I was born March of 2007 in Macon, Georgia as who I am now, but I had a life before
this one. Here is the story from my past life.
It was the year 2003, and I was one of many born on a cool spring day. I had hundreds of legs and pinchers attached to my body. I was a centipede.
I had the normal centipede upbringing of a protective mom that never let us out of her sight and bathed us hourly until it came time to eat her. My siblings and I then went on our own way.
I emerged from the dark space that I had called home for the first months of my life. The outside was bright with tall green walls. There were pathways with insects traveling to who knows where. I backed up into a stone mountain feeling overwhelmed not knowing where to go. I tried to ask for help, but no one stopped or even looked at me. I took the path that was right in front of me and walked for what felt like hours. The light had grown so warm that, I was sure I was going to melt. I looked around for somewhere to rest. There was a tall building that had a hole in the top; that would make an excellent shelter from the light. I had to climb a ways to make it to the top, but I made it and wiggled into the entrance. I fell in and made a splash because there was liquid in this shelter. I began to panic trying to climb out, but I couldn’t make my way to the top. This is it, I thought. I didn’t even make it a day on my own, how pathetic! At that moment, there was an earthquake causing the liquid to slosh around. I found myself trying to gasp for air but there was no air; only liquid. To my surprise, it tasted good, and I felt a zing of energy. I began to quickly drink this deliciously energizing nectar until it was all gone. I felt such a rush of energy I couldn’t stand still. I ran in circles until I felt like was falling from a ten story building. I levitated to the roof of this shelter until I crashed against the wall. My shelter was now sideways I could now walk out.
I emerged from my shelter to find myself in some kind of wasteland. There were other shelters; some were in solid condition while others were in complete destruction. There were also many torn and crumpled blankets covering the ground. I noticed this place had massive walls keeping this wasteland enclosed. I could hear loud noises surrounding the outside of the walls.
I sat for a few minutes trying to think of a way out. There was a noise coming from my right, so I looked over to see someone eating a fluffy brown thing. They stopped when realized I was looking at them. “Hello”, they said.
“Hi”, I replied. “Where am I?”
“You must be new in town”, they said. “I’m Ant, and this is the dumping grounds of the giants. They deposit all kinds of goodies in here like this muffin!”
“My name is Centipede, and I left my nest this morning. Is there a way out of this place?” I asked.
“Oh yeah, there’s a ladder of over there.” He said pointing to some green poles.
“Thanks,” I said as I made my way to the ladder. The noises got louder the higher I climbed. There was that same smell from my shelter but stronger. I finally made it to the top where I caught my breath. I looked around to see the giants filling the area drinking from replicas of my shelter.
“You new here?”, asked Fly.
“Yeah, just got here,” I replied.
“Welcome to paradise dude! Hop on my back, and I’ll take you to my village.” I got on his back, and he began to fly. “This place here is where the giants consume the nectar.” We continued flying towards the back. “This is where they make the nectar.” Some of the giants were pouring grains into a funnel and adding water while others were syrup to the nectar.
We flew into a crack in the wall and down a tunnel. “This is it bro!” Fly said as we landed. There were many homes housing a large variety of insects. “Make yourself at home!” Fly said as he flew away.
As I walked around, everyone said hi to me. What a friendly place, how did I get so lucky? There were Cicadas singing, Larva laughing and there were a group of Roaches carrying in a chunk of strudel. The whole village cheered and ran up and started chowing down. My stomach was growling, so I ran over and chowed down too. It was the sweetest thing I have ever tasted, no wonder they are so happy here. I ate until I was about to pop. This was my life for the next two years.
Two years have passed, and I was growing bored living in a crack in the wall. Sure it was an easy life, but I wanted more. I traveled out of the crack and ran across the floor dodging the giants. I ran up the wall and found another crack with a tunnel. This tunnel was challenging with lots of twists, turns and tight spaces. I was moving along steadily until one of my legs got stuck on something. It was a sticky net. I tried pulling my leg free with all my might, but I just couldn’t break free. Wait a second…Spiders made nets to catch insects for dinner. The villagers always spoke of tales about long lost friends and family that became an entree to a spider. I thought it was just an urban legend. Realizing that these weren’t just made up stories, I began to panic. There was a thud and then another thud. I then saw a large eight-legged shadow against the concrete. I began to tremble in horror knowing that this was it. A loud deep voice then spoke, “Who are you? What are you doing in my home?”
“I’m Centipede, and I was traveling to find a new home. I didn’t realize someone else lived here. I’ll be on my way once I get my leg unstuck.” I said with a shake in my voice.
“Leave? You can’t leave!” The voice said with a graveling laugh. “Why don’t you stay for dinner?”
Oh my bug, oh my bug! He’s going to eat me! I’m the dinner, The Centipede Special, he’ll call it. Why didn’t I listen? Why couldn’t I just be happy with my life? I took everything for granted! Thump, Thump, Thump. He was getting closer. The shadow grew bigger, and then I could feel him behind me.
“I hope you like raspberry sorbet.” The voice said.
“Huh?” I said confused.
“Raspberry sorbet, I made too much. If you don’t have some, it will be wasted.” He said. “Oh sorry about your leg, let me help you!” He spit on my leg and wiggled it free. “My allergies are terrible this time of year. I’m constantly sneezing and wasn’t expecting company.”
I turned around to see a massive fuzzy spider looking at me. I left out a scream and started running away. I stopped when I heard a whimper coming from behind me. Was the spider crying? I turned around to see him hunched over with tears coming out of his eyes. “I’m sorry, I heard stories, and I got scared,” I said.
“You’re not the first to run away from the sight of me. No one will give me a chance, I’m so lonely.” He said between his sniffles.
“But what about all the insects that have met your kind and never returned?” I asked.
“They were most likely taken by the Demon Beaks or the Demon Claws.” He said. “I’m a fruitarian. I have never hurt a fly. We are very misunderstood.”
“I could go for some sorbet,” I said walking back.
“Marvelous!” He said with a smile. He brought out two big bowls of the iced treat. We talked for many hours about life, food and travel.
I bid Spider farewell and continued on my way. He gave me directions to the space he found his food. I climbed for quite a while until I reached my destination. I peaked out of the crack to observe my new adventure. The spider had warned me about a creature called a Demon Claw. Demon Claws are big furry creatures with sharp daggers in their toes. Apparently, the giants kept them around as companions, and these creatures are known to attack insects. I knew this place would be dangerous, but I wanted some thrill in my life.
The space seemed to be vacant, so I walked along the wall exploring. There were loads of sugary fruits and pieces of bread lined up on the tables. Jackpot! I dug into the fruits, enjoying each bite. Back at the village, we always ate the same things and now I can finally try new things!
This routine continued for the next few months. I would run into Spider a lot on my scavenger hunts. We even met up weekly for dinners where Spider would work his chef skills. Then one-day things didn’t go as planned. Spider and I had run into each other collecting our fruits when there was an earthquake followed by roars. “What’s that?” I yelled.
“It’s the Demon Claw!” Screamed Spider. “Run!”
I began running as fast as I could. I could feel the earth’s shaking starting to increase with each stride. Then there was a horrific scream! I turned and saw Spider being crushed by a furry foot. “No!” I screamed, running towards him.
“Centipede, NO!” Spider cried out. “It’s too late for me save yourself!”
I knew I had to try! I charged forward, and threw my head into the Demon Claw’s foot and pinched it. The Demon Claw lifted it’s a foot up from Spider with me attached to it and began shaking it violently. I was not going to let go! Spider limped away taking shelter in a box. The Demon Claw flung me against the wall then stepped on me stabbing me with one of its daggers. I screamed out in pain. It then began to pluck out my legs one by one. Spider began throwing sugar cubes at the Demon Claw, but it didn’t stop the beast.
“Just do it!” I screamed. The Demon Claw and I locked eyes for a moment. It then bit my head off. Spider was screaming and crying. The Demon Claw proceeded delivered my lifeless body to its giant who then threw me outside. From there, I became Demon Beak food.