Yosef was the family exterminator. Marie was Buddhist—didn’t want to accumulate bad karma through killing.
A new insect appeared daily. Yosef stomped them, swatted them, drowned them. Crumpled chitin and ichor crowded his nightmares.
When he left for work, Marie scoured the garden for the next victim to plant.
Tim Boiteau lives and writes near Detroit with wife and son. Follow him at @timboiteau.
Trying to outrun his pursuer, the terrified man scrambled and stumbled. It was too late; gigantic spiked forearms grabbed him. His captor was the size of a car.
Inside the Rhinoceros Beetle’s underground lair, human specimens of varying ethnicities were neatly arranged and labelled—each impaled with a giant pin.
Melanie cringes with horror when recalling the time she was made to stick pins into arthropods for a science project.
God awoke in a restless state. Something was not right yet. God watched Adam and Eve frolicking in the garden. Perhaps one more creature, something simple and resilient, something that would survive the humans if they actually managed to blow everything up.
God slipped two cockroaches under the garden gate.
Robbie Gamble identifies primarily as a poet. When not obsessing about image and line breaks, he works as a nurse practitioner caring for homeless people in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Thing came at her slowly, then gathered speed. With an unexpected boldness, it cut off her escape.
The effect it had on her was overwhelming.
She struggled to breathe.
She broke into a sweat.
The scream rose in her throat.
The spider stopped dead, its havoc wreaked.
This is Jean’s third offering and this one is based on real life experience. Sad but true.
After the robbers escaped the bakery, the townspeople found Bugman crouched over a flooding anthill.
“I had to save them,” he explained.
“But I lost ten thousand dollars!” cried the baker.
“Are ten thousand dollars more important than these million lives?”
“Yes!” everyone answered.
That was the day Bugman retired.
Emily Swaim is a freelance writer who, like many freelancers, spends too much time on the internet.
Grand Prize Winner: “Amusing” Category
We’re a feral family. Live out in the woods.
The kids begged for a picnic.
We gathered some tubers and roots and headed for the nearest subdivision.
Found a house with nobody home. Spread out our picnic on the dining room table.
Little Susie saw a cockroach bug and shrieked.
Joe Malone is living in a mud hut in South Sudan. Read more from him at http://joem18b.wordpress.com/.
Four flies met at a crossroads, each one travelling north, south, east, or west.
“East is amazing,” said one, “but I hear west is better.”
“South is supposed to be fantastic.”
“North, I’m told, is far superior.”
Each fly returned the way it had come, content with its homeland’s reputation.
This story is based on a title suggested by Mark McCarthy.