'We Love the World'
LISP 4th Quarter 2020 Official Selection, Flash Fiction, 'We Love the World' by Paul Lightfoot
WE LOVE THE WORLD
We love the world. Flowers, bees, trees and sky, and slugs, which I guess might bring on an audible exhale. Or perhaps you’re unaware of these mollusc creatures, dragging themselves around beneath us.
With slow, straining movements, slug junior is slugging her way back to family, who, as they watch the setting sun, give no outward sign of their returning child joining them for the wonder of last light. Slug junior, though, can’t hold back, and before arriving alongside her parents she’s under way with, ‘I saw a crash today between a fly and a mosquito.’
The sun has almost disappeared by the time this news is out.
Mother slug lengthens her body and twists her head round to face her daughter. ‘Today,’ she confides. ‘I overheard two humans talking about pets. They’d bought a rabbit and put it in a cage the size of four mole hills, because they love it.’
The first stars are now out and Mr slug says, at good slug speed. ‘I’ve heard them talk about their love for flowers, they cut off their heads and put them in water, to slow down the death.’
A moon rising in the night sky is casting shadows over the landscape, and slug junior with much consideration says, ‘They kill whole families of us for pleasure, so they must love us too.’