I see how they look at me. How they coil when I move. How they squirm like they would seeing a toothless man suck on a crunchy chicken thigh attempting to bite it.
I see how they jump and I hear how they scream when they see me. Would they behave the same if I had legs?
I know my slithering is daunting and brings chills down the spines of many. But I wasn't always like this. I used to walk the earth like many of you. I wasn't always without legs. Until my friend the millipede needed to go to his daughter's wedding.
He had come to me the day before talking about how he wanted to out-dance everyone at the celebration, and that he needed my legs to add to the movement of his.
Well, it was going to be a lazy weekend anyway as harvesting time had not yet arrived. And in exchange for me lending him my legs for the day, and for watching his farm while his family was away he would help me harvest my crops.
It sounded like a good deal. Plus I wasn't a big fan of ceremony so I was glad he hadn't asked me to accompany him to the wedding.
We could hear the beat of the drums from all the way. The cheers brushed through the leaves in the lands making many that had been left behind want to rush there and join the party.
My friend Millipede must have been having the time of his life. I could imagine him giving my legs the time of their lives as he had given me a taste of it before he had left that morning.
"All lands shall be speaking my name by the time I am done with them," he told me laughing as he left.
I knew he had harboured some dancer dreams when he was younger and he would break a leg or two many a time when he would be singing while working on his field. It felt as though he planned to relive his dream during these wedding celebrations.
He was an old man now with a daughter he was marrying off. I was happy for him that he could get to showcase his moves to an audience before his bones wouldn't break anymore and I looked forward to him coming back with my legs and flamboyant stories of how he killed it for he was also a gifted storyteller.
At sunset on Sunday, after the drums had long died down, I waited to see the Millipede return with my legs. He didn't.
What might have happened? I wondered. Had he been too tired to walk back home from all the dancing the previous day?
I thought he would come back by midday on Monday. But he also didn't. Had my friend lost his shame? He knew that one must be careful to never overstay a welcome, especially when visiting inlaws.
I wasn't worried though. With harvest on his farm still undone, I was confident he would be back somehow. A man must eat. And store the rest for the tough times.
But that was until I saw a poster announcing a dance festival by a group of performers. Millipede was at its centre with my legs in the air.
On the poster were comments about what a thrilling dancer he was. And below the comments were many dates of the many villages they were going to visit with the troupe.
I never saw Millipede ever again. Or my legs. Only on such posters.
And that's why I slither about the earth still waiting for Millipede to bring back my legs.
Why do I bite on your legs you may ask? Because sometimes anger consumes me and I curse the day I lent my legs to that thief.
Is it out of jealousy? Only you can answer that.
About the Creator
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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Original narrative & well developed characters
Clever and fun! Nice work
As I read these words, I am transported to a world where the lines between man and beast blur, where a creature stripped of its limbs slithers about the earth, haunted by the memory of its betrayal. The language is vivid and evocative, capturing the essence of a being that has been robbed of its agency and reduced to a state of constant indignation. The imagery is particularly striking - the way the narrator describes how others recoil and squirm in their presence, how they jump and scream at the sight of them. It speaks to a deep-seated fear of the unknown, a primal instinct that has been hardwired into the human psyche since time immemorial. The story of the millipede and the narrator's stolen legs is both tragic and poignant. It highlights the capricious nature of fate and the dangers of trusting too much in one's fellow creatures. The fact that the millipede was once a friend only adds to the pathos of the situation, as does the narrator's lingering hope that they might one day be reunited with their stolen appendages.
Well thought out and unique, nicely done!
Wonderful storytelling! Great work!
I love these stories!! Hearted!
excellent piece of work
Excellent work...like the Adam and Eve story never ended...
That was great! It has the feel of an Aesop's Fable but flows much better with sparkling descriptive language. I'll be checking out more of your work Gal!
Ooof! This was fab! Well done! I really enjoyed reading it.
This is creative and beautifully written! Reminded me of Kipling. Well done, congrats on the top!
This was a great read. Congrats on the top story.
Congratulations!! This was really fun to read!! 😁
Ohh this is a great fable! Hearted! Congratulations on the new top story
Congratulations on your Top Story, excellent writing
Excellent. This feels like a classic fable.