PLAGUE

Angie came running in with her prisoner trapped inside the jar.

‘Look what I got, Mum.’ Mum was too busy scrubbing dust out of the clothes.

‘Look what I caught, Dad.’ Dad was too busy in the barn, shoeing the horse.

Angie sat on the stoop.

‘Not one of them is interested.’ She watched the insect frantically buzzing in the jar. It was a shame to keep it cooped up. She unscrewed the lid and watched it fly away.

That evening they watched helplessly as the droning black cloud swarmed over their crops.

He came back with his friends, Angie thought.


yellow-bug-shaktiki
© Shaktiki Sharma

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

99 responses to “PLAGUE”

  1. The plague of locusts! Say goodbye to this year’s tomatoes! I remember reading that locusts were ordinary grasshoppers who mutate when they reach a certain population density. Sort of a chilling thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chilling, as is the images you see of the super swarms of them. Pretty sure the image isn’t of a locust so I kept it vague. My insect knowledge is not brilliant!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Etymology, not entomology, eh?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. They tend to work in teams. Nice story 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very very nice work Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Shehanne, hope all is good with you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ocht aye apart fae these eedjit publishers getting in yir face. Seriously I have loved all your recent posts so PULEASE keep up the excellent work Iain. Your talent for the wee bit paper and what you capture there is immense.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, you are too kind and so supportive. Still working my way through attempting a novel as well as keeping up these short pieces. Don’t let those publishers get you down 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Dinnae you worry. BTO I am going to have the last laugh when this book comes out and it will be their fault for skipping through and skipping the edits. Keep up with that novel and the short pieces. They are always excellent. You have great skill there . Truly

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That is weird and perfect at the same time. The brilliance of words. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, lovely comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That was awesome! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll settle for awesome, thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Eesh… destruction ahead!
    Nice take!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Afraid so, thanks Dale

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Iain,

    Too bad she didn’t keep the bug in the jar, but something tells me his friends would’ve come to chomp the crops in any event. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rochelle. There’s no stopping them I’m afraid.

      Like

  8. Didn’t Egypt have this problem once?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It didn’t end well there either.

      Like

  9. I’m not sure they could have done anything even if they had taken any notice of the scouting party. Doomed… they were all doomed… 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Afraid so, no stopping them 😦

      Like

  10. You make a striking contrast between Angie’s loneliness and isolation and the insect with its cloud of friends. The act of retribution was startling. Perhaps the parents should have paid a little more attention to what Angie was showing them … A great story, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Edith, I’m glad you saw that. I’m not sure the parents could have done anything but maybe they should learn to have more time for their child as well as their chores.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us! Sigh. Can’t we all just get along? Lol… fun story Iain.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, it would be nice if everyone could just get along.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. That’s a hard lesson learned – for everyone. Kids – never fall for the cute bugs, they’re deadly. Parents – listen to your kids! Really well told, great pacing and a wonderfully complete tale

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lynn, very kind.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I wonder if the parents could’ve avoided the destruction, if they had paid attention to the child. Too late now, I guess…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Probably not but they could still listen to her more. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. While doing archaeology in Eastern Washington, we had a plague of grasshoppers. Working was a nightmare, walking through tall grass “icky” because hoppers jumped all over us. No open coffee cups outside the dining hall – hoppers would fill it up with their tiny bodies. The little buggers even ate the screening out of the canvas tent in which I was living. Thanks for reminding me. 😉 A great take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the memories! Sounds horrible. Thanks Alicia 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was in my twenties. Really, it was a grand adventure. If it happened now I might get cranky!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Just another wonderful piece. It wasn’t Angie’s fault, they would have eaten the crop anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, hopefully she will see that, or her parents will explain it to her.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Such a sad story, not for the insects, but for the way the parents ignored her. And she was so innocently sweet with her conclusion. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hopefully it won’t take another disaster for the parents to listen to their child. She deserves to be listened too, even without impending doom on the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They will have more time to listen to her now anyway! Thanks for reading.

      Like

  18. michael1148humphris Avatar
    michael1148humphris

    Her parents are going to have plenty of time on their hands now.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Afraid so, thanks Michael

      Like

  19. Oh no! The warning had been there but they failed to see. At least they were only after the crops and not the people. I saw a thing on the history channel once where there was such a prevalence of grasshoppers of a certain type that they ate everything and everyone outside. Then they all died off. Reminds me of that lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Footage of swarms is incredible, and the destruction they can bring is too. Wouldn’t want to be around if they decided to go for people as well!!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. too bad her mom and dad didn’t pay attention to her. maybe next time if there’s a next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let’s hope so. Many thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Very nice! Great structure and so tightly rendered.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Carl, much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh, Angie, what have you done…
    It’s like seeing one ant in the kitchen and leaving it be because it’s just one ant. Then the next day there’s a whole supply line set up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hell hath no fury like a locust trapped, or something like that. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Hope the bugs have taught a lesson. Beautifully written, Lain.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I didn’t see that coming – nor did they until it was too late! Nice one Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Great story Ian.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Eww that made me shudder! ‘The droning black cloud’ evokes a very clear image!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Clare, appreciated as always.

      Like

  27. Ooooooo ouch. Poor Angie. I hope she doesnt feel guilty over that. Those parents should have paid her some attention huh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just a little bit. Hopefully they will explain it’s not her fault!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I’m glad she set it free, as I’m pretty sure the whole swarm would have come anyway. How horrible that must be, to see your crops and everything else be destroyed under that unstoppable onslaught!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It must be a terrible feeling of helplessness, all that hard work destroyed. Thanks Joy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And over so quickly — and all that work to rebuild, too. As plagues go, it’s an especially nasty one.

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Martin Cororan Avatar
    Martin Cororan

    That’ll learn ’em…

    Liked by 1 person

  30. A plague of locusts be upon those parents who don’t listen to their children! …Albeit, the parents in your story were doing some work, but this puts in mind an item in the News this morning, that at one school in the UK, the staff are so sick of parents glued to their electronics and ignoring their children that they have put up a notice on the gates saying “Greet your children with a smile and not a mobile!” No doubt, those same parents tell their children off for not listening to them, but who have they learned this from in the first place? …As you probably gather, I feel very strongly about this. See how you got me going with your clever story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha thanks Sarah. I hope a plague of locusts isn’t the solution for parents who are too glued to their mobiles. Hopefully the sign will be enough of a warning. Definitely a growing problem in society, not just for kids. I find at work a lot of people are distracted when they should be listening too.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. A stitch in time…Very nicely warned Iain. I can see this happening everywhere – people ignoring their children, really feel sorry for them, they look so lost and helpless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully not ignored everywhere, they are the future after all. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes of course – I think I went a bit overboard with the everywhere 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  32. Too. Many. Friends! Must hide!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. We were sitting outside a seaside bar in Tenerife once when a cloud approached from the west. The locals covered their drinks, so we did the same as millions of locusts flew past us to consume the crops inland. They are unstoppable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, must have been an amazing sight to be in the middle of. Did you still finish your drinks? 🙂

      Like

  34. Ooo, great spin! I hate that some days I, too, get caught up in adulting and ask them to wait or show me something later. Makes for a lot of little missed moments, in the end.
    Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the same, especially having to go out to work and missing what they’ve been up to. Difficult not to be distracted by other things sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Uh oh. When I find a spider in the house, I take it outside. Your story has me rethinking the wisdom in that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have the same bad feeling about spiders, what if there are loads of them trying to get in!?

      Liked by 1 person

  36. And obviously there is not a jar big enough for the black cloud ha ha:) I like the wording of the “droning” black cloud. In this day and age drone has such a negative connotation even more than in the past. Have a great weekend. Peace

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks,if only there were jars that big.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. I love this. Children are so often forgotten when the adults are busy. The grasshopper is showing them. They couldn’t have done anything, but explained it all to the girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It’s also true that the parents could learn a lot from the kids if they paid more attention to them. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Oh dear! Didn’t see that coming 😦 Ungrateful beast, should have spared them for sparing his life 🙂 Very nice!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No conscience those bugs! Thank you 🙂

      Like

  39. Good take Iain. The parents should have paid attention but it was coming anyway, I suspect.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Oh they should have paid attention… locusts are a menace

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thy certainly can be.

      Like

  41. Nicely written Iain. It seems our imaginations went on different journeys to the same destination!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All roads lead to plague when it comes to insects!

      Liked by 1 person

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