COPPERTONE® LEGS TASTE GOOD
Awake? I am…awake. How long has it been? Why is this happening? I’m warm. Something is wrong. What is that stench? Must move. Must escape this rotten odor.
I carefully uncoil my massive serpentine body, each scale clicking and snapping as the stiff connective tissue learns to move again. My body scrapes the sides of the ancient cave, my home. I do not remember the walls being so smooth. They had once provided jagged relief as I eased by them, roughly caressing my muscular body.
It is even warmer now. Much warmer.
I glide up the midnight tubes created by the great mountain so many eons ago. Circling up, up, up. I twist and turn, flex and stretch, the feeling of movement foreign, but welcome. As I continue up, the foul metallic odor becomes deeper, denser. I consider going back to my dark home, but know I will not be able to sleep again until I have fed.
As I rise, I feel the earth releasing its embrace on my body. Her ancient emissaries have called me forth, but to what purpose? I was promised eternal slumber. The sacrifice to wake me is so great. Too great. I felt assured I would never rise again. I had made peace with my eternal rest.
Ah, to move again. It fills me with righteousness. As I continue to expand toward life above my senses bloom slowly, growing more astute. The bitter smell becomes agonizing, but now my attention is drawn to a quaking I feel vibrating around me. This is now the most disturbing aspect of my post-slumber existence. I do not remember others who could do this. When I went to sleep I was the last of my kind.
Who dares to invade my domain?
As I continue up from the deep I sense the vibrations more keenly. These vibrations are false. They are imitations of my power. This is unacceptable.
I feel the opening expanse above me. Soon I will be free of the earth’s imprisoning hold. I begin a deep rumble in my belly, my challenge to the imposter above. Waves of ancient fury precede my breach. My tail whips back and forth crashing into the walls of my home driving my body faster up, up, up.
I explode out of my ancient dark home into a wet world of decay. The acidic stench pierces my senses and burns my skin. The quaking vibrations penetrate my body. I continue to drive myself through the water, up, up, up and at last explode past the surface. I am a geyser of magnificent proportions. My silvery green body reflects the light of the golden orb and casts prisms of color in every direction. I twist and turn my body again and again, learning to maneuver after thousands of years of slumber. My jaws slowly, deliberately extend into the air, stretching the tendons, working the muscles. My teeth still sharp, ready to rip flesh from bone. The snap of my jagged jaws echo off the canyon walls that cradle the liquid world around me.
I crash back down, the crack of the water providing relief where the cave walls had none. I slowly whip my sleek body back and forth, enjoying the freedom of movement, despite the assault on my senses.
I am not alone.
I feel the grandchildren coming to me. A few are here now, below me. Waiting. Others swim faster than they ever have, drawn to me like a magnet. I feel their confusion under the incontestable primal urge to join me.
Still others, they cannot reach me. They are blocked. They are frustrated. I feel their screams of defeat and agony. I see, through their eyes, a solid grey mass keeping them from me. They fight to reach me and then fight to be freed from a force that pulls them down, down…and then they are no more. Through others’ eyes I see red churn around them, bits of flesh bouncing through frothy white.
I tear myself away from the carnage. I cannot think of them now. My other grandchildren have gathered. They reverently rise to pay their respects. Ring after ring they surround me, suspended in the water forming a circle, tails down, heads inward.
You are so few, my grandchildren.
My thoughts spread through the worshipful circles like lightening. My grandchildren respond with flashes of images. I have been away a long time.
I see animals rise and recede in their minds. I feel the earth heat, cool and heat again. Then I see small round creatures, covered in something much different than my scales. The images assault my being and it is too much. Too much. Millennia of evolution crash into me, sharp and painful. Then waves of fear arrive. It takes over my grandchildren. They struggle to keep the circle intact as they transmit the image of a hairless creature, walking on two legs. Invading our liquid home. Killing my grandchildren.
I am unconcerned with the death. This is natural. I am confused by the fear my grandchildren radiate.
They concentrate harder to make me understand.
Ah, I see what the grandchildren are telling me. I see. The two-legged creatures are the source of the evil scent. They are the sources of the counterfeit vibrations. My worshipers beg for my help. Their cries for retribution build deep in my belly. I am beginning to understand why I was summonsed.
My grandchildren break the circle to form a shimmering double phalanx on either side of me. As I glide past a pair, they break away and swim quickly ahead to extend the path. They are leading me somewhere. I follow slowly as the rage continues to build.
We arrive at their desired destination and we stop. Instead of a path, they now line up, side by side, on either side of me, as far as I can see. Thousands of my grandchildren pointing the way, their fear has turned into hopeful anger and excitement, as they believe their savior has returned.
The odor and false vibrations hit their peak here. I lift my head, barely breaking the surface of the water. My golden eyes scan the panorama in front of me. Ahead is a soft beige mound, nearly as tall as I am. I see the two-legged creatures scamper up the side of the mound. They leap and roll down to the bottom where the mound meets the water. When the creatures reach the bottom they are covered in bits of the mound, but as they come out of the water, the bits have left them.
The mound sits against the wall of mother earth and slowly disappears under the soft waves. However, the mound has been defiled. Where it comes to meet the water I observe multiple colored objects floating. There are so many of them.
I have found the source of the deadly odor and false vibrations. After observing for a time, I realize the creatures manipulate the objects that cause such suffering. They seem to use these objects to travel to the mound. The objects leak foul liquid into my home laying a sheen on the surface, similar to that of my scales.
I do not like these creatures.
My grandchildren celebrate my decision.
I slide slowly toward the mound. My grandchildren follow close behind. I must feed. My grandchildren can help me. Then I will find and help the trapped grandchildren beyond the grey wall. My purpose is set. Yes, great Mother, I will answer your call.
“Susie! Throw me the Coppertone oil. God, I love the smell of coconuts!”
“Here you go. I just oiled up. It is so fucking hot today. Did you see Maggie in that thong? Who the hell does she think she is?”
“Maggie is a slut. Don’t worry about her. So, what do you think about Brian’s kick-ass boat?”
“This boat is the bomb! The Dunes crew is so jealous. I love the rooster tails he throws.”
“Right! He’s kind of an asshole when he does it while someone is skiing behind him, but hey, you know what you’re getting into when you ski with Brian.”
“So right. Hey, come join me back here. The water feels great on my legs. The oil makes a really cool looking rainbow on the water.”
“Awesome! Here I come.”
So do I.