A definite difference from my usual stuff! I was experimenting with flash fiction, I believe…
I swatted at the cloud of insects. Nothing worked against the pernicious critters, not even the satisfaction-guaranteed bug bomb. I booted the offending can across my grow-room, a cluster of bugs darting from its trajectory. Glaring at the thoroughly over-run marijuana plants, I swore. This was a serious setback. I regarded the ecological disaster my basement had become, seeing a trio of insects flying toward me.
Blinking didn’t change their arrangement. I retreated, recognizing their narrow-waisted shape. Hornets in my pot? Correction, deformed hornets with odd protuberances. My mouth dropped as I stared.
Second correction. Three hornets carrying tiny angry women with weapons.
“You shall leave us, Bugly!” the lead…person proclaimed, waving a tiny Kalishnakov over her head. She had a strong voice for being the size of a bug.
I squinted, confused. “Bugly?” My mind gibbered as I patted my chest. “Are you talking to me?”
She pointed the rifle at me like a sword. “You! Big. Ugly. Bugly.”
My astonishment soured. “Hallucination or not, I’m not going to be insulted by a…a…what the hell are you?”
“She’s Queen Sartoria of the Westwood Sprites, Bugly! Show respect or die!” one of her companions stated, micro-nose stuck into the air.
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. I probably should have taken them seriously, but what were they going to do? Shoot itty bitty guns at me? “She’s a figment of my imagination, just like you.” I swatted them, the wind of my passing hand disrupting their flight until they settled once more. “I must have watched ‘Labyrinth’ stoned last night.”
The “Queen’s” sidekicks locked and loaded, but she stopped them with an imperious wave. Urging her hornet closer, she stopped inches before my nose. She was gorgeous with wavy auburn hair offset by the translucent wings flickering on her back. Her eyes were a brilliant cinnamon hazel, glowing from within. “You shall leave us be, or we will retaliate.”
“Was that a threat?” I glanced at the cloud of insects hovering over my crop. “It’s you who’ll leave.” Pointing at the plants, I said, “You’re infesting my future cash. Go find a cabbage patch to inhabit.”
I don’t remember much of what happened afterward. I woke upstairs on the floor, covered with welts and hornet stings. Glad I’m not allergic. I hobbled from the field of battle for a first aid kit. Medicating my injuries, I thought my skin resembled a case of chicken pox.
I had to do something. No half-dressed lilliputian babe was going to evict me from my own basement.
A trip to the garden store was illuminating. It’s amazing the number of lethal chemicals there are in the world. Soon I had a Weapon of Mass Destruction – a professional bug sprayer.
I woke in the hospital.
My girlfriend smiled. “You’ve been out for three days.”
Three days? “I lost?”
She tsked. “You’re an idiot. I negotiated a truce.” Glancing furtively around, she opened her purse to reveal a wad of cash. Her finger found my lips, shushing me. “Queen Sartoria sends her regards. You’re banned from the basement. Her people will tend the plants – as they were meant to do – and I’ll handle everything else.”
“But the money—”
“—Is where it belongs. With me. Got it?” She glared at me with brilliant hazel eyes.
Shocked, I nodded agreement.
She grinned and winked. “I’ll see you later.” She pecked me on the forehead and left the room. I stared after her.
Up until three days ago, my girlfriend’s eyes were blue.