A little thing, and nothing more

Sometimes when a skink is still you know that its alive because its chest beats in and out.

But this skink’s chest didn’t move. Not a bit of it moved, not even a little.

There are skinks nesting above our powerboard and they are dead. They are all shrivelled but their eyes aren’t.

If this skink was dead it was my fault because I put water in an ice cream tub and a pot in the water and the tub in the garden and a pitcher plant in the pot and a branch on the plant so that ants would walk into the pitcher. And get eaten.

I didn’t want a skink to walk across the branch, onto the pot, over the pot into the water in the tub and die. But that’s how I made things.

I wanted to hide the dead thing and I felt sick. So I pulled the pot out of the tub, and the skink alive sickened me with its unknowable movements and its desperate, stupid and impossible scrabbling on the smooth tub walls.

But I tipped the tub over and the skink got out, not at all like the skinks nesting over our powerboard.

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