Associated Trellis – Extra! Extra!
Cockroaches Guilty as Charged!
From my perch on the trellis, overlooking the hub-bub in the soil and tiny pebbles of The Garden below, I watch the Snails escort the convicted Cockroaches – bound up in braided-ivy-vine – across the wide expanse of the garden. Slowed to the Snails’ pace, the Cockroaches lurch like zombies as the contingency travels over decorative brick and hot desert slate. Their expedition is observed by Millipede urchins and an assortment of Beetles in fine Queen Anne’s lace petticoats. They are on their way to the compost.
Arachnid runners in hourglass-stamped tunics jump to my side with the latest interviews and eye-witness reportage from the ground. Dragonflies alight on surrounding leaves with their eye-in-the-sky accounts.
Below, spectators and hecklers en route hurl discarded coffee grounds and bits of rotted cabbage. The Cockroaches snick-snick along, fettered together like a chain gang. Wild flowers unwrap their withering petals, slinging dried up pollen upon the procession. Not that it would damage the Cockroach’s armor plating – it is simply an exhibition of disgust.
I lament the current state of insect affairs. It seems that just weeks ago all was serene here in this patch of The Garden. We all knew the responsibilities of our genus, be we Lepidopteron, Arachnid, Coleopteran; coming out of cocoon or burrow or hive, we all knew our place. Ah, the good ole days; how I miss them.
As I wax nostalgic, Battalions of Dandelions release clusters of fluffy white paratroopers. They float, caught on the breezes. In crisp military fashion, they fan out and set up their posts.
I exchange pieces of molted-wing parchment with several stringer Moths, and dispatch them to the lower trellis floors. Ancient presses start their incessant clanging; recycled butterfly-wing scales are loaded and ground into ink and readied for printing.
Through my compound orbs, I watch as two Cockroaches in Ghillie suits push a curious conveyance of upturned shell into a copse of mushrooms. My breath catches. My phototactic eyes bulge.
Boom! The shell of fertilizer explodes! The shock wave rumbles across the garden, from the daffodils to the impatiens, blowing Moths, Butterflies and other creatures into a tangle of legs and wings.
The smoke clears from the blast site and a crater the size of a bird bath emerges. Insurgent Roaches scurry in clutching spears of dried grass. They punch through the constraints of their brethren, liberating them.
The stench of charred wings and scorched appendages floats skyward in a black cloud. Pulverized Snail shells litter the blast zone; their slime plops upon the earth. Dead leaves are pounded into mulch. Royal attendants scramble to secure our Exulted Mantis.
Under my six feet, cracks appear in the trellis. I hear snapping noises. My workmates and I tremble on a precipitous ledge. Bugs cling to the trellis with all the legs they’ve got. Cries of terror and pain disrupt the black after-bomb silence. My feathery antennae are tingly and itchy. I see EMT’s – Emergency Medical Ticks – dispatched, and they begin infusing stored blood into the wounded.
Further out, among the branches of the mighty oak and maple, our avian neighbors sit and observe, their twittering silenced.