It started like any other day… better in fact. The sun was out. There was only a slight chill in the air. And for the first time in a long while, I was well rested and had time to enjoy my morning coffee and toast. Then my orders came in.
I went out to examine the field and was disturbed by the vision before me. Putrid, decaying masses were everywhere! My job? To collect these foul bodies and properly dispose of them. I sighed heavily as I reached for my specialized equipment. At least it would allow me to retrieve the masses without coming into contact with them. But nothing could escape their foul rotting odor.
There were so many this time, and where they lay seemed so random. The creature responsible for this no doubt carelessly went about her ritual. In fact, I’m sure the thought of my inconvenience never once crossed her mind.
It’s not that she is a cruel being. It’s natural for her. I’d say… it’s a form of relief. I guess I’m lucky that we only have one in our zone. Other camps have two, three, even four of them, all programmed with the same instincts.
I could see her out in the distance. She was on the perimeter inspecting her handy work with what I decided was a self- satisfied grin. Who really knows what these creatures are thinking. Even the scientists who studied them could only make educated guesses.
As I stood there watching her, a sudden pulse of panic shot through my body. She spotted me! She stared at me for a moment and then slowly made her way toward me. I had to act quickly. I couldn’t leave the collected masses for her to riffle through and toss around. I already collected them once and wasn’t about to do it all over again.
I tripped as I turned to get away. I looked back only to see her now running toward me. It was over - there was no escaping now. In one blink, she was hovering over me – her hot, musky breath filled my nostrils. I could see her sharp white teeth just under her lips as her face drew closer to mine. I closed my eyes and held my breath, her mouth now inches from me. I felt a drop of saliva fall on my cheek as her slobbery tongue licked my face all over. It tickled and I laughed, making her lick me with even more determination.
Sure, these weekly missions left much to be desired. But, the burden is small in comparison to the love of man's best friend.
In Loving Memory of Ginger