I remembered, as I picked that moment to make a vertical ascension out of the muck and clawed my way up onto that small fragment of bog above me, that it was a long way from here to Somewhere, and I could do a whole lot of evolving before I got there.
I freely admit I’m a bit of a scatterbrain. Hard for a brain to stay intact very long when it keeps shape-shifting like this.
I’m supposed to stay in the remote places, like this Nowhere. I do all the hard work while she gets to reap the benefits of gaining all the traits of…what do they say, “survival of the fittest”? I guess that makes her the fittest, and the most attractive, and the best designed to pass along her traits. So she gets to live in Somewhere, gracing grand public gatherings and radiating her beauty on magazine covers, television shows and movies, and I get to live in the quiet, no-one-ever-comes-here Nowhere.
When I say, I do all the hard work, I mean the process of evolving. Most creatures—that is, all of them—had to earn the right to pass along their genetic code. Generations upon generations struggled, labored, suffered, even died, until they either adapted, or just ceased to exist. But that takes a lot of work and pain. She didn’t want that, so she makes me do it. Everyone should at least have the innate ability to evolve. But no, I’m the whipping-beast and she’s the porcelain princess of perfection, the top of the food chain without ever having to hunt or kill.
Well, that’s one thing I can boast about…I at least get the fangs and the claws. She didn’t want those. ”Clumsy, unnecessary things,” she called them. “Only for ugly people. You may have them.” She has twenty million people who adore her, would even chew her food for her if she wanted them to. She doesn’t need brute strength or hunting tools.
My senses of smell, and sight, and hearing are not so great. She wanted to keep those things. But I can make out the bright lights of Somewhere, not too far off. And I have the energy to trudge through the muck all that way—she always has servants carting her around, so she doesn’t care too much for endurance.
She’s also flamboyant and dazzling in her attractiveness. She cannot hide well.
And I have fangs and claws. I can hunt.
And I’m hungry.