I JUST GRABBED MY CAMERA
and was about to enjoy the unbelievable winter’s day when this snap resurfaced as I was wandering across my desktop.
Here ’tis in all its not glory—about as mundane as one could every dread to see on a challenge site. But even this can make one think—
—of course the pixels didn’t catch the reflected dazzle on that slime, they never do. But it shone brightly, like a meteor expiring high above in the night-time heavens. So I stopped, composed, and clicked. (Mission accomplished, you may disengage, Gridley.) Only then did it occur to me to wonder what the trail was, who had created it? Where did it start, and where—how—did it end?
THE END IS NIGH
and obvious; it terminated right … there. So?
So if it were caused by a track-laying slimer like a slug or snail—where is the little bugger, seeing as the track is there but he/she ain’t? Oops.
Perhaps it didn’t end there—maybe it began there, and wee cutie ambled off into the grasses upper left? No. Doesn’t hold water, unless some kid with a pocketful of snails (little boys will collect anything)(I know from experience) decided to let one go. He put it down gently, too. But no, less than likely these days when he’ll be more into collecting calories or e-game machines.
I FEAR, WATSON
that our suspect left a clue. I fear that we are looking at a murder scene, and rather than a slug or snail we are so late in the day that we should be looking for bits of shell, a pile of poop and/or a contented thrush.
(but we’ll never really know, will we?) that the story behind this many-seconds-long trail goes something like this (SFX: cue dramatic chord here please) wee critter (possibly with a defective compass, or over developed Kamikaze instinct) slithers out into the Desert of TaaMac in a forlorn hope of reaching the Promised Lands across a fairly busy street, covers about two metres at his/her very best scamper and suddenly the skies go dark … I think little fellow was raptored away (Mr Editor, Sir—shouldn’t that be ‘raptured’?) by a thrush, seagull, or other hungry gannet. Bodily if a snail, who knows if a slug (no bits of shell, you see).
We shall never know. But even the most boring and mundane observations observated on a sunny afternoon walk can lead quickly to a Split Second Story* …
* Okay, the victim’s last walk took a fair while, but his last moments were hopefully very very brief.
(ARGUS: Stet. And please cool it with the metaphysical allusions—Ed)