Forty winters in the past, the two-legs rode to Possum Island within the pouches of their metallic moms. They dug a gap within the earth with a giant arduous claw, introduced choices of recent trash each day, and served their bounty to the possums. Every day was a feast day.
The two-legs stopped bringing their trash choices when the opening stuffed up. They clawed the earth again over it, and as soon as the stink dissipated and the flies moved on, it was as if the trash altar had by no means existed in any respect.
No dwelling possum remembers the feast days, and the possums don’t have a wealthy oral custom. Still, a few of them really feel instinctively that issues might be higher — that at a while, many quick generations in the past, issues truly have been higher. The creativeness can by no means be absolutely tamed.
The two-legs returned this winter with claws and metallic moms and muscular tails that reached for the sky. The earth shook beneath them, shifting a subterranean mountain of rubbish atop a long-forgotten swamp by the mouth of the river and the ocean. The possums felt the bottom transfer beneath their bellies and contemplated the thriller for a second earlier than getting again to consuming ticks.
One day, the two-legs gathered on Possum Island and made marks within the earth with little golden claws. They clapped their paws and stamped round and awakened the possums who have been sleeping in huddles behind the treeline. The possums squinted their eyes in opposition to the cloudless daylight, making an attempt to make sense of what they noticed.
There was an older possum father in these days who had seen two summers, and his eyes have been fading. Already awake in the course of the daytime due to a bout of insomnia, he was the primary to wander into the clearing with the two-legs. He sniffed the air with a pink moist nostril, whipped his tail round grabbing nothing specifically, and meandered within the normal course of the noise.
The tumult grew and the group withdrew.
“Ray-bees!” a voice cried out. One of the two-legs had superior towards him, holding a golden claw over his head. The claw glittered within the solar, and the possum father craned his backbone to behold it.
“Noe, thay cant—” got here one other voice, however it was the final sound the possum father heard. The claw got here down, straight by the nape of his neck, and cleaved it in two earlier than piercing the earth.
Back behind the treeline, lots of the possums noticed the strategy of hazard and fell asleep directly. The younger ones, not but sensible to the methods of the world, stayed awake and gawked. The grown-ups have been handed out in beds of pine straw, and the previous father lay simply as nonetheless, his patchy physique separated from his head. What to do?
The youthful ones scampered out from the forest into the daylight. They felt the solar heat their backs like a mom’s pouch, they usually grew daring, if nonetheless aimless. The two-legs have been fleeing at full velocity now, leaving their claws behind.
One of the two-legs stayed on the island. This one was sleeping on the opposite facet of the clearing, perched inside a metallic mom with an incredible claw connected to the entrance. With no explicit plan, the younger possums superior on the sleeping two-leg.
By the time the two-leg woke, there have been dozens of younger possums looking at him contained in the pouch of the metallic mom. They tore on the meals and trash on the perch beside him, they usually scrambled clumsily into his lap. The two-leg hurled one of many possums out into the sphere, and the others arched their backs and commenced to scream in his face.
“KKKKEEEECCCCCHHHH!” one shouted, her mouth gaping to disclose jagged tooth.
“SSSKKKKEEEHHHHH!” one other hissed, and the remaining joined in.
Clawing for his life, the two-leg pressed a chunk within the metallic mom’s pouch, and the entire thing lurched ahead at unimaginable velocity.
Some of the grownup possums had woken again up now, and the very first thing they noticed was a metallic mom tearing throughout the clearing, straight towards the mouth of the river and the ocean. Some of the younger ones leapt from the pouch of the factor, whereas others stayed inside scratching and feasting and holding on to what they might with their meaty little tails.
When the metallic mom reached the
water, it burrowed by the mud and saved going. It groaned because it ran deeper, claw-first, into the chilly forbidden water on the fringe of Possum Island.
About the author …
Paul Bowers is a author from North Charleston who beforehand labored as a reporter on the Charleston City Paper and The Post and Courier. Find his work at brutalsouth.substack.com