Monday, June 26, 2017


Fly away, now

The ladybug leaned against the window frame and crossed its lower right leg over its lower left. It took a drag from a nearly microscopic cigar and blew an even smaller smoke ring.

"Yep, this is all mine. I made the whole shebang," it added, by way of explanation, seeing John's look of confusion.

John had written about talking pigs, etc., but never a talking insect. Was one kind of talking animal more or less improbable than another? Somehow it seemed that talking mammals were more plausible than bugs.

"Hello! Anybody in there?" The ladybug pointed at John with the cigar.

"What? All what? The whole shebang of what?" John clicked save, though he'd written so little that losing the file wouldn't matter much.

"Everything. The universe. Didn't even take a week." If an insect ever looked smug, this one did.

John shook his head vigorously to clear his mind. "Ha ha. It almost sounded like you said you created the universe. But you know, we already know who did that. There's a book about it, maybe you've heard of it." Having come to the conclusion that he was hallucinating, John had decided to play along.


"You think I'm stupid? Of course I know about the book, I wrote it. Surely you don't think your primitive ancestors were equipped to handle the information that they had been invented by a bug. You don't seem to be doing too well with it yourself." The ladybug stubbed the cigar out on the window sill and tossed the butt out the window. John winced. He hated litterbugs.

"You know, that's bad for you. Bad for the environment too. North Carolina and Virginia should never have gotten started cultivating tobacco in the first place. And, what's up with evolution? Is it real? Are birds really dinosaurs? And, if you're a benevolent God, why do bad things happen to good people? Is it really so we can have free will? Because, you know, I don't think that's a legitimate justification."

The ladybug seemed to sigh. "I don't think you've been paying attention. That benevolent god crap was something humans made up because they can't handle the truth. Who said I was benevolent? Why should I be? Arthropods are "r" strategists. Have enough kids and some are bound to survive. Benevolence is neither necessary nor desirable. And it's not like you're real. All I have to do is snap my --"


John scraped the bug guts off on the edge of the sill and tossed the book down on his desk. It was time for a drink.

Publ. Apr. 15, 2010,

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