Evolution around a Campfire

Evolution around a Campfire October 24, 2017

As some of you might know, I wrote my first fiction book last year (Survival of the Fittest: Metamorphosis) and am working on the sequel. I deal with, and will be dealing with, any number of philosophical subjects as a viral outbreak hits the world. Here, before it all goes off, two characters, who form something of a bromance, are discussing evolution around a late night campfire:Metamorphosis

 

The flames flickered and danced to an unsung nocturnal tune, lurching and thrusting off ample logs and sticks. Sitting around the fire in their camp chairs, drinking slow and silent drafts from their beer cans, Jason and Bevan stared into the incandescent middle distance, lost in their thoughts.

A moth circled the fire, and both men followed its apparently random and twitchy moves. Every time it fluttered too near the flames, it seemed to feel the heat and pull back to a safer distance, though not too far, attracted as it was to the fiery sirens.

“That moth has a death wish. I mean, what’s with that flying into the depths of hell malarkey?” Jason said. “What a stupid creature!”

Bevan continued staring, thinking. Then, “Maybe not. Maybe it’s got something else in mind, it’s just confused.”

“What, it thinks those flames are a tasty bit of moth food?”

“No, dummy, maybe it thinks the fire is something else. Something it usually uses for something else. Or something. You know, evolution and that. If it couldn’t do that, then it wouldn’t survive. It’s a good skill, used badly. I mean, I didn’t evolve fingers to play Xbox, right? I didn’t evolve eyes to watch porn…I don’t think. Although those are good skills used well. I bet it’s got something to do with survival. Or something.”

“Wow, Bevan. That’s deep. For you.” Jason paused and thought. “I’m sure I read somewhere that people really do actually know why moths fly into light, so I guess you’re right. Maybe. Ish.”

The two late-night thinkers gazed on as the moth continued to circle, feint one way then the other, until, like Icarus, it just flew that bit too close. Singeing its wing, the moth plummeted into the depths of its fiery grave, like a crippled Hephaestus returning to his forge. Jason’s childhood love of Greek myths had been oddly rekindled.

He snorted, “What was that about survival?”

***

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