A warthog stumbled into my water hole, seeking relief from the hundred degree-plus temperatures. The thousands of leeches attending me drained the unfortunate creature.
I waited in my cave, nearby, as I had for millennia. Waited for their return.
I'd watched man crawl down from the trees and walk erect. The land I lived in now had been well watered several thousand years ago. There were many, many more of us then, as blood-bearing creatures roamed and water covered much more of the land.
My mate died when the first white skins explored the land, far-flung descendents of those that had crawled down from the trees. Now only I remained. The last of my kind. An evolutionary dead end.
The first of the leeches returned to me, slithered over my black mucous-covered skin. They found the orifices quickly. The ones that provided them with a place to rest, safe from predators. They backed into the orifices and defecated the blood they'd drawn from the warthog. I feasted.
It is hard to be lonely, with so much company.
Mark Wolf lives in a tiny shack on the slopes of Mauna Loa, on the Big Island of Hawaii, and writes stories inspired by the fires of creation bubbling beneath him. In his other incarnations he has snared pigs, built houses, and worked oversees as a missionary, fought forest fires, planted trees, built wilderness trail, and picked oranges. His published work has appeared at: Three Crow Press, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, Aurora Wolf, and Liquid Imagination
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