by CJ Reddick
A dragonfly and his wife go on an unexpected detour...
Henry and his wife fell asleep on the bus. They awoke when the bus screeched to a halt. Henry peered through the windshield and saw that a strange thing was in the middle of a road. Now, any human would recognize that this was an old VHS tape with the film running out of it, but to a dragonfly it was strange and a bit frightening. After several unsuccessful attempts to move it, the bugs decided to take an unexpected detour.
The bus turned off onto a small path. They traveled for hours before they came across a small bug town. There was an old painted wooden sign. It read: Margarettville, Population: 50.
Everyone on the bus was let off. The passengers unanimously decided to spend the night, since nightfall was nearing. There was a single motel in Margarettville, and it was filled with bugs from the bus. The old firefly who ran it handed each traveling family a key. He cackled, lifting his bushy gray eyebrows. He smoothed out his red vest. "Welcome to Maragrettville!" All the bugs were slightly creeped out, but they all went into their rooms just as night fell.
Henry and Marge were sitting in their musty motel room. Marge was reading. Henry was getting hungry.
“Margey, why don’t we go get some burgers or something? I think I saw a diner as we were driving through town.”
With that the Dragonfly family left their room and began walking around town. They found it odd that it was so silent. There were no cars driving, there were no couples walking the street, and everything seemed to be closed. They arrived at the diner, but it was closed. As they walked, Henry thought he heard a low murmuring coming from a street drain. It intrigued him, but he wasn’t about to climb into a sewer in front of his new wife.
“Marge, why don’t you go back to the motel? I have to use the restroom, and I can’t make it to the motel.”
“Okay, Henry. Hurry back. This place gives me the creeps.”
Henry walked into a nearby public restroom and watched from the window until he saw Marge disappear around the corner. He got out and climbed into the street drain. The murmuring got louder. It seemed to be coming from the left tunnel. Henry walked and the murmuring got louder. Finally, he came into a large chamber. Henry ducked behind a column, because what he saw something he wasn’t supposed to see.
All of the bugs in Margarettville were dancing around a statue of the sun. They chanted and chanted. Teens, adults, elderly people, even little children. The creepy old firefly from the motel seemed to be the leader.
“Oh Great Sun! We worship thee! Grant thy favor upon the citizens of Margarettville, the members of the Sun Cult. Though you are the light, you are truly the ultimate darkness! For what is dark is light and light is dark! Now, we offer you a sacrifice!”
Henry gasped. One of the sleeping bugs from the bus was tied up and set upon an altar. The old firefly drew a knife and plunged it into the bug’s abdomen. The bug awoke and screeched as green blood flowed all over the altar. Henry took a step back. He bumped into another column. It rumbled. It fell and the columns worked like dominos. One after the other, they all fell.
The dancing bugs stopped and all turned towards Henry. He burst into a full flight, but with several bugs following him, he could barely keep ahead. Finally, a mosquito grabbed one of his wings and brought him down. The bugs tied him up and brought him back to the main room. They sat him in a chair in front of the entire Sun Cult.
The old firefly stepped forward. “Sir Henry Dragonfly, you have discovered the Sun Cult. It has been a secret for over a thousand years, and you are the first outside of it to find it. I believe that you should join us. Your intuition could be a very valuable addition.”
“No! I’ll never join your cult!” Henry screamed.
“Perhaps you need some motivation,” the firefly mused. “Bring out his wife.”
Henry gasped as two muscular junebugs brought out his wife. She was tied in chains.
“Join, or your beloved will die,” the old firefly flicked his hand and one of the junebugs held a knife against Marge’s neck.
“Don’t do it, Henry!” Marge screamed.
Henry began to cry. Between sobs, he said, “I’ll… I’ll join.”
“Excellent,” the old firefly said. He flicked his hand and the junebugs decapitated Marge.
“No!!!!!!!” Henry screamed. The head of Marge rolled in front of him. Just as the firefly untied him, Henry burst into a full flight. He flew as high as he could. He slammed into the ceiling, and fell back down into the mass of bugs. As they scratched and scraped and tore off his wings, the old firefly hovered above him.
“So… how was your day in Margarettville?” he asked.
“Horrible,” Henry gasped. And then he died.