In the darkness, she struggled alone, unseen forces constricting her body. Her breath was shallow and weak.
The last molt had been difficult, but it was nothing like this. Finally, she felt the tearing begin. It was like invisible knives slicing her all over her body. It was a terrible searing pain that brought relief from the crushing weight. Some relief, but it was not enough.
All her life she had been rejected, hated and used. Now even her own body would reject her and deliver the finishing blow. Frantically she began tearing at her own flesh, trying to peel away the tough dead exterior.
But it was no use. Her claws were stiff and weak, not matter how she tried she could not break free of the horrible dead corpse that had once been her shelter. The tearing had stopped, no matter how she stretched or how she scratched she could not relieve any more of the rigid asphyxiation that held her.
Violently the giant insect threw itself against the wall, desperately trying to break itself free. Again she scratched and tore. She crashed into anything she could find, hoping to crack the tough exterior of her old hide. But, again, it was no use. Her exoskeleton was folded and interlocked like chains woven and cinched about her. The very frame that supported her would be her eternal tomb.
What had she lived for, what had she gained? Would she die in the same lonely darkness in which she had always hidden? Was this all she was meant for?
She had been created by humans. But now, in the face of her death she found it a difficult reality to accept. To judge humans by what she had seen, they were hardly different than her own brutal kindred. They may have helped make her body, but the force that was keeping her alive and fighting for all that she loved could not have been made by men.
She collapsed once again on the floor, her breath a strangled rasping as she struggled.
‘Who made me this way if not them?’ she wondered as she lay exhausted.
A spark glimmered in her mind as she thought. Could there possibly have been a force beyond the humans? In the dark solitude of her asphyxiation all she could do was ponder. If there were, could it have had a purpose in her life? But, her history betrayed no sense of purpose, only misery and abuse. Perhaps her creator only enjoyed seeing her pain…Her breathing swallowed further.
She was alive now and that was no accident. A new, but vague glimmer grew. She alone had escaped the colony alive. Was it by chance that the human Jenny had been the one to find her? There were many such tiny glimmers of fate in her past. The world had always tried to crush her, but there had always been an escape, and beyond every bottleneck she had found a life more full than before.
The glimmer dimmed. She didn’t deserve the chances she had been given, she had squandered and abused them in the same way everyone had done to her. She had murdered her own children, blindly followed that monster Henry, hunting and killing on his behalf, perhaps she deserved this death.
Still, something inside of her would not let her give up in despair. Even after she had failed, that something had preserved her. Why? In her mind she saw it as a ray of light that had shone through even her darkest moments. That thing that had kept her alive, given her more chances, as though it loved her in spite of herself. As though, something believed in her.
The glimmer of hope grew in the face of the pain, despite the past. It spread through her being, renewing her energy, renewing her strength. ‘I could not have reached this place if there were no purpose for me, if it were not for that Love that always rescued me.’
She came alive again and pulled herself slowly off the floor. She could no longer hold onto the hate of the past, the hate of others, the hate of herself. If she were to live she would have to leave that behind. She would have to believe in the Love.
Determination filled her.
‘I have always been an un-named nothing, but no longer’ she bit into the tough exoskeleton with her jaws. The taste of her own flesh was repulsive to her.
‘The past must go. I will be something new,’ she thought as she ripped and tore, consuming her exoskeleton with vengeance.
“Go home Ricky, your wasted,” Jenny called over her shoulder as she climbed the stairs to her apartment.
“Aww, c’mon girl!” the drunk exclaimed, as he quickly climbed/stumbled to catch her.
“No, I just want to be alone,” she lied. Any respectful person would have accepted this. But not Ricky. She knew he wouldn’t, but still she could not find the nerve to be direct, to tell him that she hated his drinking, hated him following her, and at the moment wanted nothing to do with him.
He caught her as she fumbled with her keys at the door.
“What? You want to just sit in your room with your bug cages? Am I not good enough to be around?”
“It’s not that, your fine Ricky, it’s just… The place is a mess and I’m tired, I just want a break, ok?”
A loud thump came from beyond the door.
“What was that?” Ricky looked at the door as though his glazed eyes could see through it.
‘Shit!’ thought Jenny. She had forgotten all about the bug! She couldn’t let Ricky find her, not when he was like this.
“It’s nothing, just my roommate.” Her wide fearful eyes betrayed her.
“Bullshit. You never said anything about a roommate before! What punk ass man-hoar do you have hiding in there!” Ricky kicked the door and it flew open. Jenny gripped his shirt to stop him, but he swung and knocked her to the ground. He was standing over her with fist held ready when he saw something from the corner of his eye.
Opposite of the broken door stood a creature such as he never imagined. Taller than he was, it stood on four spindled legs, serrated and jagged, colored like green and white marble. Outstretched transparent wings nearly filled the room, iridescent hues reflecting in all directions. Most stunning of all, its entire alien body pulsed with a glowing blue light.
“What the F***!,”
The creature rushed at the drunkard, knocking him off his feet. As he fell opposite of Jenny, she stared in astonishment at the new appearance of her friend. The resplendent insect landed between them. Its wings vibrated as they hummed words in human language.
“I am EVA. I am loved. I live for those I love.”