An AcolyteMature

Finding themselves suddenly extant and sentient, a creature integrates with the population of a city to enjoy and learn about the world and itself.

I walked under trees, intermittently lit with the yellow rays of streetlights. My hands were in the pockets of a thick warm jacket. Only my face felt cold. I stooped occasionally to avoid leafy branches silhouetted against the glare. Continuing down along the pavement in the same general direction mindlessly, I noticed that I was.

This was quite a shock, and something very difficult to explain.

It's like having not known anything, or having taken what I did for granted; perhaps, being ignorant of anything before now. A paradigm shift, one which sneaks up on you. You only know it happened afterwards.

You probably get the idea. I didn't.

A car passed me, blinding me for a second, then roaring past and disappearing. I didn't so much as look at it. It seemed the most natural thing in the world. I was walking beside a road.

I haven't seen one of those before, what the hell was that?

I paused and turned around; a sense of confusion, 'what am I missing? I'm here but where is this?' The road lay as it had. Echoes of the cars passage faded. Trees waved, shifting shadows.

I was worried, but at that point I didn't understand why. Doubt clawed as I paced onward, making for a bench; a stark patch alone in the dominant dark.

I sat. Seemed like a good move at the time. I stared across the road, through a chain-linked fence to barren space between several warehouses. There was a JCB reflecting little points of light to me. I concentrated on it, I think because I was scared.

A white van passed. This time I jumped. My eyes unfocused; something bizzare going on behind them.

I sat there till dawn, only appreciating the night after it had passed.

Right, it's like this: you've been lying down for a while, and you get up too quickly. You feel disorientated, and if you're unlucky your balance goes and vision blurs, probably something to do with blood draining out of the interface twixt eye and brain. But then you stay upright, and staying that way gets easier. Sight returns in swathes and patches. So like that, except in my mind. Lumps and rolls of consciousness unfurling themselves willy-nilly whilst I, feeling less disconnected, accept existence; know I exist.

You humans get it easy, you've got years to do this in.

Lucky bastards; but no hard feelings. I didn't have to go through the whole peeing and puking, primary school and puberty thing. Seems to me all that stuff's there to distract you while it's happening, so you just get used to it.

Took me about eight hours to sort myself out. By then I was bloody starving and feeling a bit conscious about all the joggers and schoolkids looking at me oddly.

And then I got my first Direction.

I felt the need to go in search of fish and chips, not that I knew what they were at that point. I'm so glad I found out.

At a insignificant corner shop I purchased a smoothie, and some menthol gum, which for some unfathomable reason I've held a craving for ever since.

The End

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