Flash Fiction (15) – The Invasion

spiders, soldiers, flash fiction, tree

This prompt is from Quill Shiv.  Here’s his take on the prompt and check out the comments for other people’s take on the prompt.

The Invasion

Grandma saw a spider.  It was a normal spider, not big, not scary, just normal, but it terrified her.

“They came in the summer.  The spiders did.  They were everywhere; they covered everything.  If you stood still for too long, they covered you.

“And they yelled, they yelled all the time.  In that thick tongue of theirs.  It sounded like demons had overtaken the town.  They didn’t even bother learning Bengali.  They shouted at us, poked us with sticks, beat us, and laughed at us.  But we never knew what they wanted!  If only they spoke Bengali, if only we knew, we would have done it.  But we never knew.

“They put me and my parents in the ghettos.  That’s where we had to live; we weren’t allowed to stay at home.   And they didn’t give us netting.  So when we tried to sleep the spiders would come.  So everybody took turns watching for the spiders and shooing them away.  Because if they came they would wrap you up in their webbing.  And the spiders were everywhere.  They came in the summer and they never left.

“The soldiers stayed, they stayed for so long.  In the ghetto we were split into teams.  Each team had a job.  I was on a good team, with a good job.  They said it was because I was pretty and young so they gave me the good job.  Me and the rest of my team would go to the garbages.  Not the garbages from the ghetto, we didn’t have enough to throw anything away.  The garbages from the city, that’s where we went.  And we dug, and sorted, and stacked, and piled until everything that might have any value was set aside.  Then the soldiers would come.  We loaded everything into trucks.  Then the soldiers loaded us into trucks.  Apparently we had some value, not much, but enough to warrant being loaded into trucks.

“The trucks were too small for all us.  But the soldiers didn’t care, they used their sticks to force more and more of us in.  I couldn’t breath.  I was supposed to be on watch, but I had fallen asleep and the spiders had found me.  Their webbing stretched across my face, every time I tried to inhale the sticky strings tickled the back of my throat and I started coughing.  Those damn webs.

“Kill it.  Kill the spider, Amar Baca.  I’m going to grab a shawl; I’m cold.”

So I killed it.  I didn’t want it to upset my mother any more, normally I would’ve just put it outside, it was such a little spider.

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13 thoughts on “Flash Fiction (15) – The Invasion

  1. My favorite line here is: “Then the soldiers loaded us into trucks. Apparently we had some value, not much, but enough to warrant being loaded into trucks.” Just so brilliantly written.

    My only suggestion would be possibly to have Amar Baca remember the story, or perhaps have the sentence about killing the spider before the story with a little conflict about it, then the story, and the last paragraph with the granddaughter finally obeying.

    I adore the characters you have here and the history you have built in the story. Excellent work.

    • Thanks. The idea came very quickly, the actual words were much harder.

      I knew the beginning and ending needed some work. I’ll definitely try to polish them. I like the idea of adding a little conflict at the beginning to be resolved at the end.

    • Thanks. I’m glad you liked it. And I’m glad it didn’t improve your feelings about spiders, because I definitely wasn’t trying to make you like them 🙂

  2. There’s something creepy about falling asleep and having a spider spin a web around you. It kind of weirds me out a little. I almost felt like a Nazi regime type situation. Very nice work.

    • I was definitely going for Nazi regime. I wanted her memories to be so clouded that she seamlessly switched from the Nazis to the spiders. I’m glad you picked up on that!

  3. Thanks for sharing this – it was some powerful imagery. I have to say, I felt my skin crawling thinking of spiders wrapping you in a web….

    Very effective.

  4. Typical! I find that myth about you swallowing several spiders a year in your sleep is completely untrue and start to sleep well again, then I find out they actually wrap you up in their webs instead. Curse you, nature!

    I must say, you weave (sorry) a compelling tale here. What I like the most is the subtle commentary, which I’m not sure was intentional or not but which certainly packs a chilling punch. That while we’re busy killing each-other for causes that ultimately do not matter in the least the animal kingdom silently watches on, ready to seize the advantage once our guard is down. In my darker moments I wonder if that’s that fate we face as a species.

    Incidentally, I actually have a pet spider. Well, he’s not really a pet, he just seems to have set up home outside my living room window. As far as I’m concerned he catches flies so he’s cool with me. My Mum has nicknamed him Webster. Good name, huh?

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