A Short Story

You got a glimpse of me today—your very first since my recent arrival. Your initial reaction made it clear that you want to snuff me out, like I’m some bother to you—an inconvenience … an interruption to your carefully planned life, like I’m nothing more than a smallish glob of unthinking, unfeeling tissue to be dispatched with little or no thought whatsoever.

Oh, I know this isn’t uncommon for those like you, given how countless numbers of us continue to experience termination thanks to your rather impulsive tendencies. Too few of you have stopped to ponder our fearfully and wonderfully made complexity: elaborately knit bodies with skeleton, hair, eyes, mouth, organs, legs, and on and on and on. While they’re not exactly like your own bodies, they still reflect an intricacy of life that you conveniently dismiss because we simply get in the way of your life.

Ah, but when you caught sight of me a bit ago, your eyes also told a tale of some anxious dread in your heart. Why the fear, though? Have you never thought about how we’re connected, you and I? Yes, yes, we both have chromosomes housing our DNA; we both move and respirate and process nutrients and such. But I mean the universal connection of being, of existence … of the divine, as some might say.

Carbon atoms attached to oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, etcetera—and, to be sure, all that fanciful terminology does bring to light a facet of the story of being. Taking it further, deeper—to the bare bones, so to speak—you and I share the same stuff as faraway streaking comets and dust-cloud nebulae … blazing star-suns powering entire solar systems populated by planets and their satellite moons … and, closer to home, lapping azure ocean waves that caress white sandy beaches here on earth … puff-orbed dandelions with roots that drink up water as they reach down into rich, dark soil … a mother doe with its spotted fawn, eating fallen apples in the dewy grass of your front yard as the first honey-gold rays of dawn come breaking over the eastern mountaintops.

I could go on and on, but I think that’s enough, don’t you?

Well, enough time has passed since our first encounter, so I think it’s safe for me to come out of the dusty corner behind your desk. Maneuvering my way beneath the old silk webbing left by one of my kin (perhaps terminated by meeting the sole of your slipper up close, hm?), I flex the myriad of joints on all eight of my legs—the very same legs that sent me scurrying away from you earlier, as you surely recall.

No sign of you—at least from what I can see with my eyes (eight of those too—go figure). Oh, what’s that on the wall? A new poster? Is that why you came in here before: to hang it over there?

I scurry onward, ever watchful for you. Then I stop and let my eyes hone in on the poster.

Hmm …

If I had soft, fleshy lips like yours, I’d purse them together now as I mull the message of the writing on the wall:

I Vote Pro-LIFE!

I can only wonder if you will “vote” that way the next time you see me crawling out in the open on some floor or wall of your home.