Immortal EarthA Chapter by Carl Thomas
The underground river was its world. A constant torrent that fed through the soil, nourishing its body where it lay.
Over the weeks its pulse had softly quickened, pumping its blood until it matched the river’s own steady tempo. Deformed limbs waited patiently for their root-like fingers to wither back. There would be no release until they did.
To feed its dormant state, these long tendrils had gone in search of nourishment, travelling past stones and through sand, all jockeying for the precious minerals that lay dissolved in the earth. Now they were dying and losing their long grip on the world.
Time passed and its awareness grew. Phasing in and out, becoming less dense with each cycle, it slowly broke free of the earth that held it.
The dead husks, that were once its life, broke away as its fingers slowly mingled with the surrounding ground. Its body left its burial chamber, leaving the cast of its imprisonment in the hardened sand.
Bit by bit it travelled upwards like a ghost. Much of its actions were instinctive, its mind thought of very little as it passed meter upon meter of changing deposits.
Its awareness expanded as the soil became drier and warmer. It eagerly passed through burrows and chambers, sampling the air as it went.
Finally, it broke the surface and little by little, it entered the world. Blood coloured sand shifted and flowed around its emerging form as it rose upwards into the silent womb of the Earth. A womb like cavern that took life without remorse.
Ripples formed and grew, large shoulders shed curtains of liquid-sand. Strangely, it made little effort and seemed aided by the earth itself. In stillness, it listened, as its senses roamed the airways for signs of life.
It felt the remains of many dead animals. Trapped without hope. Images of events passed through its mind, of night time passage above and sudden tumbles through open mouths in the earth. The terror, confusion, sudden or lingering death followed by calm acceptance and release from the world they knew and loved.
Time passed like a river around its now still form and wisps of pale steam languidly rose from its hardening flesh.
Oily eyes peered unblinking and large, as its dawning mind opened freely to the heavens, reflecting and absorbing the starry night that reached down through the mouth of the cavern above. The very same mouth that once fed hungrily for millions of years.
Fed through changing seasons of barren ice, humid jungle and scorching desert. Layer upon layer of gathering remains that plotted the evolving growth of life through the ages. From ferocious reptiles to furry mammals. All now tamed by the passage of time and the death that dutifully aided their passing between worlds. All that they'd taken up through food, to give form and movement, now lay blended into the sandy soil beneath its feet.
The wobble of the Earth as it spun on its axis filled its mind with awe and a curious joy. The pull and tug of the poles and the energy that coursed through its veins all made for a perfect moment that would have dazzled the minds of millions.
After sleeping within the folds of a forgetful eternity, it now stood awake and aware and ready to step fully into the waiting new age. Many billions if souls all ripe for the taking. The promised harvest had arrived.
Suddenly, and without warning, it came to life, primitive clubfeet pounding hard at the ground. Its legs seemed to vibrate and shudder as they built up the kinetic energy needed to rise through the air above. Beneath the lip of the opening, some sixty feet above, it jumped like a flea on a hot stone. Easily clearing the edge and leaving the cavern below. Instantly forgotten by its brief visitor but ever waiting for its next hapless charge.
Free to roam through the world, all living creatures that felt its presence instinctively stilled or burrowed deeper into the protective ground. There they would sleep and dream of their eventual last breath, gobbled up by a scaly snake or feathery owl.
It disappeared, swallowed up by the endless night.
Yet others were hearing the call to rise. Their root-like fingers vibrated and drew nourishment for the journey ahead.
Some of them happened across graves, overflowing with rancid meat, and lingered a while. Tapering fingers explored the remains with an unwelcome familiarity of human anatomy.
Millions of years of human evolution, quickly catalogued, cross-referenced and put aside for future use. Awakening minds hungrily smiled at the colourful scenes that passed from one, to all, of the welcoming night and the bounty of the dead, both fresh and mouldering.
People, camped out in trailers or tents, were the first to fall, their bodies brutally torn by the new life-force that staked its claim on their very existence. Their nourishing fear helped sweeten the meat. All was good.
The drive for change had begun.
© 2011 Carl Thomas
AboutWriter of poetry and fiction. Currently writing a book called Dark Dreams. more..