Friday, 31 March 2017
Beneath the ground, within the diamond pressure of mountains, the wyrm had slept for so long that her body had considered stone. But she had not stayed all these years to shrug off her own precious flesh, sinew, and bone for mere minerals. She might wind around her sparkling stones, but she would not become them.
Instead, once or twice upon a millennium she would stir, just slightly, her body undulating along its length as she stretched, muscles reminding themselves of their flesh. It was only a shift. Even that was enough, she knew, to split the earth itself.
Once she had had sisters, and with the moving of their bodies, they had forged new continents. Once all the wyrms had roamed the surface, gorging on the creatures there, growing fat on other's flesh. She had grown the biggest of all her sisters.
When the sleep came she and her sisters had coiled their way down, shifting the very plates of the earth to make their beds. For millennia she had felt her sisters shifting in their own dens beneath the earth, but not now. Now perhaps she was the last of the earthbound wyrms.
Her brothers had taken the sea, and they too had diminished, but still she could feel one brother, the greatest of the sea serpents. The gentle undulations of his huge body still rocked her to sleep.
Who knew how long she might sleep unmolested? For she would wake again when he did, when he loosed his tail from his mouth and began to feed once more. Coming up, up from the depths, and bringing the seas with him, sating his hunger on the creatures who had repopulated the earth while they slept.
She would join him in his feasting, come to his side though their joining might break the very world. And together they two could make new brothers and sisters to feast with them, and sleep again, and one day wake.
But not now. Now he rocks her with rhythmic undulations, and she shifts in her long sleep beneath the earth, refusing to become the rock she winds around.
Ⓒ Cara L McKee 31/3/17
This story is inspired by Chuck Wendig's one word title: Undulate, and is part of his flash fiction challenge. Find out more here. It's just over 350 words long.