“Mitch, I can’t take it anymore! Get in here – NOW!”
Sighing, I set my beer aside and went to see what Her Royal Highness was screaming about in the kitchen.
“Okay, Leslie, what’s the problem?”
“You need to ask?” She pointed to the colony of tiny ants crawling across the kitchen counter. “These goddam things are everywhere. RAID isn’t doing the trick; we need something stronger. I thought you were going to take care of this!”
I love Leslie, but sometimes she can be a real pain in the ass.
“Look, whaddaya want me to do about it? Just smash ‘em, for Chrissake.”
I hate it when Leslie gets the look on her face, the one where her brows draw together and her mouth folds into a thin, lipless line. For a pretty woman, she sure can look mean.
And Leslie was giving me the look. “Mitch, I’m taking the boys and going to my parents’ for the weekend. You deal with this while we’re gone. When we get home, there better not be any of these creatures in the house. If you have to, burn the goddam house down! I want those ants outta here!”
The label on the BE GONE can read: New extra-strength formula. Guaranteed to take care of any infestation or money returned. Spray. Leave premises for several hours.
I set to work, systematically spraying the house. Then I looked at Killer and he looked at me. Killer is our Chihuahua. “Okay, Killer, wanna go for a drive?”
That nutcase dog started hopping around, eyes popping, tail doing 360 spins. Killer’s kinda grown on me; he ain’t the Rottweiler I wanted, but he’s what Her Royal Highness agreed to – dogs are messy, don’tcha know.
After a couple of hours, me and Killer returned home. The ants were gone. Completely. Relieved Her Royal Highness would be happy, I grabbed a beer and settled in to watch the Yankees. Sometime during the 5th inning, I fell asleep. When I awoke, I called Killer. It was time for his pre-bedtime walk.
Except I couldn’t find him. And when I did, I kinda wish I hadn’t. Actually, it’s not him I found – just his collar.
In the laundry room.
That’s when I heard a gurgling, slurping noise.
Looking around, I saw hundreds of ants moving slowly in my direction. Not ordinary ants; these suckers were huge, almost the size of small mice! Their shrill buzz filled the room, and their determined movements culminated in the formation of two words:
I didn’t need to be told twice! I ran for the bedroom and slammed the door shut.
That’s where I am now.
They’re too goddam big to get under the door – I think.
But here’s the thing: I can hear ‘em. Just outside the door, I hear ‘em. They’re communicating, making plans to get inside this room.
First Killer… now me!
I hear ’em! I can hear ’em coming!
Sweet Jesus… the doorknob’s turning…
Author’s Note: This is written in response to a flash fiction challenge to write no more than 500 words about insects who, for some unknown reason, grow larger and smarter. You can check out these weekly flash fiction challenges at Thain in Vain.