The day had turned out to be really nice. It was late March, or early April, I don’t remember. Who cares about calendars when the sun warms your belly so pleasantly?
I stretched and yawned. I happily glided between wakefulness and slumber. Maja’s winglets shone and lured me. And I could swear they were buzzing with a rendition of ‘Sweet Painted Lady’. I was lulled and aroused… It was getting hot, so I took cover under the leaves.
I don’t know how long I was drowsing, but I woke up because of human yells. I sighed. There’s nothing they enjoy better than making noise and mess. And they call us a plague, don’t they?
The yelling got closer and louder. The ground quaked, the bush shook. Drunk guffaws and ribaldry ripped this calm day in two like a butcher’s knife, beat the bejesus out of it. Someone brayed, “Jujube! Regale the King with sweet savories!” The crowd ululated and rushed to the bush. Holy Royal Hexapods! What were they going to do?!
It smelled of trouble, and I decided it was high time to bug out of this unfortunate plant. I made to leap off and… nothing happened. Reprobate Polyphagas! What the hell? I had a shot at jumping a few times in a row but it was in vain. The sun which had caressed me so pleasantly had also played a low-down trick on me. My back leg had tightly glued to a drop of melted resin. I made the only decision I could. I huddled under a leaf, sat tight and didn’t move. All I could do was to wait out this mayhem.
I have indistinct memories of what happened next. There was a snapping of the bush then someone bending a bagel shape out of twigs. I was like a poppy seed on its surface. There were cries of “Must die!” and “Hosanna!” A cacophony of voices, laughing and crying… the thick smell of blood. The smell drove me crazy. I was twitching like an epileptic and trying to escape this crowned trap. We’re not freaking grigs. We don’t enjoy the stench of flesh. I can’t bear this smell. I just can’t. Desperately, I sank my jaws into my stifled joint…
It grew dark. I hobbled slowly. At least I’d escaped with my life and other limbs intact. After all, it was only a leg. I had another five. And wings! That poor guy now dangling from a cross was definitely having a much worse day than I. Damn. I have wings! Why not just go? I took to the air and laid a course for Horeb. Everybody knows that the best nymphet stews are there, and I really need some rest now.
by TETIANA ALEKSINA
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