The latest flash fiction challenge from the Carrot Ranch is to compose a 99-word story about the insect nation. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it got me thinking about how we humans underestimate the small creatures that live among us – or, perhaps, we live among. I didn’t have a suitable new review to pair my response with, so here’s a quote from a novel I read some time ago about a woman who runs a business resettling, rather than exterminating, household pests.
We built new homes among the debris of their vanity. Our elders were suspicious, fearing stray survivors lurked behind those crumbling walls. They were a cruel species who’d swat us dead if we trespassed on the land they’d colonised. Of course, we celebrated their demise.
Our youth gorged on their rotting flesh and putrid entrails. Then they mated and their offspring feasted too. With food for future generations, and freedom from attack, our nation would prosper. But we’d stay humble. When vegetation submerged all traces of humanity, we’d repeat their story to our children as a warning. Hubris kills.