THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 36)

In an astonishing tour de force, Spidey overcomes his own demons to attend to the General’s rescue by first removing the patch of web covering the General’s mouth.

“You’re a mate,” he says to Spidey who then also bites the threads attaching the General’s legs and body, their children looking at the two of them, shocked and frowning.

Shinybeet is about to speak up but some noise outside the glass cage stops him.  There are four bipedal creatures on the outside.  One of them is looking inside the cage, his nose flattened against it:

“George,” he says, “come and see.  These bugs are fantastic: I think they’ve already adapted to their new surroundings.  They’re very quiet and they stick in groups.  Look at the fat one over there,” he says, pointing at the General, “what a whopper!  He must have incurred a mutation.”

Inside the glass cage, the General has understood every word.  So have all the insects.

“I’m NOT a MUTATION!” the General yells, scurrying to check out on George’s face.

Georges comes closer and looks inside the cage too.

“Yeah,” he says, “that trip to India was worth it, bugs are fascinating.”

“But we don’t come from India,” Spidey blubbers, stunned by this revelation.

“Shhhh!” Shinybeet orders, now wise, “listen to them, we might learn more on why we’re here.”

“Only the weed was good,” Ringo says from the back of the garage, “we should have brought more with us and left the bloody bugs where they belong.”

“Shut up, Ringo!” Georges says, “If these insects understood, they’d have an identity crisis and you never know what they might do.”

“Georges, insects don’t have a sense of identity.”

To be continued…

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THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 35)

Silence overtakes them and becomes all powerful, but not for long.

“Come out!  Come out, all of you!” Mado orders out loud.  “It’s safe now.  Your father can’t do anything against you or anyone, else my mother would—”

“—Shut up, Mado!” Dave interrupts, “we’ve got the picture.  Come on guys.”

The General’s children come out of hiding along with Spidey’s kids, as apparently, peace might be achieved.  Relief is in all the parents’ eyes.

“Children!” Spidey exclaims.

“Children!” the General exclaims.

“Dad!” they all say in a single and united voice.

Shinybeet is leading a group of unusually shy spiders and mutants who appear to be holding on together.  They’re holding arms, worse, they’re holding hands and they’re afraid.

At the sight of them, Spidey feels a conspiracy brewing and brings all his hands to his head at the same time only to fall backward into the sand, unable to walk, think or breathe.  He’s having an anxiety attack.  Over in the corner of the glass cage, the General is still hanging but his face is red for he is coughing and choking, out of disbelief.  As to Redbeet, she is basking in glory.

Shinybeet intervenes: “life must go on,” he says.

“Whose side are you on?” Spideys splutters.

“We’re old,” Shinybeet says, “we must make room for new generations.”

The General has become so agitated that one of the threads surrounding his fat, round body slides over on one side and the thread attaching him to the top of the cage unravels.  The General spins several times, falling until he reaches the sand, his legs still tangled.

To be continued…

THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 34)

At this very moment, she exists as a fully-fledged insect in her own right, being herself.  There is a moral to her story she believes.  All she did was to have a good time, to live it up and enjoy the presence of males without discrimination.  Why should she have to pay dearly for what was judged by those very males she loved as disgusting, treacherous, evil and deprived?  Such is the fate of she-beings all over the jungle.  Now, at last, she has been empowered by her own foolish acts and by the very laws that had her dismissed as a wandering bitch, evil witch and blasphemous being: the laws of the jungle, otherwise known as chaos.

Redbeet’s sweet victory is to be savoured slowly as it might not last long and for that knowledge itself, she is grateful.

What a victory, what a smashing moment she thinks.  It was worth losing a few legs and giving birth to a gifted generation, such is a mother’s lot.

At the same time, in the deepest recesses of the glass cage, one of Redbeet’s children, hidden, whispers to a friend:

“Your father won’t be able to disown you any longer.  He’s been made a prisoner by…. by…”, she hesitates.

“By whom Mado? What’s the matter?  What is it you can’t say?”

“By my mother, Dave”

“You’re kidding me…”

“I’m serious.”

To be continued…

THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 33)

For the first time in any bug’s life, two young spiders cross-beetles are seen taking flight.  They each drop a line of strong-as-steel silk thread onto the General who in no time is neutralised and his tangled legs secured by the tight professional knots his children have devised.  He can be seen flying high held tight by the threads until he is hung onto a small hook on one of the glass cage’s sides.  He can no longer move, he can no longer speak or shout: a small net has been weaved across his mouth.

Hilarity, a plague, catches everyone in the glass cage.

“Now, that’s what I call a trick,” Spidey says, impressed like never before.  As to Redbeet, she looks like she’s grown in size and is somehow shining like a star.  This is because she’s never been so proud in her life.  She, a she-beetle; she, a two-legged beetle; she, a love-sick-straying beetle, she, a mutant maker.  She, now a super-hero maker and herself a super-hero, her children having overcome the monster with ease, the giant spiders’ General, the ungrateful, disowning father of her children.

Redbeet is vindicated.  She endured absurd suffering, misery and humiliation.  Why, not only was she referred to as a “she-being” of the lowest life form for so long, and aside her womanhood being ignored and submitted to the worst contempt of its kind, she had been relegated to belonging to the type of insect with no perceived purpose to their existence.  If there is a God of insects, she muses, then her humiliation has turned into a victory: discrimination against she-beetles will never again be tolerated in her lifetime and that of the future generations she will produce.

To be continued…

THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 32)

Fortunately, Spidey hasn’t counted on one particular she-beetle’s thirst for things-to-be-fair and need-for-revenge-from-countless-humiliations.  Redbeet steps in, her now almost fully grown half-breed brood by her side, loyal, wanting nothing more than to get involved in a real battle.  They are willing to learn the tricks that will ensure their survival: how to fight, fly and win their father’s admiration.  But there’s more: they’ll make of their mother’s name, an honest and to-be-remembered name.

“Get you bastards out of my way!” the General shouts to Redbeet.

“My bastards are your bastards.  They deserve a fair father.  They’re young and they want to fight, can’t you see?”

“I shall not repeat it, get them out of my way!”

“Or else?”

“I’ll bite their heads off.”

“Ha, ha, ha,” Spidey can’t help himself.  For once, he has an idea of what is coming next.

“Children,” Redbeet says, “show your father what you’re made off.”

Redbeet’s brood, upon their mother’s command have no hesitation:  They’ll have their father contained, constrained and controlled until his conscience, should he have one, has him admit he is the legitimate breeder of their lot and that he’d better face up to it.  Why deny their very existence?  Should their gift be his shame?  If he ever thought that his strength as a leading spider was the ultimate gift to possess, then why did he show contempt for the laws of nature?  They’re his children and he will know it.  But for now, until such day when he becomes responsible and as far as his mutant children are concerned, he is just another soldier in the enemy’s camp: one that must be captured, his mind tenderly tortured and relentlessly nurtured until truth and peace are obtained.

To be continued…

THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 31)

“Boy, am I glad to see you.  Where were you?  Where are your siblings?”

“Spiders Jnr. no 1 to 9 are right here, Dad.  Come out!” he says.

“What happened to nos 10, 11, 12, 13 and 15.  Where are they?”

“The General kidnapped Spidey Jnrs no 10 to 13 who haven’t been seen since” Spidey Jnr. no 14 answers, hesitating.

“And no 15, is he…?”

Spidey’s words stop at the tip of his spider’s lip, in horror.

“No, no.  It’s just that we haven’t seen him at all.  He just disappeared when the boxes caught us.”

There’s still hope the General thinks then, because his own children might have survived.  Where can they all be he wonders?  He changes his tune and in a voice that is unmistakably altered and suited to his circumstances, he now asks Spidey jnr. no 14:

“You’ve seen my lot by any chance?”

“Suppose I knew, what would you be prepared to give up for that piece of information?” no 14 answers.

“How dare you?” asks the General unable to forget he is the boss.

“Well done, Son, well done,” Spidey says.

Another fight is looming.  The inadvertent truce that was is no longer.  Peace amid spiders and other creatures of this world never lasts long.

The General is upon Spidey and his son before they’re even able to think what is happening to them and despite the remainder of Spidey’s present children uniting to confront the hairy and humongous General.  Spidey’s kids are too small and the General’s hair too thick to penetrate.  They’ll never reach the thick layer of skin where their poison should be injected.

To be continued…

THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 30)

“I’m not that cold,” Spidey says to Redbeet, “give me some space,” he adds in his usual, forthright and not-to-be-annoyed manner.  Besides, he can’t be seen keeping himself warm with a beetle at his side, especially one whose legs are missing.

“It’s freezing and you’re furry,” says Redbeet, “you’d better do as I say if you want to see your children again.”

“You’re bluffing.  You’ve no idea where my children are, do you?” Spidey says.

“Words, words, words,” Redbeet says as she snuggles against Spidey who cringes, his face contorting in disgust, but willing to put up with it until such time when he will be reunited with his youngsters.

Now the boxes are being stacked in a garage, opened and all of the bugs gathered in some gigantic and lit glass house where finally their search for their missing relatives and friends can begin.  It is nice and warm in it and by the windows, they can see strange faces squashing against the glass, bulging eyes watching them.  Some have smoke coming out of their mouth, some have beards and moustaches and all of them have long hair.

“Don’t get mistaken, don’t be fooled,” the General says, reappearing miraculously, “these are men.  We’re mere food for them.”

“General, men don’t eat spiders,” one of Spidey’s kids ventures, coming out of nowhere.

“And who might you be young man, don’t you know who I am?” the General asks, his fangs once more shining with a wicked brightness.

“Spidey Jnr. No 14!  By gosh!  Where were you?” Spidey Senior exclaims.

And before the General knows it, Spidey Jnr. no 14 is in Spidey’s arms.

To be continued…