The wandering ant
There I was, going about my job carrying bits of leaves back to the nest, when there it was. Right in front of me. As if by magic. Some greater being, some God-like entity must have laid it out for me as a reward. Good karma, if you will.
Once I’d got over the shock of my discovery, I began to notice the little details. The ground I was walking on turned from brown to red and orange and white. The new ground felt different too. Softer. More relaxing.
I was tempted to stop, lie back and relax there and then, but I’d never have forgiven myself if I didn’t move on and make the most of this wonderful gift. So, I ventured on, deeper inward. I soon came across a towering, beige-coloured object. I tried climbing it, but was bamboozled by its criss-cross construction and many thin tendrils. I would have to look elsewhere.
Walking a little further, I reached what appeared at first to be multiple copies of the same object. Many clear, fairly short, four-walled entities arranged in a disorderly fashion. On clearer inspection, however, it became clear that their identical nature was an illusion. For each object contained a different colour. A different quantity.
I tried to climb up the walls of one of these objects, but their smooth nature defeated me. I was beginning to feel that this wasn’t the gift I had first thought. Nevertheless, I soldiered on.
And achieved my first success. A heavy clear container had been left on its side, and a sticky red substance had leeched out onto the ground. At first, I was cautious – red means danger and all that. I approached with trepidation. Then I caught a whiff of the substance’s heavenly aroma and rushed towards the red.
I jumped into it head first. I didn’t penetrate the surface, but instead floated on top. I could see seeds beneath me, caught in the substance, but wasn’t able to reach them. I just lay on my back and relaxed. Drifting off to sleep.
I awoke after a least a minute. Clearly I’d been asleep for a long time. I needed to move quickly if I was to explore the rest of this manna. On my way to leave the substance, I sank into it. Desperately trying to reach the edge of the substance, reach fresh air, be able to breath again, I failed. I ingested some of the substance. It was sensational. The flavours. The texture. People I’ve spoken to claim the near-death experience means I don’t remember the taste of the substance accurately. But I do. I only wish I could have brought some back with me for others to try.
It took me a while to catch my breath. While doing so, I’d spotted something shining not to far away. It was getting late and I needed to get back, but I was determined to check this shining thing out. When I reached The Great Shiner, it was resting on a white, circular object, such that the Shiner’s shaft was on an incline. Naturally, I climbed up it and one of its three prongs. Form this vantage point. I could see the beige tower and red, sticky substance from where I’d come. The strange-coloured ground carried on for what seemed like forever. It almost reached the horizon. I knew I wouldn’t be able to explore all of it in the time I had left, so made a mental note of this place’s location and started to head back down the shiny shaft.
I was halfway down when four monstrous shadows appeared, looming over me. I quickened my pace, managing to skirt around the sticky substance before I suddenly felt incredibly warm. I looked up. Another shiny object, this time circular with a shaft at one end (part of which was gripped by some giant, unknown, unknowable, entity) was directly above me. The circular part seemed to contain a Sun. it was that hot.
I ran as fast as I could to the edge of the strange ground. Reaching the earth I knew, was familiar with, I began to zigzag between the spiky bits of green that I knew so well. The second Sun no longer followed me. I had escaped.
When I returned to my nest, my brothers were relieved to see me home safe. They asked me why I was late and I related my story to them. They didn’t believe me. When, during the next day, they sent others to the location I remembered, everything had gone. No strange-coloured ground, no sticky red stuff, nothing. The others began to suggest that I see a doctor. So I did. Neither he nor his colleagues believed me either. Their responses were uniformly incredulous. And yet them seemed to be strangely intrigued. So they sent me here. ‘For my own safety’ they said. Really, it’s so they can study me. They’re the only people that see me now, the doctors. Well, the nurses clean me and what not, but they don;’t really “see” me – they look right through me. They don’t believe me either.
But you believe me, don’t you?