CAT NAP

Harry Capshaw turned the small valve on his tanker truck for the umpteenth time, sending the filthy mixture of water, sand, and toxic chemicals that he had brought with him on his 700-mile journey into the ground. As he did so, the usual pangs of guilt and planetary responsibility flooded his mind.

In no way, shape, or form did Mr. Capshaw condone fracking. As a matter of fact, he considered it to be fairly morally reprehensible. You see, Harry was essentially a decent person with more than a modicum of care for the planet that the universe had seen fit to place him on. He even gave up meat for a week. A whole week.

That being said, Harry Capshaw wasn’t delusional. He knew that what he was doing was wrong, that it was leading to the spread of all sorts of nasty diseases and giving tap water the unfortunate side effect of being extremely flammable. What’s more, the last thing he wanted to do was line the pockets of a greedy cat, fat or otherwise. But he had a family to think of. And if he were being completely honest with himself, he was really very good at what he did.

While other drivers took frequent pit stops lest they crash and test the flammable part a little early, Harry was indefatigable. His secret? He would often conduct elaborate interviews with himself on the day’s issues as he drove, complete with commercial breaks and product jingles. What started as a way to pass the time after his radio broke turned into a surefire drowsiness-prevention method. Call it strange, but it worked.

Anyway, everything seemed to be going quite smoothly and according to plan for Harry Capshaw. That is, until he heard it. There was a noise that was a cross between a very large man reacting from stubbing his toe and a very large man passing gas. Either way, the last thing Harry expected to hear coming from within the earth was any sort of noise a very large man could make, from any orifice for that matter.

Harry glanced over to his trusty old tanker, to the comically tiny valve that was responsible for the hundreds of gallons of deadly material now flooding the ground below. He knew he should probably turn it off for several reasons, not least among them the fact that an absolutely gargantuan man seemed to be suffering hundreds of miles within the earth because of it. Even so, a job was a job. He was just following orders, after all.

Just as this thought came and went through Mr. Capshaw’s conflicted brain, a new sound issued forth. This one was less flatulent, but no less alarming. It sounded as if some sort of unfathomably massive person had just shifted his weight on what had to be the largest bed ever constructed within the known universe. It wasn’t a happy weight-shifting from the sound of it either.

The more Mr. Capshaw thought about the troubling noises, the more they seemed to conflict with his self-made image of the bleeding-heart working man who reluctantly took on the task no one else wanted to do. Now that Harry thought about it, he had always had options. He could’ve even stayed in trucking if he wanted to, shipping solar panels, or little tree saplings, or really anything that wasn’t a hazardous, planet-killing material.

As these thoughts began to reproduce, Harry Capshaw became quite oblivious to the fact that he had approached his truck’s cute little button of a valve and started violently turning it in an effort to flood his brain by flooding the ground. Oblivious, also, seemed Harry of the massive roar that greeted the latest deluge of poisonous sludge within the earth.

Quite suddenly, the ground beneath Harry cracked with the ease and speed of an egg’s shell against a whisking bowl. Harry died instantly from the force of the blast. But worry not, dear reader, because unbeknownst to Harry, he was to reincarnate as a small desert weasel on a distant planet in the near future.

Also unbeknownst to Harry before his abrupt demise was the fact that the spot in which his drilling well had struck within the earth had just happened to be the forehead of a massive creature that had been sleeping there for the past 4.54 billion years.

The creature looked the spitting image of an obese man scaled to the size of a planet, despite the fact that he in no way had any relation to humans or any other Earth creature for that matter. It was all just one of the many coincidences the universe had to offer.

As it turns out, the creature had simply gotten tired one day and decided to find a nice spot to nap, which just so happened to be within the orbit of a very life-friendly star named Sol. Over the years, a crust formed over the rather lazy man, which became a little more complicated once life had decided to take root and whatnot.

But now, awakened and freed from his oversized sleep crust at last, the absolutely massive creature got up, shrugged with indifference at the remnants of Earth that floated around him, and went back to his unfathomably huge planet where he sat down to a nice marathon of gigantic alien reality TV.

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