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The Lizard

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The morning sun crept slowly into the sky, a slow lurching monster wheeling in the clouds. A sky below, on the unthawed earth the day of creatures began. Lizards scampered across the earth, their movements lethargic in the absence of heat. Slowly, tediously they made their way out of the dark crevices of the earth and on to a huge rock. Yes, a huge rock, quite sizable indeed. The rock was so big infact, it could have held several more families of lizards then it did. The cold of the rocks seemed to have little effect on the creatures, who hugged its stone surface still, though it was quite apparent heat was what they sought. But soon, the reluctant beams of the sun made their coerced way across the earth, bathing in its path the said rock and all its lizards, who so it happens closed their eyes in contentment and all but had the appearances of devout pilgrims witnessing the coming of their deity.

A boy made his way across the concrete walkway, a back pack upon his youthful frame, the tapping of his shoes was muffled by the morning dampness that seeped through the concrete. He came upon the rock, and paused in his hurried footsteps to examine it and its inhabitants. A sour expression crossed his face. He felt, what was it, hate? Not quite, more like nauseated. The intensity of his emotion surprised him. They were after all, just lizards. But their ugliness, their lethargic bodies… like scaly leeches sucking in the sun, he thought to himself. Shivering in the cold, he once again took off at a good pace heading for school.

The boy sighed contentedly as he passed the entrance to the school. Flocks of students nears his age had gathered there already, and the excited utterances and chatter made the stony buildings seem to vibrate with the energy of their voices. Heat flooded his body, and leaning against the stone wall he felt it echo the voices of the other children. It comforted him somehow. The bell rang dutifully, signaling the start of the day, and the masses flocked off to their respective classes. The yard was left in silence, and the boy shivered. He looked about almost wistfully, and left as well.

He arrived slightly late to his first class of the day. The teacher admonished him kindly, to which he responded with a self-deprecating joke. The class laughed and cheered at his humor, and he flushed. He felt warm and contented as he sat in his seat having had, he thought, some approval from his fellow students. Classes came and left in prompt order, and to the boy they were altogether confusing and uninteresting things. While the concepts were not terribly difficult to grasp, he did not like them. They seemed devoid of something he found altogether necessary. What was it? He wasn’t sure. But the classes held no attraction for him. He had never taken an interest in his teachers, and they in turn, held little interest in him. He had quite long ago resigned himself to never being called upon, never praised and never faulted. He found himself shivering and cold almost everyday. Had the air condition been set too low? He often wondered. But no matter how many layers he wore he felt the same. It was not an uncommon sight to see his skin flush with goosebumps. He hurried off at the end of each class, so it was never a surprise that he was the first in the yard when lunch began. He sat down with his back against the stone wall of a building in a sun-lit area. He’d never liked the shade. A group of girls passed by, and one of them waved at him, smiling. He smiled back and waved too, and to his surprise she spoke to him.
“You know you really shouldn’t…” He sensed disapproval in her voice, and the warmth of the sun seemed to have ebbed a little. “…yourself everyday…with us?” He finally made out what she was saying, and he smiled as best he could, and nodded. He reseated himself with the girl, and listened keenly to her comfortable chatter. He was amazed at the myriad of subjects she spoke about, and the speed with which she spoke about them. Her dog, her dad, her mother, her clothes, her need for new clothes, her want of a car, how she lost her car, her parking tickets, her classes, her teacher, her favorite teacher, etc, etc. The list went on and on. The stream of words blended together sometimes, or so it seemed, but they were comforting and lulling. So much so, that as the lunch period ended, he felt somewhat sad to see her go.

The afternoon classes came and left, just as the morning’s had. Before he knew it was time to go home. He sat once again, in his favorite spot in the yard. The mass of students had collected in the yard, chattering about their day and waiting on various family members to drive them home. At first the mass seemed endless, their voices melded together like a cacophony of human interaction. The boy sat watching them, exulted by their energy. But slowly, one by one, the masses departed. The volume shrank until all was quiet, and only he was left. He stood up, his body slurred by the cold. It was cold, and he felt the ache in his body for home. He stood up and headed home.

Nestled somewhere in the earth, under the rock, lizards slept.



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