Doing AW‘s June Blog Chain again. Might the last for a bit. I got a lot on my plate right now.
This month’s prompt:
Yep. Bugs. Simple and easy. Prose, poetry, play. Fiction, nonfiction. It’s all good, all bugs.
Simply post your blog’s URL in this thread to join. I’ll let you know in this thread when it’s your turn. Once your turn comes up, you have two days to complete a blog post using the prompt. When you are finished, please add a link to your post on the thread.
Each post should be less than 1000 words if possible.
“Don’t let them escape,” she cried.
“I’m tryin’ not to,” he answered.
“Oh my god. Get them.” She was horrified.
Silas wasn’t a very forgiving overseer. Not even a drop of compassion flowed through his veins. She and Orrin would be written up and their pay docked. The last thing she could afford was to have her pay docked.
“Hurry and get ‘em back into their containment units, Chessie,” Orrin’s tone was forceful while his voice was low. “Mebbe they won’t notice. Or mebbe we can tell ‘um they died in the unit.”
“That won’t work Orrin. They added the unit weight monitors yesterday. The units just got calibrated,” her voice held the resignation she felt. “It’s useless. I’ll file the report.”
It wasn’t a minute after she hit send on the report, the communicator on the console started beeping. She didn’t want to hit the green button, but she did.
“Ms. de Marco?” asked Silas.
“Yes, this is she,” she answered, albeit reluctantly.
“I see from the report, your team lost a little under a gross of cockroaches,” he said. His voice held neither disapproval or approval.
“Yes sir. That’s correct,” she said. “It was my fault, sir. Mr. Abernathy bears no fault.”
“I noted that on the report as well,” he stated.
“It’s the truth,” she said emphatically. “Although Orrin helped me when I tried to get them back. They ran, sir. We couldn’t catch them.”
“The loss of the gross will cost the company just under $10,000 dollars, Ms. de Marco. How do you propose to rectify this situation?” Silas asked her.
“Well, I’ve given it some thought, sir. I would be willing to be docked half pay and work over time for the remaining portion,” she suggested.
“Acceptable,” Silas told her. Again, no inflection in his voice to indicate emotions running one way or another. “Computer please note the date and time of the agreement.”
“Agreement noted and entered,” a chipper female voice acknowledged.
“Will that be all sir?” she asked miserably.
“Yes. Good day,” Silas sign off. The communicator beeping one long beep to indicate the call was over.
“Crap,” she cursed.
“Doan worry, Chessie. I kin share my rations. I know you need ‘em,” Orrin offered.
“This can’t go on Orrin. We need to figure out a way to get the overflow when we open the units,” she said.
“How kin we do that if the company hasn’t?” Orrin asked.
“The company doesn’t care Orrin,” she said. “They dock the workers pay if any of those bugs get out. So they don’t have a profit loss. No profit loss equals no motive to fix the situation.”
“I guess that’s true,” Orrin agreed.
“Well we might as well eat lunch while we think about it,” she told him.
“Alright,” he agreed readily.
Orrin hit a series of buttons. Two bowls appeared with grayish extruded paste in them. He handed one to her and kept the other for himself.
“Hot sauce?” he offered her the bottle.
She took it. While the paste was nutritious, it tasted bad.
“Thanks. I can’t stand the taste plain,” she told him. “Since I started working here. Seeing how they live, I have to put something on it.”
“I just like the hot sauce,” Orrin grinned at her. “Even if the paste didn’t taste like shit, I’d put some on there.”
She didn’t say anything in response. There wasn’t really anything to say. So they finished their meal in silence. Each lost in their own worlds. She was pretty sure they were two vastly different worlds, but still, Orrin had his moments.
He wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box, but he was funny and nice. He was real nice. He’d helped her out on more than one occasion.
“Do you think we’ll ever get anything else to eat?” she wondered out loud. “I read about all the food that didn’t survive and I can’t imagine what they’d taste like.”
“I dunno, Chessie. Mebbe someday, the ground will grow things again. Or they’ll find somethin’ sides us and the bugs survived,” he said. “Until then, at least we kin eat all we want. Working with the food gots some benefits.”
“Yeah, at least my kid won’t starve,” she said sadly. “He just won’t have much besides food for a while.”
“Naw, girl. I told you I’d help out. And I will,” he said good naturedly.
“I can’t let you do that Orrin. You’ve been helping me out too much,” she said. “Who knew taking care of the food was so difficult?”
“They’re just particular. They don’t want ‘em to get out in case some other folks start to breed ‘em too. Then if everybody could grow ‘em and breed ‘em, the company’s profits would go down,” he said in a surprising moment of insight.
“Yeah. That makes sense,” she said. “It was just easier when I work part time in the office before Eric died, you know?”
“Yeah. I do,” he patted her shoulder. “Welp, it’s time to water the little buggers. Got to keep ‘em plump so they weigh more for sale.”
“Better than feeding them,” she shivered. She hated feeding them. Hated dealing with the corpses. The cyclical nature of the how they bugs ate human corpses, getting fat and then the bugs were ground into paste to feed living humans. Well, it just kind of freaked her out. If she’d never worked in this department, she wouldn’t have it in her face. She could have pretended. But when you’re the one feeding the damn things, it was real hard to pretend.
“Now ain’t that the truth.”
“You’re right. Let’s get back to work,” she sighed. “But one of these days, I am going to figure out how to get them from one unit to another without losing any of them.”
“That’d be a good thing, Chessie. Help us both out,” Orrin grinned at her.
Micro-farming cockroaches was essential now they were the only source of protein left on Earth. Well other than humans. But no one wanted to go there. At least not yet.
Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Diem_Allen – http://mindovermistakes.blogspot.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
articshark – http://www.drslaten.com/blog (link to post) <————————–me
Lady Cat – http://randomwriterlythoughts.blogspot.ca (link to post)
U2Girl – http://ancatdubh.org (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com/ (link to post)
SuzanneSeese – http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
robynmackenzie – http://iwanttobeawesomewhenigrowup.com/ (link to post)
Sunwords – http://susannedoering.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
susanielson – http://somesemblancethereof.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
HistorySleuth – http://historysleuth.blogspot.com (link to post)
SRHowen – http://srhowen1.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Lyra Jean – http://beyondtourism.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
xcomplex – http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
milkweed – http://www.thistlequill.blogspot.com/ (link to post)