Your Honour, I never intended to lose my foot.
True, I was researching the carparks of Planet Earth. Of course, we Maluvians transpose in time and space and have no need of vehicles. I repeat, I was doing research.
True, I plead guilty to an unnatural obsession with Earth’s rubber industry, to be precise, tyres: their sizes, their shape, the way they grip the road surface and leave particles of themselves all over the planet.
I admit my fascination.
I admit my guilt.
The car reversed onto my foot. (Naturally I was invisible at the time.) I’d folded and was examining his right rear tyre when it ran over my foot and removed it. What was left of my leg didn’t protest but I wobbled and probably materialised for an instant. Yes, I was stressed. Yes, I know we shouldn’t show ourselves, ever. I glanced up. The bug-eyed, white-faced driver probably saw me, which might explain his tyre-screeching exit from the carpark. Unfortunately, he took my foot with it.
Of course, I automatically extruded a replacement appendage. While clearly I had no further need of my original foot, I was sentimentally attached to it and gave chase. After a while he pulled up at yet another carpark, got out and ran inside, I believe to partake of alcohol. I alighted behind his car and examined the right rear tyre, to which my poor right foot had now melded on an atomic and sub-atomic level. To get my foot back, I would have to remove the tyre itself. Your Honour, I had to do it.
At last, I held a tyre in my own hands.
As I rolled it towards me, it ran over my replacement appendage. Was this punishment? Revenge? Relief? Perhaps my now sub-atomic foot was overjoyed to get within sight of the rest of my body. The tyre flattened the replacement appendage and took its place, leaving a discrepancy in size, the tyre being somewhat bigger than my remaining foot. My body held a crisis meeting and voted to dispose of the other foot. It then rearranged itself to accommodate the tyre. Now, wherever I go, I roll.
It’s such fun!
The doctors tell me they can’t remove my wheel. I’m forever transformed. I adore my new body. Uphill and down dale, we roll. Words cannot convey my joy.
For the crime I’ve committed, that is, unwittingly changing my body shape, I ask you to banish me wherever you like: the highest heavens, the deepest mines. Call it community service, call it whatever you like.
Of course, I’m deeply penitent. You may well ask: if so, why do I smile all the time? Your Honour, perhaps I’m experiencing an unusual allergic reaction to prolonged contact with rubber.
My neighbours will tell you that I cry myself to sleep every night, and that’s why they regularly bring alcohol, to join in my sorrows. We never throw parties. We never disturb the peace.
Brenda Anderson’s fiction has appeared in various places from Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine to Flash Fiction Online. She lives in Adelaide, South Australia. Twitter @CinnamonShops.