I've been collecting bugs for as long as I can remember. First, they were living, putting fireflies into jars and shaking them to illuminate my front porch in the copious darkness of the night.
Then, it was the ants I'd burn with the magnifying glass I'd gotten for my 10th birthday. I'd pick up their charred corpses and put them in a Tupperware container I stored under my bed. I
suppose I'd keep them as trophies of some sort. Mother threw out all of my handiwork when she found it though, she wasn't the biggest fan of my escapades. Though in the end, I prevailed, as I now work as an entomologist. I always was a mutinous child.
It is the best job I could ask for, due to my morbid fascination with bugs. Though others may squirm and squeal at them, I wish to know every facet of their being. Watch them wriggle
ungainly in between my tweezers. Their panic is endearing, in a way. They know so little of the world, yet keep on working. So many humans do the same, but I wonder if any ants would look up at the sky and think about the meaning of life. I suppose that's what sentience does to a being though. I insert the pin into it's back, watching the last attempt at an escape as it's fire for living and working extinguishes. ¨Bullet ant¨ I scribble onto a label, placing it under the corpse. It's a quiet day. I believe most of my coworkers have taken the day off for a birthday party but I've
always been more interested in the bugs than the people surrounding me.
Always the cordial person that I am though, I offer to lock up the office when the working day comes to a close. I wave goodbye to the nameless faces of my peers and take one last look at my work. It's a Friday so no one will be visiting the building until Monday, though I don't know who'd want to rob an entomologist's lab, besides me.
Snapping out of my mental dictum, I hear a light fluttering in the other room and it ignites my curiosity. Stepping lightly, I see an orange butterfly flapping around the room. Further
scrutinizing though, I see a pin sticking out of it. Perhaps my colleague did not finish their job. Though I consider that possibility increasingly less likely as all around me thousands of bugs free themselves and each other of their steel prisons. They lunge toward me, and some of the most venomous and painful stings in the world along with the most harmless flutters filled with malice attack me. Despite their small statures, resistance is futile. Thousands of stings of pain
shoot through my leg, and the only senses I come to feel are a cacophony of numbness and pain. I'm left blind as hundreds of butterflies and moths crowd my eyes. Only barely being able to feel the warm blood pooling underneath between the hard exoskeletons, I feel my eyes fluttering closed as my consciousness is ripped away from me.
Jack Feltz is a sophomore at Milford High School. In her free time, she enjoys resting with her cat and indulging in most things creative. She also enjoys nature and finding out the secrets of the world (most of which require attending her chemistry class). You can mostly find her laughing with her friends or playing video games, sometimes both at the same time. Her future plans include learning to better herself and pursuing whatever goals she so chooses.