Many a Little

 

Parly walked between the bushes through the land. He had been sent out to get some water, they were making soup today.

The walk was quite long. He heard the humming of the bees, the stridulation of the locusts. Little beetles were crawling around. There were quite many of them, passing over the soil. 

“That’s funny,” he thought. “They all seem to be clambering towards me.”

The grasshoppers jumped from plant to plant. Were they coming towards him as well? 

“Wow, am I paranoid today!”

He laughed a little. His head played tricks on him sometimes, but this was ridiculous.

He reached the old well, got the bucket down and up again. He sat and rested for a while. Flies were buzzing around his head. Mosquitoes stinging. He got up. The well wasn’t used enough. Still water attracts the mosquitoes.

On the walk back home the insects were still around, and getting more. Some wasps arrived. He tried to wave them off.

On the ground the beetles, ants and caterpillars were all around. He trudged carefully not to step on any.

The cloud of mosquitoes was getting denser. Butterflies were flapping around him, all kinds of insects in bigger and bigger numbers. 

A wasp stung his butt. He slapped it. A bee stung his hand. He tried to wave the insects off, but they just kept coming. Little ants crawled up his feet and legs, under his pants. Mosquitoes entered his nostrils, his mouth his ears. He screamed, waved, ran back and forth, but there was no way to get rid of them.

The humming was unbearable. The insects and creeps were attacking from all sides, flying, jumping crawling. They were everywhere, all around him, all at once. Hornets stinging, grasshoppers biting.

He fell over. Crawled towards the river. Looking for an escape he threw himself in, let the water pull him down the stream.

The flying insects followed.

He dived under. Held his breath until his consciousness faded. Got up to get a breath of air. They were still there, yet more spread out. Searching for him, everywhere. As he gasped, they all came closer. 

The stream went far and long. The current got stronger. Every time he went up to breath, there were fewer insects. The current got stronger still. He got his head up. He heard the roar of water falling into an abyss. The current pulled him at high speed.

He tried to swim towards the bank but the river was too strong. He was pulled out into open air. Fell. Landed in the sea, sunk down into deep salt water. 

He didn’t know up from down. He saw the bubbles, followed them. Gasped for air.

The bugs were gone. The waterfall came running down from a tall wall reaching as far as his eyes could see. He swam to one side, hoping there would be a way up sooner or later. He was exhausted. His swimming got slower, his arms and legs heavier. He sunk under water, down towards the bottom where crabs and lobsters were waiting for their meal.

 

Gaia Strikes Back

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