The cupcake survived.
It had outlived its cellophane.
It was hardtack sugar, the kind of projectile mass boys would pick up at the beach and hurl at the surf—if there were any boys left around.
Birds’ beaks and bills did not penetrate the cupcake’s ineffable all-shell.
Water, the universal solvent, found the cupcake impenetrable.
It continued to exist as lighting seared the surrounding sand to fulgurite.
Mountains of ants ignored and did not carry off its tightly conceived granules to underground nests for consumption.
The cupcake witnessed tide and sunrise alone.
A rangy coyote took it in its mouth but spit it out.
Cedar roots pulverized cliff limestone to chalk, but the cupcake’s proprietary chemical matrix endured.
Shopping cart hulks rusted to red dust.
Dismembered tires shed worn rubber into the wind.
The cupcake was buried.
It became an aberrant clast, a stratum anomaly.
There was no alien archaeologist who discovered the cupcake.
There was no probabilistic god who played with its existence.
The cupcake did not through extreme years attain sentience or merge with its creator.
It did, however, replicate.
Without so much as a tongue to lick its artificial sweetness;
Without its own thought or intention;
Without mutation or radiation;
Without sex or cell division;
Without template, form, or mold
The cupcake is now inside you.
# # #
Michael Alan Timm was born in Milwaukee, Wis. Michael has worked as a journalist, editor, historian, researcher, playwright, filmmaker, librarian, game designer, and map maker. Foreign lands he has traveled to (and returned from) include Peru, Bolivia, England, Ireland, Canada, and Mexico. He has not yet returned from Cudahy. More at matimm.com.