Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the SCIENCE FICTION genre (05/10/07)
TITLE: Fictitious? - Fantasy?
By David F. Palmieri Sr.
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The creature finally reached the edge of the slime-covered pool, moving ever so slowly up the muddy bank–exhausted from the struggle. Stopping now to rest after his hour-long effort to dry land, his weary eyes looking cautiously at his surroundings. A New World stood before him, a world of the unknown. How would he protect himself? Where would he find food? He stared wide-eyed at the moon lit features of the landscape. He fell asleep from shear weariness.
The warmth from above woke him gently. What was this bright light shining overhead? He did not fear it as he had feared the darkness. He took comfort in the beauty of his situation. He did not know their names, but basked in their splendor. Grass, flowers, trees, all things that were foreign to his environment. Moving his limbs quickly he slowly slithered over to the nearest patch of growth. Hesitantly he took a bite, not knowing what to expect, but knowing his body craved food. Somewhat bitter at first, but fulfilling his need, he continued to eat.
Weeks went by, then months. Each new dawn brought the warmth and light from above as on that first day. The creature had discovered a large rock not too far from the water’s edge. This is where he found shelter during the long dark nights in the forest. It gave him a sense of security hiding under it in the cool soft sand. During the day he would lay on top of the rock and soak up the sun’s warm rays. He felt his body growing larger every morning. Then one day he noticed small growths beginning to emerge from the ends of his tiny flippers, both front and rear. Unconcerned, he found them convenient in digging out more sand from under his shelter as his girth increased.
After a time the appendages continued to lengthen and gain strength. The growths on the ends of each member continued to enlarge, five on each limb. He quickly learned that this new development made digging and feeding easier and quicker for him to accomplish. One day while attempting to hide from an unexpected adversary he learned that he could walk on these newfound limbs rather than simply slither as he had previously done.
As the seasons changed and the days began to shorten, the creature found himself more comfortable with the long dark nights. So much in fact that he began searching for food long before the familiar light rose in the sky. He found that under cover of darkness it was much easier to overcome his prey. He no longer feasted on just the vegetation around him; he had developed a taste for meat. One night while in pursuit of a meal the creature realized that he was running upright on only two legs. Not understanding, but not really concerned he happily devoured his feast.
Many changes took place with the passing of time. He learned to walk in a vertical position on two legs. His two front arms learned to hold things and eventually to form sticks and stones into useful tools. One day during a frightening storm the creature discovered a fire that had begun as a bolt of lightening struck a nearby tree. He took some of the embers to his sanctuary beneath the rock. He fed it and nurtured it keeping it alive. The fire was his friend. It would heat his dwelling and protect him from the long night’s darkness. He came to love the fire and the warmth it provided.
One day without reason the creature took some of the glowing cinders outside. He built a fire in front of the rock which had been his home. As darkness descended on the valley the fires reflection danced on the rocks face creating an awesome display. Breathless from observing the beauty before him the creature advanced toward the rock. Dropping to the ground in wonderment the creature bowed down and worshipped the rock.
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