Short Stop

He invented her without thought, a mother in a cage. She was part of our game, silently birthing wet eggs, while the unwanted spawn surrounding her would reach up and slap her haunches to set her limbless body swinging, like some wretched, twisted game of tetherball.

To me, she always had a piglike face, tusked, with thatches of straw like hair, and wet, milky, unseeing eyes. She made little noise, aside from when an egg sac fell from her, and even then, it’s impossible to know if that meaty-hiccup-like mewl was of relief, agony, revulsion, or something else I could never quantify.

He created her of nothing, to shock and repulse us, and it worked, lighting up sparks of astonished wonder, disgust, and no small amount of the joy that all rubbernecking trainwreck-gawkers seem to have.

She lived in that cage, because he said so. She may well have been born there, knowing nothing of what it had been like to run, to breathe the air outside of her prison. We never thought to ask if she was scarred — if there was evidence that they had taken her limbs, or if she had never had any, to begin with.

She was only a part to play, and I’m not even certain if we remembered to save her, or if she was not to be saved, or if she willfully hung in chains, knowing some of her children would stay always, to love her as they knew how, or if she knew anything of her existence at all.  I only remember the thought of her, hanging there, dropping eggs, swinging to cries of “Mama!” while we kept on, searching for our own ends.

After leaving her, I may well have seen my own self in a fountain of blood, swimming to forget, brown skin stained red, but that might have been another demon’s world, stolen from the Originators, they who thought up the three moons, the magic, the marjoram, the bunnies, and everything that made us laugh and cry in those days, when the most pressing question was who would be sent to forage for dinner, and who had enough to pay for it.

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