Monday, 3 September 2012

Four Ton Mantis

(Four Ton Mantis - Amon Tobin)

One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in his bed he had been changed into a monstrous predatory bug. He lay on his armour-hard back and saw, as he lifted his head up a little, his arched abdomen divided up into rigid bow-like sections. From this height the blanket, just about ready to slide off completely, could hardly stay in place. His spiked forelegs, powerful in comparison to the rest of his circumference, flickered viciously before his eyes.

"Hell, yeah," Gregor thought. "This is more like it." He clacked his raptorial legs together, testing them out, and heaved himself from the splintered remains of his bed.

He was getting used to this now. The first time had been the hardest, and he'd ended up trying to take his own life. But after a strange period of limbo and endless, restless moving shapes in the fog, he'd woken up again, back in his house, back as a human. The family were delighted to see him, if a little embarrassed about how they had treated him, but life settled back into something approaching normality. Until the next change came, and he woke from anxious dreams and found out that he was a very hairy moth.

And so it went on, from change to change, none of them much fun for Gregor. He had metamorphosed into a ladybird (everyone laughed at him), a cockroach (everyone shouted at him, threw shoes at him, and tried to incinerate him with hairspray and a cigarette lighter),and a water boatman (he skated moodily around an algae-laden pond and thought, is this it, while small children threw stones at him).

This time though, it would be different. He smashed his way out through the walls of his house, picked an indignant Mr Samsa up with one claw and tossed him over the roof, and then ambled out into the road. For laughs, he sliced open a tram car, reached forward a leg towards a trembling and corpulent passenger, and then tickled him under the chin with a spike and clattered his jaws, but got bored when the man fainted. Gregor leapt and sprang from building to building, and quite enjoyed the sound of screams and shouts wherever he went.

This time would be different. This time, he was going to have fun.

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