Grow Food Eat

Entry by: Tauren

22nd December 2017
Paula shivered as the rumble of the God`s machines entering the Terchen`s world from the beyond shook the very air around her.

“Escape. Break your umbilical’s,” she urged her infant brood, most of whom clung to her limbs in terror. She shook her arms trying to dislodge them, but only five broke free, screaming as they plummeted to the ground.

They had refused to believe the God`s were evil, just as she had disbelieved her own mother when she was still a suckling.

“But the God`s are good and kind,” she and her siblings had protested whenever their mother tried to warn them of what lay ahead. “They tend to the herd, they make it rain when we are thirsty and the skies are clear. They even heal us when we are sick, and keep us safe from the carrion that would drag us off, yet you claim they are wicked, how can you say such things?”

Her mother had told them then the old stories, as she herself had told her own brood when her time to bear children had come.

“There was a time before the God`s came to our world,” she told them, “a time when there were few Terchen and the world was a dangerous place full of animals that would carry the infants away and eat them. But then the God`s arrived and killed the carrion of the sky and the ground who ate our young, and we rejoiced at our saviours. But we soon realised we had only traded one predator for another. For the God`s desired our children as much as our tormentors of old, only more so, and while our old tormentors took only what they needed, the God`s took all our children. For their flesh and blood was nectar to them.”

“But still the God`s were not satisfied, we did not produce broods large enough to fulfil their desires and so they experimented on us, melding us with non-Terchens, blending us until we were no longer purebloods but mongrels, mongrels that had litters five times larger than before, litters greater than we had ever borne in all our history. They bred us then, building up our herds, wiping out all the other species that did not provide food they desired, until we were all that was left.”

This had silenced the children, it had not gone unnoticed that the other Terchen`s in the herd had gone quiet, nodding as their mother spoke her truth.

“Look down,” she`d instructed them. And they did as they were told. “You see how I am tethered, staked to one spot, who do you think did this? It was the God`s, the God`s you think so highly of.” She said all this without rancour, but in a tone that said, `I don’t blame you, I understand, but someday you will see, and when you do it may be too late,` and as it transpired that day was not too far in the future.

It had been another glorious day, the children had turned their faces to the sun, enjoying the warmth of it on their skin when a lone God, wandering through the herd, had without warning, wrenched one of Paula`s brothers from their mothers arm, turning Kevin over in its hand, inspecting him. She watched the God take a blade and gut her brother, running the edge along his belly, exposing his innards, until he`d split him in half. Then to her horror the God bit into her screaming sibling, his enormous teeth grinding Kevin`s flesh to pulp, his blood dripping from the God`s lips as he chewed. And then the greatest indignity of all, he`d tossed the remains of the body away as if her brother had been nothing but thrash, and she`d vowed then that she would never be food for the God`s. better to be taken by the animals, she thought, at least they would eat all of you.

She would never forget the day the God`s arrived for the culling, the deafening roar of their machines, the way the air shimmered, her mother`s screams that they should leap if they could, to save themselves. She had been one of the lucky few mature enough to break their umbilical’s, her heart in her throat as she`d plummeted to the ground, so dizzyingly far away, sure she`d never survive the fall. But survive she did, and heeded her mother`s advice, “Make for the long grass,” she`d told them, “Burrow deep, make your nests there, the God`s will never find you if you do, but stay underground, beware the lure of the sun.”

She had nested where she came to rest, digging down into the dirt, comforted by its warm embrace. And there she stayed, safe from the prying eyes of the God`s, for how long she did not know, blithely unaware of the changes taking hold of her body. She had entered the ground an infant and greeted the new season as an adult.
She forgot her mother`s warning, the lure of the sun proving too much, her new body yearning for the touch of its warmth, and that had proved to be her undoing. For as she`d reached for the sky, the God`s, ever watchful, had discovered her lair, and dug her out, transporting her to another part of the world, tethering her to a newly planted stake, imprisoning her to that spot for the rest of her life.

And there she had lived until she was of child bearing age and the God`s had brought their inseminators, wicked little creatures that crawled all over her body, seeking out her secret places, teasing them until they willingly spread their lips, granting them entry.
At first she`d resisted, but the feel of those things inside her dulled her will until she didn’t just invite them in, but craved them, driven almost to insanity by their touch, yearning for their caress, demanding they impregnate her fertile places, and they, they were more than willing to oblige.

Now as the God`s infernal culling machines worked through the herd she did as all Terchen mothers before her had done, as her mother had done, and urged her children to save themselves. Of the five who`d leapt four made it into the long grass and safety. But the fifth, possibly confused with terror had wandered out into the open, into the path of the culling machine.

She shouted to the God that was operating it to look out, but he paid her no heed. And the child, who had forgotten almost everything her mother had told her, in a panic, attempted to burrow, but there was no time. One of the machines wheels, a thousand times larger than the infant, rolled over her and Paula screamed when she saw that it had been crushed to a smear of blood and guts when the wheel cleared it.

She attempted to shrink away from the machines claw as it reached for her but the tether held her fast and the claw slid around her waist, clamping her so tightly she couldn’t breathe, so tightly that it broke her skin, she felt the blood oozing from the tears and screamed in pain, but the careless God and his unheeding machine ignored her.
It began to shake her violently, her world blurring, the sound of her shrieks drowned out by the screams of her children as the vibrations tore their umbilical’s free from her protective clutching limbs, and they fell by the hundreds into the things outstretched baskets.

When it finally released her from its grasp she saw the baskets curl away, her crying children begging her to save them, but there was nothing she could do, they were beyond her reach. And she was forced to watch as they were upended into the belly of the machine, leaving her crying and railing in equal measure at the evil God.

But he ignored her, moving on to the next apple tree in the row, he had a hundred more to harvest that day and it was already after eleven o`clock.
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