Our ancestors were four escapees from a jellybaby factory who persuaded a kindly eagle to carry them high into a distant mountain where they might live in safety. These industious jellybabies immediately set to the task of sourcing ingredients for gingerbread, and built two little gingerbread houses. Jellybaby nature being what it is, by and by baby jellybabies emerged. The settlement was extended to make room for a growing community. It became a thriving village. We jellybabies are sweet, gentle folk. We don’t eat sentient beings, instead relying on gingerbread alone for our sustenance.
The few quarrels that ensued between villagers were generally caused by a naughty jelly-tot taking sneaky bites out of a neighbours picket fence, or a gaggle of jelly-teens dismantling a gingerbread shed in food-fight frenzy.
Aside from that, life was ideal as long as we stayed out of the sun, which tended to make us sticky. That was why the hospital was built. All too often, two jellybabies would adhere to each other and have to be surgically separated. Imagine the embarassment of an amorous couple, the humiliation of struggling – in flagrante – to reach the jellyphone and call up emergency services, the shame of being transported on a stretcher all along the street the the hospital – jelly-neighbours politely averting their gaze or pointing and whispering, jelly-tots sniggering and asking awkward questions.
As you can imagine, during surgery, it was the jellymen who came off worst.
And there was that time when all the grown-ups had a massive party, drank a little too much gingerbread wine and went outside in the heat of a July day to join hands in a circle and do the hokey-cokey. We kids had fun feeling our feet while our parents were getting their hands freed by the doctor, who had fortunately not attended the party.
No community is perfect, but ours was as close as it comes. We were peace-loving. We trod lightly on the land.
We were happy until the humans beat their way to our door.
Huge fingers grab me, squeezing my waist, winding me. two giant eyes glint, with no trace of hatred, only gleeful anticipation. Acquisition. Satisfaction.
A voice thunders in conversational tone, “Head first. Always.”
Giant teeth bear down on me. Spittle from overblown saliva glands rain from the glistening mouth, drenching me.
“Please don’t, I’m a…” I squeal.
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Written for The Haunted Wordsmith’s Daily Writing Challenge.
©Jane Paterson Basil