Suzi’s front legs wiggled into nothingness.
There was no other way to describe the absence of ground. Such an odd sensation. She pushed with her back legs and tumbled face first into a damp, mealy and chaotic passageway. From every side, even above her, Suzi sensed movement. Vibrations from scratching and tapping, sounds of chewing, chomping, and slurping.
Suzi froze. Intoxicating warmth still called from the ground around her. She slowly reached up, relieved to recognize a dense tree root. But not like any root she had experienced. This root had no fluids running through the wood. She could not describe how she knew, she was just positive. The soft surface crumbled under her gentlest touch. Pulling all six legs back, she scooted towards one more oddity – a somethingness that caused her eyes to twinge. This was even more remarkable because, until this exact moment, Suzi did not know that she had eyes.
Deep underground for sixteen years and eleven months, Suzi never had use for eyes. Now her eyes bugged out, staring. Her first actual sight! Without feeling movement, she floated to the crack of light. She wriggled one foot out to the brightness, and then another. Hairs on her legs tingled. This light was a bit dry, a trifle cooler, but not unpleasant. Suzi took a deep breath and marched on. The scream pierced her trance.
Author Suzanne Holland is the Visitor Center Manager at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, which is home to lots and lots of cicadas!