,” said clipboard guy. “If they didn’t want to be an insect, they shouldn’t have been an asshole.”

A signal light began to flash and the mouth of the tunnel opened again to eject another prisoner.

“What have we got this time?”

Clipboard guy checked his notes. “Ooh, earthworm.”

The second-to-last thing Prisoner 11385 ever heard was the sound of laughter.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

M.A. Crosbie writes adult historical fiction and is currently working on a series set during the 17th-century Scottish Civil Wars, as well as a stand-alone set at the end of the American Revolution. Check out her TwitterInstagram and Pinterest, where she posts about feminism, books, dogs, and other lovely things (like more dogs). You can read all of her Muses stories here.


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