This is the story of a lone centipede that lives in Deming, who has always lived in the desert. Never having crossed the 'Black River' like all the other centipedes. He was an unusual centipede because he only turned left. While escaping the desert breeze under a big grey rock he heard a loud noise. The next thing he knew the rock was lifted up and he was thrown like he had never been thrown before.
The centipede did not know what was happening. The place where he landed was a camp site at the foot of Cook's Peak mountain, then some campers swept him away while cleaning to set up their tents and other gear. But one little brush of a broom wasn't going to detour this centipede, all of the commotion had intrigued him. He could not pass up this opportunity to watch people. He found a safe place out of sight of the campers to watch them. He saw two of them lift big blue rocks (or so he thought) out of something he had seen on the 'Black River' while contemplating crossing it.
After the group of campers finished setting up, a few of them started making dinner. The centipede quickly moved closer to these campers, not necessarily for the food, but to get a better view. An egg shell missed the trash and fell to the ground nearby. The centipede hurried over to check it out. He stayed close to the trash while they were cooking to check out as much "droppings" as he could. By the end of dinner most of the campers were on their third or forth drinks and pretty toasted. Some of the drunken campers thought it would be fun to throw and catch ice in their mouths. Even throwing them for each other to catch. It wasn't long before an ice fight broke out. One of the flying cubes nearly hit the centipede. > > Later into the night the centipede was getting bored with these people when one of them went back to the cooking area. Most of what he had know about people was from what other centipedes had told him but he was now learning a lot during this watching session. Every time he learned something more about what is on the other side of the 'Black River' it made him want to cross it, but then he freezes. To people the 'Black River' it just a road, but to a centipede it could be death. He was awoken from his little daydream when he heard the intense voice of a female camper yell "the soup is ready". She made a 'come here' motion with her hand that had the ladle and grabbed a bowl to start serving as the campers gathered to get their hot bowl of soup.
They did not get to enjoy the warmth for very long because that nice desert breeze was turning into a desert thunderstorm. The centipede had felt it coming for some time and was looking for a place to ride out the storm when he saw one of the people go into something that looked like a pointy rock. He had no idea you could get into rocks, and figured if it was good enough for people it was good enough for him. The centipede was close enough to the tents that he made it into one without being trampled by the campers scurrying to protect their gear from the soon to come rain.
The centipede fancied himself pretty slick for having made it into a tent undetected. He snickered while watching one of the men tug at the stuck zipper on the tent door, however, it wasn't long before he wanted the door shut as much as the people. The wind was getting colder by the second. > > It took the campers hours to fall asleep, at least so it seemed to the centipede. He was anxious to look around. Good thing it started to rain, the centipede thought, since the sound of the rainfall soothed the people to sleep in no time at all. Finally getting to explore he started with a pair of boots that were still warm from the body heat. After he had his fill of hot, stinky boots, he was drawn to the camper’s breath. He made his way from the foot of the bed up to around their heads. On his way there he must have touched the camper because he flipped over, now facing his back to the centipede. The centipede foolishly tried to climb over the campers head through his hair, touching the man's ear disturbing him again, causing him to scratch his head and almost hitting the centipede. Our little multi-legged friend wised up and decided to leave this camper alone, creeping over to check out the female camper. Now face to face with her, he positioned himself close to her nose so he could enjoy her warm breath as she exhaled. Our centipede friend did not learn his lesson from the other camper, and he got too close to her while moving around. She opened her eyes to see him on the pillow next to her eye. She jumped up screaming for her boyfriend to "kill it". No one wants to open their eyes and see a centipede staring at them. However the centipede still had luck on his side because in all of the commotion of her jumping and screaming he was able to slip away and hide form the campers that were very diligent about searching the tent for the tiny intruder.
Since The male camper could not find any bug he thought his girlfriend must have been seeing things and convinced her to go back to sleep. Deciding that he had pushed his luck far enough for one night the centipede was just going to stay put until morning. As he was falling asleep he was thinking about how this could be his chance to hitch a ride and go somewhere new. However, he was scared at the thought of leaving this place. The centipede ended up contemplating it all night finally crashing while watching the sunrise. He was so tired he slept through the group's breakfast, he barely woke up when the campers were taking down the tent he was in. Now was the time for the centipede to make his decision, to stay or go? What will he do?