by Rose Biggin
He got me a
necklace made out of a food chain.
tell me where hed got it from or how much
it cost. It wasnt on my birthday list (it
wasnt my birthday), it wasnt
Valentines Day or Christmas. I looked up
some more obscure holidays to see if it was one
of those, but nothing suggested itself.
I held it out
in front of me. There wasnt a label or a
price tag. He told me they came like that, just
as they were, without anything additional to
interfere with the autotrophs. Hed written
me a card though, with a polite apology that it
wasnt a full web. But it was brand new, he
said: there had been no tertiary consumers. Not
even secondary consumers. I was the primary
consumer. The one and only.
It looked a
little unwieldy. I asked if it could be adjusted.
But he shook his head and muttered something
about trophic levels, unchangeable, set in their
waves. But he did say it would be the perfect
piece of jewellery I ever wanted to do some
It was very
pretty. I watched the energy rippling through it,
felt it get hot under my fingers.
of the omnivores, he said. They might
be a little sharp, especially the scavengers. The
safest part is start of it, there, just by the
clasp. He told me it was all totally
authentic and workable, the real thing: the one
concession hed made was asking for it
without any detritivores. It didnt seem
hygienic at the time. I said I understood his
decision. I looked at the apex predator, easily
the most menacing organism, right at the height
of the chain, pulling its weight: a locket
containing both our pictures. I wished there were
matching earrings so I had a whole ecosystem.
He took a
photosynthesis of me wearing it, to carry around
in his wallet. He said there werent any
decomposer organisms in there, nothing that
needed to break down or crumble. Just in case I
thought he merely wanted me for atrophy wife.
on, I groaned. That ones been
done biomass of people.
wrong? he said. Pray tell.
want to be prey, I said. Id
have to be chased.
that I didnt like the present. But, I mean,
what do you wear with a food chain? He said the
herbivores would bring out my eyes, but I found
the more carnivorous links made my skin come out
in a rash. Its just in a drawer now.