Subject: OT: Plug of a short-storied nature.
Posted on: 2008-08-11 03:30:00 UTC

"So there I was, trapped, and no way out. I was gettin' desperate, ya know? Tryin' like crazy ta find some kinda way around the barrier, but no luck anyway I tried." He paused for dramatic effect, slicked back the fuzz on his head, and continued. "Every time I thought I saw somethin', I'd go fer it and hit a wall again, ya know?"

His audience nodded, almost in unison, and Gud licked his lips and took another sip of his drink.

"And then, jest when I was thinkin' it couldna gotten worse, the whole damn place starts thunderin'! It was somethin', I'll tell you what. And then, all the sudden, the whole barrier freakin' grates down a couple feet! It was incredible! I didn't wait fer no signal, I'll tell ya. I went straight for that gap next to the thing, and none too soon!" He paused again, looking with a wide grin around the small crowd.

"And none too soon-- jest as I was haulin' ass outta there, this huge mass comes lumberin' in, like some kinda monster or somethin'! I tell you, that thing took one look at me and I was gone, no need ta wait around fer somethin' like that! When I made it out to the other place, there was a breeze blowin', an' it took me 'bout a split second to follow it the hell outta there! Another one o' the damn things took a swipe at me as I was slidin' through, around the screen-- bloodthirsty monsters, the lot of 'em. But I made it, and ya know why? 'Cause Gud's a survivor, that's why."

He looked with satisfaction around the crowd, smirking. It was a tale, that's for sure. Got 'em every time. The youngsters loved to hear it, and it even impressed some of the older ones-- the ones who hadn't done the same themselves too often, that is. And even then, they liked to match up tall tales, sometimes. Now, though-- what was that character up to?

Pike smiled and took a sip, watching the old fellow bask. He couldn't resist, though, and, carefully folding his wings, pointed out, "It all comes of your foolhardy following the scent of the food, wherever it happens to lead. No one with a brain would go into one of those deathtraps if they gave it half a thought."

He was met by the expected cold sneer. "Well, excuuuse me, we can't all sit around and sip the drink o' the gods, now can we? Some of us have to work to find our food. An' what's a character like yerself doin' in here anyway, if yer so much better than us common flies, eh?"

In answer, the monarch simply raised his glass. "Makes great drinks, and the conversation's entertaining."

"Yeah, well you can jest as well take your overlong probo somewhere else, yeah? We don't need no stinkin' flutterbugs 'round here."

Pike smiled again, and unfolded his wings. He was easily twice the size of the small green bug, but, sense of mischievous wit aside, would rather not get into fights, especially with houseflies-- they tended to get nasty, quickly. "As you wish-- Gud, was it?" He drained the last of his drink and, flexing once, rose quickly into the air on his graceful, orange wings.

Houseflies. They were an odd bunch, and no mistake. He'd known some pretty smart ones, and some pretty stupid ones, but the craftiest ones even had a problem when it came to food. It was like they couldn't help themselves! Like he'd pointed out, no one with half a brain would go into a house if they thought about it for two seconds, but if a fly smelled food, a fly would... well, fly. Pike laughed to himself as he landed on the top of the holly bush. Food of the gods, was it? Alright then, he'd take it.

Pike was the exception for most monarchs, he knew. There was a reason why old Gud had been giving him funny looks even before he'd opened his mouth. An average butterfly simply did not hang around under bushes-- especially not with houseflies. Butterflies were sunlight bugs, sunlight and flowers and breezes and dewy mornings. But Pike was not an average butterfly. He'd been a strange one, even as a caterpillar, or so his friends had told him. The days of crawling were only a very hazy memory, at best, to most butterflies. Infancy, really, and then the cocoon, and then-- then rebirth.

There was a reason, he mused, why so many other flying insects looked at them so strangely, and why most butterflies kept their own company. They were not like other bugs. Butterflies had their own problems, their own risks-- quite different from the lives of other bugs, even aside from the rebirth halfway through their lives. They were practically like a magnet for predators, sometimes, and finding food was completely different from any other bug's life. No other bug had hummingbirds to contend with, he thought wryly.

"Oi! Flutterbug!"

Startled, Pike broke out of his reverie to see a young mosquito on the leaf opposite glaring at him. "...Yes?"

"You're in my spot, flutterbug."

Pike curled one antenna, the butterfly equivalent of raising an eyebrow. "Your spot?" Mosquitoes were quite posibly the cheekiest bugs he'd ever come across. Maybe one tenth his size, shouting at him as though he was an aphid, the thing! They were crazy, the lot of them, too-- constantly dodging in and out of angry mammals' reaches can do that to you. They didn't usually live long, but the ones who did were the best storytellers in the world, houseflies be damned.

"My spot! I'm there every morning, it's the only place on this bush where you can catch any sunlight!" The little bug twitched its sharp mouth angrily. Pike was amused.

"Alright, alright, don't get your wings twisted. I'm going." Grinning to himself, he rose up into the air again, and, after a short pause to get his bearings, headed for the nearest vine of flowers. It was past lunch anyway, and there was nothing quite like morning glories at this time of day-- right before they folded. Some butterflies he knew liked the stuff fresh, but he tended to go for the older nectar-- it collected miniscule particles of dust, giving it an odd... "tested" sort of flavor.

Food of the gods, indeed. He unrolled his long proboscis-- it was one of the longest around, and he was rather vain, in that aspect. As he flitted from flower to flower, slowly working up to a full stomach, clouds gathered on the horizon, and the air began to get heavy. Pike grimaced as he realized that the growing storm could well be a bit dangerous, if things got heavy. It looked like cutting his lunch short was the only option.

Worth it, though, he acknowledged, settling in behind the trellis of the vines. Shifting his wings into a more comfortable position, Pike slowly fell asleep as the rain pounded outside, safe and... well, relatively warm.

So... thoughts? I will probably expand on it and add it to the growing book of short stories to lie gathering dust on my computer forever. Heh.

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