It is a curious creature, the Hexapus. It would not exist at all, if not for the dispassionate cruelty of lab rats and genetic engineers. It isn’t consciously aware of its own origins, but it has no abstract fondness for the thing that created it. It creeps on six tentacles through the sludge-caked storm sewer, in search of others of its kind, but finds only things that tingle across its moist, pliant skin like food. The Hexapus experiences “taste” in a thousand varieties of electrical shocks and pulses. It shies away from the lightning-sharp pain of encrusted, metallic bitterness and the creeping quiver of bland sameness that cakes the walls of the PVC and copper pipes that criss-cross like a gigantic labyrinth. It has no word for “loneliness” and isn’t sure why it feels compelled to find a kindred creature, but that’s what it is – a compulsion, not an eagerness to encounter something with a disposition as sour as its own, or an insatiable hunger for crunchy dung beetles and a curious taste for softer, squishier things that scurry in the dank and dark. Its body itches as it inches its way through miles of piping, instinctively moving without stopping, but aimlessly, without a clear sense of purpose, heading for – what? It must content itself with rolling and rubbing against the occasional joint, roughened concrete pipe, or drainage grate, since its maker blessed it with long, razor-sharp claws at the end of every tentacle. It has tried massaging away the near-constant itch with the suckers covering the ends of each tentacle, but the suction raises welts and blisters on its sensitive skin. In healing, they darken like tattoos. The thing has no name, and this is not the least of its resentments. Onward, it creeps, taking grim satisfaction in everyone’s unwillingness to touch it or adopt it. Its hunger grows.
The Hexapus was inspired by Curious as a Cathy’s theme for April’s A to Z Challenge. My “challenge within a challenge,” to you, Dear Reader, is to do one or more of the following, either in the comments here or on your own blog:
- Sketch and post a fantastic creature on your own blog.
- Write your own description of my Hexapus. You are not to feel constrained by my words, above! Just look at the picture: Where does it come from? What is its “purpose” in life? How big is it? What is its habitat? What does it eat? What kind of creature is it – does it have moods? Is it dangerous or beneficial or both?
- Label the parts of the Hexapus, as if you were a biologist. (Or sketch your own creature and label its parts.)
If you are participating in this year’s Blogging A to Z Madness, feel free to add a link below. You’ll need to add a link back to one of my posts – preferably the one where you first noticed the InLinkz code for A to Z. You can enter once a day through the month of April.
I hope that regardless of whether you’re participating in the Blogging A to Z Challenge or not, you’ll subscribe to this blog and follow along, and follow some of the links below to explore others’ blogs, and share your favorites on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you hang out, with anyone you think may enjoy the posts.