metamorphosis – rogue – shrug – salamander – sleepy
chimpanzee – enzyme – lemon – glance – merge
An albino chimpanzee. White fur and white skin seen on the face and hands, the product of rogue enzymes. A metamorphosis — a divergence from his dark-haired kin. And because of it, Dom is treated as a different species in his habitat. Worse than that, until just yesterday, he believed he was different too. He paced outside the nesting area, waiting for scraps to be thrown to him. Elijah, a young chimp, idled after dropping the food at Dom’s feet. Each other time, he’d tossed it over his shoulder and walked away, but this time he stopped to look at Dom in the eyes. Dom glanced back and they stood like that for a moment. Then Elijah extended his closed hand from behind his back. Opening it, he revealed a swollen lemon. Juicy and untouched. He placed it in Dom’s hand. Then Elijah heard his mother call. Once, he ignored, but after the second, he gave a shrug of defeat then returned to the group.While Dom ate the lemon alone, he heard a voice above him: “Why do you not eat with your people?” It was from the tree Dom leaned his back on. He searched for the source. “I am the one speaking. Answer my question.” A salamander scurried down the trunk and turned his head so he was face to face with Dom.
“Because I am not their’s. No matter how much I wish.” Dom said. “That is wrong. You are chimpanzee, just the same,” the salamander said with his small mouth. “No, they say all chimps are dark.”“It is not so. Would you say the yellow leaf and the green leaf above us are from different trees? That the shade one provides is superior than the other? No, Dom. Nor would I say you and Elijah are not brothers, and I will show you. You will be merged with your family.”
Then Dom felt suddenly very sleepy. He slumped down right there.
In the morning, he woke to screeching and clamouring coming from the nests. He hurried to see what was wrong. The chimpanzees were all running about, rolling in the dirt, rubbing each other’s fur. Dom stopped dead when he saw them. They were all white. Stark and pale. They stopped too. They all looked at Dom. He searched their faces. He saw Elijah pointing back at him, at his chest. Dom looked down and saw thick black fur, dark skin on his hands. He was so pleased, so relieved for a moment, until the confusion on the other’s faces turned to anger, and they chased him out of their home.