#126 Species War
I felt it crawling over my face. Its antennae tickled my right eye. Opening my left eye, I saw a giant roach with a sack of eggs as big as she sitting on the bridge of my nose. I didn’t move because I didn’t want to frighten her and cause her to drop the sack with her babies in it. Slowly I raised my upper body and leaned over so she could abandon my nose for the pillow I held up to my face. She jumped and scurried across the white linen. I saw how beautiful a pregnant roach could be.
Unlike others on the lowest rung of the pay scale, I enjoyed getting up at the crack of dawn or before to create a story or a poem that paid less than minimum wage. When I saw what I wrote grew and grew. I believed I had a muse, putting words into my brain, and my computer screen became full and said things I’d never heard before. The resurrected words I used are from the graveyard where unused words got sent when they were no longer in any contemporary use among humans. I say that, because a thought flashed through my mind that insects continued to use the abandoned words. I didn’t know they used words at all.
My apartment was a no kill zone for insects of any kind, and I believed they knew it. That’s why we co-existed without harming one another. When I caught a newcomer, I’d draw a letter with glow in the dark paint on it, to save it from getting squashed when I walked the floors during the dark nights. In a dream I learned to do this, but sometimes I think it was telepathy from the insect world?
An intuitive feeling told me in order to make my words come to life; I should shut out the lights, align my painted friends in rows and film them moving about with their glowing letters. Doing this I discovered that they create words I never saw before. In a year roaches and spiders were communicating with letters written on their backs and spelled in a language they fashioned. Insects learned where I kept my fluorescent paints and emptied the cans by writing many words. They soon learned how to make their colors, and every bug carried a letter on its back, so there was always more than enough of the alphabet when they lined up to spell out a word. Learning their language, I discovered how to communicate with all bugs and told everyone I knew.
Disbelief met my claim. To prove I was right, I wrote signs in the language of the bugs asking them to show up at the town square at noon. I put the signs all over town. At noon, the ground, trees, and sky fill with insects answering my plea. Now I’d be believed I thought, until I saw the exterminating trucks arriving.
“Go home, go home,” I shouted to the bugs. They dispersed but were overcome by chemical sprays. “Stop, stop spraying,” I shouted, but was ignored as thousands upon thousands of my friends were murdered before my eyes. I lost control. I attacked and killed one man spraying poison on the bugs.
“Attack,” I told the bugs. The flying hornets swarmed in and disrupted the spraying. Those crawling on the ground hurried to cover the men from head to toe. It was war, bugs vs. man. The numbers showed only ten men dead vs. thousands of bugs dead. The nation was horrified that insects attacked and killed 10 Americans. The President without thinking it through declared “War on Bugs.”
“That was a mistake,” his Secretary of State said. “The insect populations are enormous, and they occupy virtually every ecological niche of land on earth. For every person there are 200 million insects, and they can lift things hundreds of times their weight.”
The sky filled with giant hornets, bees and winged insects I never saw before. As far as the eye could see, columns of ants approached the city and from the walls of buildings, roaches, spiders, and others bugs joined in the assault. Human resistors were overwhelmed by so many bugs landing and crawling on them. Insects would win the war because they’d co-ordinate their attacks and overwhelm humans. Because I taught them how to use words, the old saying, “The word is mightier than the sword” would be proven true.