THE SHINE JOURNAL

Flash Literature, Poetry, Art and Photography!

 

Sharon Poppen

 

 

Alfie and I

 

It had happened so fast.  Alfie and I were on our way to the impromptu party.  His sister's message had come in loud and clear.

 

"Come on down.  You won't believe the size of this bounty.  We've alerted everyone.  Hurry!"

 

In our haste, we chanced a direct route through the green forest.  Its maize of twisted stalks was always a precarious choice, but Alfie and I had marked out a path several months ago.  On days when all was quiet, we'd venture through it again to freshen up our markings.  Today, all was not quiet, but the call had said to hurry and we didn't want to miss out.

 

We were almost to the cool, flat mesa where tidbits of food often flittered down from above.  A familiar rumble began to vibrate the stalks and the granules of dirt began to swirl and block our view.  Alfie had paused to double check our route when a glass cage descended.  It missed him, but I was trapped.

 

“Ants!  I caught one under a glass," roared one of the giants that inhabited the forest and left the tidbits of food.

 

A quick scan of the circle of my enclosure found no cracks or crevices to aid in my escape.  With Alfie standing on his hind legs scratching against the glass, a movement caught our attention and we looked up. 

 

One of our mortal enemies had secured the cage by planting a large, shoe on the top of it.  If it hadn't been for the shoe, I might have had a good chance for escape by wiggling into the forest floor and scooting under the rim of the cage.

 

The enemy was wearing the shoes with the ridged rubber soles.  Why only last week, Alfie had eluded certain death by clinging tightly to a sticky substance inside one of the ridges.

 

The air began to thin.  I looked sadly at Alfie as my antennae drooped.  Then, I heard distant yelling.  The cage fell over and I heard the enemy.

 

"Hurry, get me the vacuum.  I see more than one."

 

Alfie tuned his antennae up high and I scampered off after him.  He was abandoning our marked trail for the unknown.  After a quick run, we burrowed into the dust and dirt granules embedded in the forest floor and waited. 

 

The ground rumbled from the activity of several giants for a while, then came the dreaded roar of the sucking device.  Without a word from Alfie, I knew it was a run for our lives.  We raced into the unknown.

 

Luck was with us.  We quickly arrived at the end of the green forest and found the crevice between it and the wood surrounding it.  With the sucking device edging ever closer we managed to slip down out of the sunlight into the cool, musty darkness.  Before continuing on toward the safety of our hill, we stopped to catch our breath.

 

Alfie's antennae buzzed with urgency from his sister.  He ignorned it and caressed my antennae.  “Let’s eat in tonight.”

 

My antennae twitched gratefully in answer.

 

©Sharon Poppen

 


BIO: Sharon Poppen has won awards from Arizona Authors Assoc. and National League of American Pen Women.  Her novel After the War, Before the Peace is available at www.xlibris.com and a Western, Hannah, is on-line at www.virtualtales.com.

Print anthologies include: A Flasher's Dozen, Desert Treasures, Skive Magazine and Offerings from the Oasis. On-line publications include: A Long Story Short, Apollo Lyre and Laughter Loaf. Sharon is a member of Lake Havasu City Writer's Group and Society of Southwestern Authors. 

Her blog: www.poppensthoughtsonwritingandstuff.blogspot.com/

Motivation: A writers prompt!