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.

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99 thoughts on “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. 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

  2. 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.

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  3. 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

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  4. 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.

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  5. 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.

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  6. 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.

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  7. 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!

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  8. 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.

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  9. 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.

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  10. 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

  11. 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

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