by Ladee Caid
A roach likes what has become. Written for Distorted Minds.
|Word count: 758
The roach scurried across the lamp lit wall looking for a small, dark crevice to slip into. He recognized the vibration under him. The large creature that screeched, slapped, and sprayed paralyzing rain would step around the corner any second. He needed to hide.
He scampered to the nearest spot. It was crowded. The intrusion had built quite a kingdom, and it was hard for the roach to find shelter he could snuggle into without crawling over his cousins. He muscled his way into the dark space. There was silence. Only a few of the younger nymphs chatted. Even though the chittering never seemed to draw the attention of the giants, the elders knew the danger that lurked.
The big, slow female was near. The vibration stilled. The nymphs quieted. The roach lowered his antenna so as to feel for the slightest movement on the wall. All of the sudden, the picture frame was yanked away. The lot of them froze where they crouched until panic set in. Everyone scattered. They dashed up the wall; they bolted down. They ran for refuge in their confusion. The mass shrieked unheard by the mammoth female's ears. The roach's tiny heart pounded as he headed for the hall. Behind him, he heard the acidic spray of death. Several of his cousins thudded to the linoleum chocking. A few droplets burned his hind legs, but it wasn't enough to cause damage.
He slipped around the corner and headed toward the ceiling. Suddenly, it felt as if a herd of the colossal creatures were stampeding across the floor. A crack appeared separating ceiling from wall. The roach was elated. There was plenty of hiding space there. The vibrating surface became more violent, and the crack became a gap and then a hole. The ceiling began falling. The wall started crumbling, and the roach couldn't hold on. As the hallway spun, he tumbled to the floor and landed on his back. He kicked and rocked. He stretched his leg to grab something, anything. A chunk of plaster fell toward him. He hooked a loop in the hall's carpet, flipped himself over, and scurried out of the way of the crushing wall. The leg that had saved him wouldn't move. He tugged and pulled, but it was pinned. Finally, his limb tore from its body, and he scampered away weeping a tearless cry. The pain, the devastation, all happening around him was more than his tiny brain could bare, and the dark took him.
The roach became aware of heat and blazing light engulfing him. He jolted awake. The hind part of his body ached, and he moved to find cover. He crawled to the summit of the slanted surface he was on to get a better look and was stunned. The world had changed. The sun beat down on him. There were fires, explosions, but where was his wall? Where was the picture frame? Where was the intrusion? There were no buildings at all, but plenty of things to squirm under, lots of places to retreat to.
The roach felt exposed: vulnerable. He needed to find cover. But, there was another overwhelming need at that moment. He was ravenous. Not even his missing leg could squelch it. All of the nooks he knew where crumbs gathered and the giant never bothered was gone. All of the dried spills from overflowing pots where the gargantuan never cleaned was missing. So, he traveled. He climbed, he crawled, he scurried. He clambered up a mound of rubble, and there lay the body of the mammoth terror.
He froze and twitched ready to sprint, but she never moved. Flies buzzed around her. They landed and seemed to be feasting, but she didn't even lift an arm to shew them. What were they eating? The roach inched closer. She lay lifeless. He crawled on her face, but it was like she wasn't there. It was as if she was just part of the rubble. If the flies found nourishment, he would give it a try. He nibbled the eyelashes that darkened her bruised cheek. The taste wasn't bad, so he continued to gorge.
With his bloated belly, the roach looked around this new setting. Many colonies of flies were gathered in pockets above other comatose, hulking bodies. He didn't miss his family, he didn't care his appendage was gone, there was plenty to sustain him, so he decided he liked this new order.
The roach waddled down the giant's forehead, nestled in her cozy hair, and took a nap.