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Under The Plum Tree (story)
Roy L. Simms Jr.
April 1, 2010
WR241 Creative Fiction
CRN# 41206

This story is based off of an event I witnessed back in the old days when I used to smoke cigarettes. I was the human the characters in this tale started feasting on, and I and the dragon flies were the only creatures to survive relatively intact.

Under the Plum Trees
An anthropomorphic tale

In the shade of a plum tree *

“If humans only realized how low they are on the food chain they might become harder to hunt. When the sun withdraws some more we will feast on that one down there, wont we Zimisith?” Zusha proclaimed as she made a dash at a male mosquito who had dared to come too near her position in the collective cloud.

“You missed Zuzzel's dive a few minutes ago. She and two others went for the human food beast. It killed her friends but she managed to take nourishment from its back slick as you please.”

“That greedy fly lover! That must be the reason it moved out of the shade of our tree. Now the rest of us have to wait for the sun to fade so we don't have to hurt our eyes.”

“Oh don't be like that, Zusha. She's the talk of the cloud now. Who would have thought that pregnancy would bring out such boldness from little Zuzzel. I think this is the first time that she has ever blooded her proboscis first.” Zimisith defended.

“Your right. The more gravid I become the testier I am. I just want the little ones to gestate correctly and that means more human blood.”

“I know what you mean, sister.” The two female mosquitoes laughed together.

* Midway up the plum tree *

“Sisters, do not fly beyond the boundaries of the leaves. We do not want the mosquitoes to know we are here until we are ready. Teshel, curb your hunger!” Neshesh ordered her six compatriots. They were seven gravid craneflies seeking the special nourishment for the eggs growing inside of them. The growing cloud of mosquitoes hovered below, too intent on a lone human sitting nearby to realize they were being hunted in turn.

“We should not delay the dance, elder sister.” Lashent persuaded hungrily. The other five took it up as a chant.

“Dance, dance, dance.” Neshesh herself did not have the will power to postpone the hunt ritual any further.

Their flight was circular and swirled counter to the mosquitoes cloud. They adjusted their fluttering pace until they had achieved a perfect counterbalance to the unsuspecting mosquitoes below. Neshesh as the eldest made the first swoop, skimming along the outside of their smaller counterparts cloud. She looped out with her catch climbing into the sun while ripping the mosquitoes head off. She hurled the headless body away directly over the human before she curved in to rejoin her kin. One by one the others followed her example only to repeat the cycle because of their uncompromising hunger.

At the top of the plum tree *

“Ript, Fack, come 'ere!” Shek called, putting both agitation and excitement into the buzz of his wings. Fack immediately forgot about trying to start a brawl with the ever hungry Ript and charged Shek angrily. Shek evaded him easily and even managed to buzz Ript in the process, making the drunken yellow jacket forget about eating more of the rotting fruit. “You fuck heads need to see this.” Jostling and fighting the trio of drunken hornets made their way over the top of their plum tree to look at the feeding frenzy below. Unsteadily they watched the craneflies stooping into the mosquitoes set further down the foliage.

“Fucking bitches think their hot fliers don't they?” Fack sneered belligerently.

“Aint shit!” Ript agreed, his antennae held crooked from all the fermented plum he'd consumed. “Hell, even I could fly faster and hit harder than them.”

“Well, why don't we?” Shek challenged. It took a few moments before the thought gelled with his nest mates.

The idea was very popular, but as usual Ript was the last to catch on. Shek dived even as the revelation dawned in Ripts eyes. He returned in a moment angrily chewing on the cranium of a now deceased cranefly. The other two unsteadily followed his lead.

Above the orchard *

“I love flying with you, Sheershimmer. You range farther than the other females do, it's like your not afraid to be away from the pond.” Bluesickle complemented his young companion, a golden hued dragonfly female. Pleased by his words she dashed to the left and allowed him to chase her through several loops. Laughing they resumed their original course over the orchard. Bluesickle cast a surreptitious glance at his companions wings and felt a renewing of the thrill this female instilled in him. He was nerving himself up to ask her a question that had been burning at him for quite some time now. Not only did he feel enamored of her iridescent exoskeleton and the perfect facets of her eyes, but he also enjoyed her quick wit and company as well.

“Um, Sheershimmer, do you mind if I ask you a question?” He stammered, instead of answering him she pivoted in flight and gave an exclamation of disgust. Bluesickle's heart began to collapse along with his courage, thinking that he had been rejected before he'd even begun.

“Oooh, I hate yellow jackets! They're such unsavory creatures, always fighting and bullying others. Are they trying to provoke that human down there?” His heart re-inflated upon the discovery that he was not the object of her displeasure. Together they watched as the yellow jackets harried the craneflies. Inspiration blossomed in young Bluesickle's mind.

“If these creatures truly bother you then I would be honored to disperse them for you?” Sheershimmer spun about to face him, worry and excitement warring on her features.

“Only if you take care of yourself.” Bluesickle acknowledged her with an aerial salute before he dove in for the attack. The only warning the hornets received was the meaty smack of bodies colliding then one of their numbers' headless body plummeted through both the cranefly and mosquito clouds. It took a moment for the remaining two to notice the young dragonfly hovering on the far side of the plum tree. Angrily buzzing the yellow jackets set off in pursuit only to have their target mysteriously disappear. They reoriented on Bluesickle a moment later, he had passed them with lightening speed and was hovering above the craneflies.

Again they set off in pursuit weaving aggressively only to have the dragonfly dodge back with blinding bursts of speed. Bluesickle lead them over another tree before he made his next attack, his maneuvers had separated them in their flight. Lightening like, he evaded the nearest yellow jacket then plunged onto the second and largest. His mandibles separated the head from the body effortlessly, not allowing his victim a chance to utilize its stinger. He turned to face the last ill tempered hornet only to find that it was arrowing away as fast as it could. Before he could make a decision a golden blur intercepted the fleeing hooligan; another headless body pattered through the leaves of the trees below. Laughing in exhilaration, Sheershimmer flitted over to him practically glowing with her exhilaration.

“You were magnificent, my hero!” She exclaimed.

“Yet I will never match you in grace, Sheershimmer.” Bluesickle acknowledged, laughing along with his beautiful companion. Adrenaline still pumping through his system, the young dragonfly found himself blurting his burning question. A part of him was aghast over his lack of tact. “Will you dance with me to the chorus of the frogs tonight?” Mortification began to burn when her laughter cut off. He could not read her body language as she took a moment to regard him.

“It took you long enough to ask.” She finally answered with a strange intensity behind her multifaceted eyes. “I would love to dance with you, Bluesickle Hornet Slayer.” Jubilation flooded the young dragonflies heart. He wanted to zip and cavort with this victory, instead he took a dignified position next to her to escort her proudly back to the pond. Ideas and dreams were shared as they meandered back, each secretly wondering what the other dragonflies would think about their pairing.

Under the plumb trees *

The young man stood and performed a courtly bow to the regents of the sky before the dragonflies passed from his sight. His bewildered thoughts were stunned with awe for what nature had revealed to him that evening. Headhunting in the insect kingdom was not something he had ever witnessed before and seeing multiple layers of the food chain perform such deeds had struck him dumb with wonder. He just stood in mute contemplation for a long while until the mosquitoes began to feed off of him in earnest. Suddenly disgruntled he rapidly left the orchard, he did not like the idea of being the one at the losing end of the food chain.

p.s. The craneflies aimed the bodies of their mosquito victims at me after I moved into the light. I was hit twice by beheaded bloodsucker corpses.

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