Silverfish

I needed to spend the night somewhere, but as you know, I don’t trust those friable ruins, they have cellars and attics and rooms and shafts and so much space mistakenly believed to be empty. So I was quite lucky to find this dilapidated eggshell coloured trailer, though I soon found it was infested with vermin, silverfish to be exact. I switched on my flashlight to inspect the shabby interior – battered kitchen furniture, a raddled floor lamp, a reddish-brown stain on the carpeted floor. Myriads of silverfish slithered into the nearest crack as soon as the cone of light hit them. There was a fridge and I made the mistake of opening it. A glossy white animal skull was staring at me from the inside of the fridge, and beside it a cluster of silverfish eating a dead one. The horror I felt at this sight of cannibalism was soon swept away by that old sorrowful melancholia that hit me almost every evening those past days. I sat at the kitchen table and let my gaze wander outside the smudged window over the carious cityscape in the distance. And old corroded bible lay on the table before me, I had found it in one of the drawers. You know, I never had any affiliation with the Christian belief and I still don’t have, but you once told me that everything can serve as an oracle, as long as it’s suffused with something, or has been in the past. When I opened the book silverfish scattered away from it in every direction. I crushed one and it dissolved under my fingertip like moist powder. I looked at the silvery smudge on my finger with slight disgust. This species is believed to be three hundred million years old. My disgust mingled with something like respect, they were vital and numerous and thriving even after so much time, whereas we are at the brink of extinction. I focused on the bible again and formed the question in my head, the matter that has brought me here, to the periphery of the lands where the last of us live. Then I opened the book on a random page and put my finger on a line. Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream. I couldn’t help but look upwards to where I believe this entity, all these texts have been written about, is residing. I formed a silent “thank you” with my lips. The truth is, I have been downhearted this whole day and the days before. But as foolish as it may sounds, those simple, archaic words instilled me with a shimmer of determination. I was going to find this vermin that took you from me. I was going to find them and reduce them to something resembling the smudge on my fingertip.

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