24 April 2017 at 12:47:37 MDT
There’s an old, predictable quality to the ritual of introducing others to your mother. Bubble-shaped and young faces are ushered into warm and boxy homes to be presented with wrinkled and rounded faces. Everything echoes with a sameness that we suckle on quite easily. We rely on physical similarity to identify our allies—a natural xenophobia present in all self-aware creatures, but one that goes unnoticed in our day to day lives. Family and foreign features do not mix in the world we humans have constructed.
If the blonde boy in the dusty, stretched clothes were someone you befriended, he would have excitedly taken your hand and led you to the dark plunge. It would not have stayed dark long, as the damp cavern walls became dotted with crystalline nodes. These became jutting pillars, growing more and more thick and luminous until the dull shimmer engulfed the walls and ceilings. It would have been a beautiful and foreign thing by itself. And then he introduced you to his mother.
She was a beautiful creature. Though, odds are, this would not be something you believed right away. She unfurled her great segmented length and waved her sinuous antennae in your direction as her four onyx marble eyes were naturally very near-sighted. One comfort to the human mind observing such a distinctly non-human thing was that she had two slender arms; they ended in dull claws, narrow fingers but tipped in bulbs that gave the only outward signifier of gentleness that human culture accepted. Her fangs, mandibles, and tail-pinchers were not dull, and their presence alone would have been enough for her to have been placed squarely into the role of a villainous monster, had she been an invention of popular culture. Centipedes are never the mothers of plucky, likable children—they are the mothers of seething irrational broods, and mothers of existential horror.
It is a somewhat unfair distinction. She is thick and powerfully-built, though her movements are slow and delicate. Clearly, she is some relation to the Scolopendra family of centipedes. She shows it in her first act of affection towards the boy; he bolts to her, unbothered by the millions of learned stigmata rushing through your mind as her lengths wrap him up in a snug hug. He raises his arms like a babe longing to be picked up, and she pets his shoulder with one human-like hand. She seems to notice how very dusty he has become since he was last home, and her mandibles part and reveal a lavender-reddish tongue. He squirms, giggles, but allows her to lap some of the worst spots of grime from his ruffled hair and scuffed cheeks. She makes a low clicking sound—if you didn’t know better, it would have come off as a chiding “tsk!”. Though your understanding of the noises she makes are flawed, the connection lessens your confusion and terror. The boy, wiping dampness from his recently-groomed chin, turns his head to you and flashes a silly grin.
“This is my momma.”
:D It's an illustration and a short story! Both made basically at the same time. Most of my drawings have a tiny story behind them, as a part of a process to drawing them. ^u^; One of the few things I ended up writing in 2nd-person, which is sort of a taboo thing in itself.
Colored pencils! Small and postcard-sized.