Many thanks to Thain in Vain for allowing me to take part in the 2014 Flash Fiction 52 Challenge – even though I am fifteen weeks late to the party…. Please check out Thain’s blog and perhaps have a go at the challenge yourself 🙂
I’m fairly new to flash fiction and am used to writing novel-size stories so my first few attempts at 500 word or less pieces might be a little rough around the edges. Part of the reason that I wanted to take part is to practice flash fiction in a relaxed and fun environment and as a nice break from the ‘serious’ pieces that I’m working on.
Ok, here goes with my first effort. Week 16’s prompt: For unknown reasons, insects begin to grow larger and smarter.
Damn bugs, Kevin grumbled, swatting the fly with his rolled up newspaper, smiling as the small insect’s body crunched with a satisfying ‘splat’ against the coffee table.
Summer in the small town of Highclear Hills was a beast. The constant heat and high humidity, combined with the rotting stench of cattle dung, made life unbearable from mid-May all the way through until September.
The damn flies got everywhere. Even inside your own home you were never safe from them. No matter how many times he’d patched up the gaps under the doors or the vents of the air conditioning, those damn flies always found a way to sneak past his defences.
It wasn’t as if he hadn’t given them clear warning that his house would never be their home. It wasn’t his fault they didn’t listen. It left him with no choice but to take affirmative action – to take the fight to them instead.
Armed with an arsenal of weapons to fell the most beastly of bugs, Kevin felt a sense of safety at knowing that, if his defences were breached, that he would be able to defend himself properly. The peace talks between he and the enemy had failed, now there was nothing left to do but the honourable thing – protect his home.
Toiling on the farmland of his property this morning, Kevin wanted nothing more than to laze in his father’s old armchair and doze the afternoon away.
Just a few minutes, that’s all I need…..
His eyes flew open at the sound of claws scratching the wooden panels of his home. The room now painted in darkness – he hadn’t been asleep that long, had he?
The sounds grew louder, more insistent, as he made his way to the nearest window, but now they were accompanied by a buzzing, loud enough to feel the vibrations through the floorboards. Kevin rubbed at his eyes, convinced he was still dreaming.
Grabbing blindly for the light switch, he flicked it on. His eyes grew wide as he felt the floor move beneath his feet. Tiny fissures grew quickly as the wooden boards gave way. He stepped back, the air leaving his body as he let out a silent scream.
Flies – just like the one he’d killed only hours ago – swarmed through the floorboards, filling the room with their malevolent presence. Only this time, they were different. Flies the size of a fist came rushing at him, their vicious buzzing seeming to condemn Kevin for killing their brother. Their eyes glittered off of the artificial light as he saw himself reflected infinitely in their accusing stares.
They were on his skin, in his mouth, suffocating him, torturing him for his murderous crimes against their brethren. They were killing him, crushing him with their combined weight in such a way that he knew they were making a statement.
This time, we fight back.