It was the next night. Reed and I were lying under the shadow of a tall blade of grass. He slept, while I kept watch.
I sat staring at the moon, its pale light hitting the stones, causing them to shine like beacons. I heard in the distance, a grasshopper, playing a sweet serenade. It was then, as I sat dreaming, that she emerged. She had a timid look on her face but she looked strong, she seemed to be a worker ant. She was red with black stripes running along her back and she had shocking red eyes.
"Hello," she spoke clearly, "I am ... lost, I wish to join you wherever you go, I cannot survive on my own and you two seem reliable." I looked her over wondering whether I could trust her. I decided that Reed should decide since I had received my silver leg I could no longer trust myself and the anger still formed clouds in my mind. I shook Reed awake. He rose lazily looking confused.
"This ant," I said as I gestured to her," wants to join us, it seems she does not have a means of surviving on her own. Reed cocked his head seemingly trying to remember something. He then rushed over to her excitedly and nodded his head profusely at me. By his actions, I could tell that he knew her.
"Oh, you must be a survivor from Reed's colony?" I half stated and half asked. Her lips began to tremble and her eyes filled with water.
"I don't know!" she shouted as she burst into tears.
"I can't remember anything," She said in between sobs," Not even my own name." I was taken aback. What use is an ant with no memory? Reed tried to comfort her while I fought my evil thoughts.
It was silent as we walked. There were many reasons for this silence. One was Reed's disability. Another reason was the lady ant was still sad as to her own plight and also I found talking unnecessary and tedious.
I stopped walking; we had reached a marl pit.
"We have to be careful here," I began mostly addressing the girl ant," We are much more exposed here, there are many insects around and some animals do like to pick on us ants." She nodded and we began our journey down the steep entrance to the pit.
"You need a name," I said bluntly speaking to the girl ant.
"I do?" she questioned, "but you don't have a name why should I?" I had forgotten I had a name.
"Tell you what," I said," If you give me a name to call you I will tell you my name.
"Call me Amber," She said without hesitation.
"OK," I smiled," My name is..." I was cut off when the ground started to rumble. The rocks slid, falling to create an avalanche. We were nearly crushed not only by this but also by a large foot.
The human stood tall but then suddenly bent over, the shadow of his head covering our crippled bodies. I struggled to get up and tried to run.
"Hey ants and they're still alive" he shouted. He raised his foot and was about bring it down on us when he was knocked off his feet by another human.
"Don't squish them they have feelings too!" she cried. She cupped her hands around us lifting us at a dizzying speed.
"Aww poor things they are hurt," she said.
"So," Said the boy," They're just ants. The girl still carrying us stormed off I could feel every bump. I was going to be taken by humans again.
Once the girl had marched fitfully to her house she placed us in a narrow container which was filled mostly with dirt.
I paced around plotting and scheming my plan for revenge but it did me no good, soon I sat in silence, my heart almost crying to know my freedom was being taken away.
We were there for days, maybe even weeks. We were fed and taken care of. She always spoke nice things to us and about us. She was very loving and somehow during all that time I had come to like the girl.
Besides us, there were a variety of other insects. There was a group of five rhinoceros beetles who could always be heard fighting, there was a grasshopper who could not fiddle, there was a spider who spoke curses and finally, there was a praying mantis. He was silent for the first while we were there. To be honest he scared me. He was large and his blades seemed sharp enough to cut through even the hard shell of a rhinoceros beetle. His eyes were deep red and combined with his oversized mandibles and fidgeting feelers he was just about the most intimidating insect I had ever met. One night he came out. I don't know how he did it but he stood right in front of our glass container, watching us. But then eventually he began to talk.
He spoke to us telling us many things, assuring his abstinence of ant-eating, he told me about my leg, the fact that it wasn't just coloured silver, it was metal. Then he asked questions about the outside world. He has been stuck here for a quite awhile and even when he could leave, he never did. He told about the humans, it was his words that made me come to like the sweet girl. He said hers was a kind heart and one of the last things he told us was his name, it was Blade.
I had been settling into my new life, spending my time trying to decipher all of Reeds gestures, growing closer to both him and Amber. Soon, I could not imagine my life without them. I didn't think that I would be getting out anytime in the future but things happen.
That day strangers came.
They came when everyone I knew lived there weren't present. They rummaged around everywhere while wearing all black and a something else black covering there face. One of them took off their mask, reclining in a chair. Then in came the girl, smiling merrily until she saw her large visitors. They exclaimed loudly saying all manner of indecent words. The unmasked one raised a black object and then there was a very loud noise.
The girl collapsed falling into our container. Causing it to fall and break on top of her. As we pulled ourselves out of the debris we were greeted by the girls flowing blood. I felt my heart nearly burst at the death of the poor girl. Then I looked at the ones who caused death and my vengeance rose again. Humans were so horrible.
Reed ran ahead of me and Amber, leading us to the exit. The other insects, which were freed due to the loud noises and mad running of the humans, flew straight for the windows. Blade flew up to us offering to take us. We hurriedly climbed on his back and he flew us to the window. Just as we went through there was another loud noise and a huge wind gushed pass. It threw Blade through the air. We landed hard on the short grass outside. The window where we came through was slammed shut. Blade promptly flew off wishing us well. But when I looked around I noticed Reed was missing. What could've happened? Was he still in the house? Did Blade take him? But Blade was too nice of a praying mantis, he wouldn't do that. There was that gush of wind. That did throw us far. Amber looked at me seeing me distressed she noticed Reed's disappearance too.
"Don't worry," She said," Reed will turn up" I looked at her trying to believe what she said. Reed was tough. That's when I felt the small twitch under my leg. I looked to see Reed's black leg hanging onto my leg. A piece of his mandible lay nearby as well as two more legs. Anger filled me. Amber came behind speaking softly as to console me.
"Its okay Red," she said," It's going to be okay."
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