THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 46)

Then, just as Spidey finally looks on, one of the General’s mutant son appears, a trail of freshly new born weird looking bugs following him in his footpath.

At this sight, two piercing wails can be heard simultaneously in the glass cage: that of the General and that of Spidey, just as the crowd claps and cheers at what they see as an unsuspected outcome and victory.

“How can this be?” the General exclaims to his son, incredulous, “how have you made division of yourself?”

But the General’s and Spidey’s wails, words and worries are lost to the crowd which is now carrying the new generation in its arms and cheering.

There are celebrations happening inside a glass cage, inside a small garage of a small Liverpool street.  These do not go unnoticed by the four hairy men about to practice their songs again.

“Do you think I’m smoking too much?” asks John “or is the smoke in the room having an effect on these bugs?”

“Dunno,” Ringo answers, at a loss and puzzled.

“I could do with one,” Paul says.

“I think that they definitely belong to a breed of mutants,” John speculates.  “That or we have no knowledge about insects and this is a lesson for us to take.”

“They’re funny,” George says, “they look intelligent.  Look!  There are more of them than before.  I’m sure they’ve done it and had littlies since they’ve arrived here.”

“Fuck these beetles,” Ringo says, “let’s practice and find a name for our band.”

“You’re rude,” Paul says.

To be continued…

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THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 45)

“How could he ever learn anything?” the General’s mutated children ask about their father, “when he refuses to live among us unless he’s the commander of the entire ship?  He wants power, nothing else.  He’d rather die than become and behave like one of us, common bug or mutant.”

“Well, then,” Shinybeet answers, “do you agree that the General’s punishment cannot result in his death for fear he’d enjoy it and think of himself as a martyr and a hero?”

Now the crowd’s attention switches back to Shinybeet.  Punishment must be felt over a period of time for it to be effective.  Death is useless indeed, they tell themselves.

“Let him be,” Shinybeet insists.

“But how?” the General’s kid asks.

“Let him live amongst us, and that includes you.  You will teach him your ways.  I will personally look that you are supported by Spidey’s soldiers to teach the General a normal way of life.”

“I haven’t agreed to this,” Spidey interferes, “in fact, I agree with the General.”

“Army bug…” one of Spidey’s kids exclaim, appearing from behind a rock, “all they think about is war and blood baths.”

Spidey looks at his own kid in horror, instantly disowning him should he really be his kid.

The crowd looks at Spidey, in return, reflecting the same horrified look on their faces as that he has looking at his own child.

“Look at me, Dad, I’m Spidey Jnr. No 15.  You didn’t even recognize me or acknowledge my presence.  Aren’t you happy to see me?”

Spidey, by now, has covered his face with two of his hands.

“Look at me, Dad!”

To be continued…

THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 44)

“… Look at me you ungrateful dung beetle, LOOK AT ME!” Shinybeet yells.

Now he has everyone’s attention.  He can whistle and he can yell, oh boy he can yell.  In a jungle where eat or be eaten is the rule, his status is rising, rising, his power becoming stronger by the minute and, he might not turn out into just another leader, but a legend.

“…Look at me,” he repeats, gently now, looking into the eye of each and everyone in the crowd as if he knows them each personally and with great depth.  “I was once a normal beetle, one with parents and I was once lost in the jungle; then the laws of the jungle and chaos came together to make me what I am today, a handicapped beetle, but a loved one too.  Let us not reject our own children and deny their very existence,” Shinybeet continues, “let us not sin.”

“Since when did you not wish to mate with some spunky wandering female, Dude?” the General interjects, “You’re turning into just another hypocritical puritan, a perfectly uneducated bastard.”

But no one is willing to hear what the General might have to say any longer, be it right or wrong, and the desperately-hope-needing-crowd spits on their hands, arms or what remains of their limbs and begins to walk towards the General with the clear intention to mince him, crush him and have him disappear from the face of the earth altogether.

“STOP!” Shinybeet begs, “STOP!  Have mercy on him.  Let him live.  Let him learn from his mistakes and see through them.”

To be continued…

THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 43)

“Oyee foolish beetles, angry spiders, abandoned children of all types!  Oyee, all!  We have incurred the Gods’ wrath by being thrown and confined into this glass cage together.  We have no choice but to learn to live together and support each other, we must and we can.”

Once more, his speech is marred by inevitable interruptions, because insects, like any other species, sneer, whistle, boo and squawk.  “What Gods?” some say.  “Not the ‘fucking yes, we can’ bit again”, other maintain.  “You blasphemous two legged ambitious idiot!” others retort, while some yell: “Free the insect world from oppression!  No rules, no cash, no power!”

As it is, Shinybeet is on a mission and just before another battle erupts, he steps in, bold and proud, two fingers in his mouth and whistling in a manner no beetle has ever done because beetles can’t whistle like that, until now that is.

“A roster is the best option,” he says, “to begin with, the different families and breeds will gather and stick together.  Then, all their children will be allocated to new groups to get accustomed and to adapt to the various ways of being.  It won’t be easy but this is the only way we can do this.”

“Some of us can’t fly, some of us can’t design webs, some of us can’t change colour, and some of us are too traumatised to think of ever breeding again… How do you think we can adapt?  Your speech is shit!”

To be continued…

THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 42)

“Father, I am grateful that you mounted my mother and impregnated her with me and my brothers and sisters here present.”

Could it be that this little guy is talking the right words?  Could it be that this is just what the General needs to hear?

“Dad, I am proud of you.  I will make you proud too.  Let me introduce you to my partner, Lady Gigi.”

There are moments in life where the floor not only gives in but the fall that ensues is one that never ends.

“I can’t recall seeing a bug that looks like her,” the General says, now feeling concerned though he doesn’t know how or why, “what is she?  Couldn’t you find your own sorts?”

“She’s a Lilliputian chameleon,” the General’s son says.

“This is exactly what I feared.”

“You’re soon going to be a grand-pa, Dad.”

The General’s mouth open but he can’t utter a sound.

And, as the world goes round and words-that-hurt and words-that-sooth are spoken amongst the small gathering of insects, there is a pause in the fight between power seeking bugs because Shinybeet, who so far remained cautious so as not to err into petty squabbles and useless battles, finally comes out with the end of his speech.  Although he had originally intended it to be remembered by all, one that generations of beetles, spiders and them-interbred-bits-of-bugs might have learned by heart, he realizes now that it will merely establish his presence in this cage as a leader of some kind and that respect may be gained:

To be continued…

THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 41)

Redbeet can barely contain her anger.

“Shut up the lot of you!” she screams, “Shinybeet, on with your speech, we’re ALL listening.”

Shinybeet begins where he left off:

“Yes, we can mix and match.  We can mate with insects quite different from us to create better, stronger species.  Then we shall be able to cope with any new given situation and environment, and with whatever life throws at us.”

“Breeding perfection to overcome your defective breed, are we now?  We’ve seen it all before,” Spidey interrupts once more.  “Who the hell do you think you are, you and your by now obsolete new age positive reinforcement type speech, you hell-made-two-legged-freak and nut-loose-minded-bug?”

This is when some of the General’s kids, who have remained shyly on the side, decide to make themselves heard.

“Dad,” ventures a dejected looking beetle-cross-spider that looks like a fly with too many legs, a body with too large a stock of thread and wings kept open above it like an umbrella, “I would like you to acknowledge me as your son.”

“WHAT ARE YOU?  WHAT WOULD YOU?” the General screams, one corner of his mouth distorted by sheer contempt.

“I’m my father’s son.  YOU are my father, like it or not.  My birth is no mistake and for that I do not have to pay.  For that, you CANNOT make me pay.  I am proud of my mother’s doing.  She gave me life through labour pains and for that, I’m grateful.  She gave me a life I could never have dreamt of before.  For that, I’m grateful.  She gave me wings and thread that no other bugs in the universe would have considered having, ever.  For that, I’m grateful.  She gave me gifts.”

“Go back to where you came from!” the General says his eyes closed, some battle taking place within him.

To be continued…

THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 40)

“—Spidey,” Shinybeet continues, “you’re going to end up hanging in a corner till you beg to come down, just like the General earlier, if you continue like this.

“Look at you, you two-legged-freak, and how do you suppose you’re going to get me cornered?”

Shinybeet glances just once at Shinybeet’s kids.  They are watching him, guessing his intentions and they are more than ready and willing to make a move at the slightest hint from him.  Spidey sees it and recoils.  Shinybeet is finally free to give the speech he’s always wanted to give:

“Ahoy! Spiders, beetles, bugs and creatures of all sorts who are united here with me in this cage, in this garage, far from where we came from, wherever this may be, here is what I have to tell you:  we must be strong, we must forget about the past, live in the present and plan for the future.  We are fortunate to have lived through what we just went through and still be alive.  We are fortunate to be together and we are fortunate to have discovered that, despite being a mix of different insects’ species thrown together, we can not only live together, we can mix and match.”

“Huh! Mix and match?” the General snarls.

“Precisely,” Shinybeet continues, unflappable, “we can cross-breed without coming to harm.  In fact, as shown by the most courageous female beetle I have ever known, Redbeet here present—“

“—What is she to you?  And they’re not even your kids!” the General interjects.

“He’s in love with her!” Spidey yells.

“Shinybeet is the love of my life” Redbeet retorts loud and clear, her face once more as red as that of a red beetle can get.

“Fuck!  I didn’t see this coming,” the General says, walking to Spidey.

To be continued