For this one, you must guide your father across a swarm of small alien carnivors.
HATCHLINGS (any gender, mid teens through late forties)
It's going to be okay, dad. They don't bite unless you wake them up. Just come over to me... twelve steps and you'll be there. Ha! Twelve Steps... that's painfully familiar. Isn't it? I tell ya dad, if we make it out of this nest alive, I'm going right back to rehab okay?
But to get out of here, we need to get. Which means you need to move. Twelve steps past this group of hatchlings and then you and I can run, run, run until we get to the main road. You'll need to step carefully and slowly. It's a little tricky but you can do it. Just don't bump into any of them-- shit, I shouldn't say that: then you'll just be thinking about bumping into them. Okay, instead, how 'bout... think of each open space as yours to step in. It's yours. Step in it proudly and softly. Claim it.
This isn't the time to grumble about your mobility problems. You need to do this or those things are going to wake up and they're going to chew your feet off at the ankle and once you fall to the ground they're going to-- sorry, sorry. But dad, there isn't room for two of us in that nest. I can't come help you this time.
Can we both make a pledge to be a little stronger than we were?
Copyright 2016 by Matt Haynes.
If you would like to use this piece, please credit: "Courtesy of Matt Haynes and The Pulp Stage"