Sunday, October 21, 2012

D Day

It started as any other day. With sightless industry I worked my way through the caverns and passageways that my comrades and I had created over many cycles, largely undisturbed. I knew the sun had risen due to the increased warmth of the earth within which I dwelt but had no concept of the time. The first I knew of the invasion was a blunt metal object plummeting past me and through one of the many unnamed family members who share this underground world with me. My first instinct as always when threatened was to dive. Digging and squirming down through the earth and yet despite my best efforts I was unceremoniously lifted with mountainous clumps of dirt tossed to the ground, plant roots tangled around the metal device and the searing heat of the sun scorched my unaccustomed skin. The scene that awaited me was truly terrifying. 

A giant or demi-god as they would come to call it, with a pitchfork in one hand and secateurs in the other lent over our home with what is hard to describe. Not murderous intent surely, this beast was not a vicious killer. It was however without compassion, how could it have any? In its bulky mass it has but one heart! Its limited comprehension of what dwelt below the surface of our world meant that we were all in mortal danger.

The mass exodus of cockroaches was the first visible reaction to the intruder. They fled like the cowards that they are from the underbrush. With somewhat guilty satisfaction I noticed that their scuttling desertion alerted the birds and distracted them from my brothers and I writhing on the ground. They swooped from the tree branches and snatched the nasty turn-coats before they reached the safety of the next garden bed.     

The snail, General Eran Spahbod is our head of homeland defence - not, I will admit in hindsight, the greatest choice, however the list of volunteers for this position is highly limited and what he lacks in speed he makes up for in spirit. His final stand was much like that of King-Kong standing atop the Empire State Building however, the only tall structure available was the particularly long stem of a galanthus which swayed precariously under his considerable bulk. As he reached his antennae skyward in brave defiance, the demi-god plucked him from his perch and placed him in amongst some greenery some way away. It was a tactical error on behalf of the giant to let him live for at that moment General Spahbod vowed to devour every lettuce that the giant planted from this day forth.

It was not as I had hoped the end of the nightmare on that fateful day. I could only watch as the earth was continuously heaved upwards with so much force that my comrades clung to whatever they could. Our heritage listed weeds, older than time itself were upended, ripped from their very roots. Brother Slater, head of the sect of the golden woodlice cowered in fear wrapping around himself in a perfect sphere. No doubt his thoughts were consumed by the seven mantis of the apocalypse. I attended to one of the wounded as best I could. Since he was sliced in half he was crawling with determination in two different directions and with no little effort I managed to shepherd him back together

Now that the earth was turned upside down, alien plants were forced into the caverns deliberately created by an unforgiving trowel. No doubt these plants were edible for the giant but we have yet to see if they are nontoxic to us as well. Then came the flood.

Big unnatural droplets from the end of a worn green hose, they fell with violence turning the earth to mud. It crushed Lepidoptera the unfortunate moth. Until this point, she had been peacefully sleeping through all the mayhem, her nocturnal habits weakened her defences in comparison to her cousins the butterflies who had left earlier in the day to find flowers. The dust coating her silver grey wings was shed over the muddy ground  and she thrashed in terror before ceasing all movement. So, in a different sense, she peacefully slept once more.

Finally a calm overcame the garden. The giant stood wiping its brow, leaving behind it a smear of earth like battle paint across it's fearsome face. It called out to its mate who came, placing an arm around the other and speaking words of encouragement. "Baby, it looks fantastic! I can't wait to try the tomatoes when they are grown. " I sighed inwardly. This exchange gave me the solace that whatever ends the giant was attempting to meet were done, now we could rebuild in peace. As I dove through the now soft earth I thought I heard "I think tomorrow I start on the carrots". My cold blood ran colder and I shuddered. I pray I was wrong and that we won't have to live this horror again tomorrow.              


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