On my way home

Once when I was 10, I grew to notice a snail crawling alongside me up a slope, on my way back home from school. It was a tiny snail no larger than my palm, it had a dark brown shell with one of those swirling patterns on each side. The minimal progress of this tiny creature was intriguing, as I observed it struggling in a task I complete with ease. A few moments passed as I simply stood and watched. Then I swung the empty bottle I had in my dominant hand at the time, aggressively at the moving shell. Mimicking a pitcher as the baseball goes flying straight into their bat. Although this time, the impact was uncalled for. The shell traveled diagonally upwards, closer to its initial destination. I closed the gap between us and went for another swing, and another, and another. Familiarity growing with each smack, getting it closer and closer to the top. Hearing the satisfying crackling each time they make contact. Repeating the process until the shell has separated itself from the flesh holding it together. I had beaten it apart and I was unable to smack it any further. The shell has split into many tiny pieces along the path it has covered due to the forceful encouragement. There were no bloody stains, just patches of clear mucus. I stared at the remains of the naked snail in awe, with an empty train of thought. I think I killed it. Probably due to the impact of the uncalled violence halfway through the innocent victim’s afternoon stroll. It was not a murder executed out of hatred or anger, it was just something I did for no apparent reason.

Despite the slight uneasiness that I felt after acknowledging what I had committed, I simply went about my day and continued walking home.


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