Harmless and Beautiful

I see you, human. I see your wide eyes, your sunburned skin, your trembling fist clutching a green-tinted bottle. I smell the pheromones flooding from your skin and I hear your racing heart.

To be honest, I’m surprised you heard me. I figured I’d drop down off the ridge pole of your fancy canvas tent, gobble up the ant on the table next to your cot, and be on my way.

I was dozing. It landed on my nightstand, inches from my face. I thought it was a snake.

You humans startle so easily. Especially you pale ones. You come and write in your notebooks and think yourselves learned, but you don’t see you’re drowning in reason. You think you bask in its light, but the truth is it has blinded you. It has separated you from the rest of life.

I snatched up an empty Sprite bottle and crushed its head between the thick, green glass and the hardwood tabletop.

Oh, human. Almost every decision you make is guided by fear. Fear and jealousy. The monkeys you came here to study haven’t diverged as you have. They are not as destructive as you are, nor are they unhappy. None of this is coincidence.

The lizard fell, twitching, to the mud-soaked mats on the floor of the tent.

You are surrounded by your brothers and sisters, yet you cannot see it. You do not know that I am everywhere and in everything. That we all are. All of life. A single, expansive, shared consciousness that you’ve lost. Perhaps you sense this and that is why you are so destructive.

I watched its broken body quiver.

Crush my body and my spirit will still be everywhere. And you, human, you will layer guilt atop your fear and ignorance, and you will feel ever more alone until at long last death brings you home.

Its head and tail were a bright, cobalt blue. Its body and legs a delicate, silvery white. I thought it was a snake.

I see you, human. I see you slip your feet into your hiking boots.

It was harmless and beautiful.

I see your boot heel coming down, human, and I forgive you.

Leave a prompt in the comments — a living thing, an inanimate object, and a location — and I will use it to write a story and tag you when it’s published.

Photo by Divya Agrawal on Unsplash

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