The ship rocked as a wave came and slapped the north side. Was it really a ship? It could pass off as a glorified boat, but it was a ship to us. We pretended that the ship was more than a state, a country, or a continent; we pretended that it was the world to us. Because that’s where we lived. Like you have a choice in the sea.
“But why are we searching for that worm mother?” I cried in frustration as we searched around the entire boat.
“Because winter is coming! Don’t you see?” she mumbled as she continued upsetting furniture and other knick knacks on board.
“How has that got anything to do with it? How did you lose it in the first place? Couldn’t you keep it under something? Like a tumbler or a bowl maybe? This is a stupid exercise! How could you look for a fucking insect in a ship!”
“Shut up and look for it! Don’t stand there and argue like an idiot!” she snapped as she pulled up a chair and threw it on the side.
“How would I know that I have found it? I am sure there must be a million bugs in here!” I cried in frustration, as I look under a pot which seemed like it had not been used in a hundred years.
“Look at its eyes. You would know it’s the one” she whispered, almost secretly, as she continued scuttling around, quite like an insect herself.
Just as she was about to put a steel cage down after having looked under it, something scurried from one side to the other. As she set the cage down, the end of the worm came under one of the sides, with the worm totally inside the cage.
“Look! There it is! I told you we would find it!” she cried as the worm tried to wriggle free from under the cage. Once it did, it was securely inside, now moving around in a sluggish manner.
The worm was a dull golden in colour, and looked bigger than most worms would have. She was right about knowing it was The worm if I came across it under the table or some other place. It had huge red bulbous eyes, sticking out of its head like dragonfly eyes. You never missed worms like these when you came across them.
Then the strangest thing happened.
The worm started sprouting wings. Huge butterfly wings. They were the most beautiful things that you could ever see. Crimson, with huge motifs and extremely velvety, they just sprout out from its body and filled the cage. I had my apprehensions about the worm wriggling out when it was…well…just a worm. With such huge wings, it wasn’t going anywhere for sure. Everything seemed fine till my mother started pulling out those wings.
“What are you doing?” I screamed, shocked at what she was doing. The wings came off like they would come off a rain-time insect and the insect would be free to wriggle away. The insect did not seem to flich or feel any pain. None that I could discern at the moment.
She took the huge wings and stacked them neatly in her hands. They looked like oversized palm leaves, only crimson and pretty. Tears streamed down her cheeks freely. She was smiling.
“Why ma?” I tried one final time.
“Winter is coming son…and these shall make our blankets”, she said, smiling through ragged hair, dirty cheeks and renewed hope.
Outside, the boat rocked like it had never known us…
[I had the weirdest dream last night, and I am sure you can see that!]