This story is by Melanie L. Partridge and was part of our 2021 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
It was a perfectly lazy Sunday, Mother’s Day to be exact, and my “present” from my husband was the house almost to myself for the afternoon. The almost is because my “only son”, Taba, the ferocious German Shepherd who tries to bark at cats with his stuffed animal in his mouth, had assumed his usual upside-down napping position at my feet. After a long decadent bubble bath that had wrinkled everything that wasn’t already wrinkled, I was relaxing on the sofa with the latest historical romance by my favorite author, and “lunch” of a 1-lb bar of chocolate, and a soda. Diet, of course.
There I was, minding my own business, (don’t all the best stories start that way?) when POW! piercing-to-the-bone pain shot through my ankle. Now I may be getting old, but I could have run circles around any 2-yr-old on chocolate as I bounded screaming from my previously perfect nest and headed for the first-aid kit. I think Taba got tumbled in the process, but his yelps didn’t even register as I kicked my way free of my relaxation paraphernalia.
I suspected I had been bitten by something but had no idea what and all thought processes had come to a standstill except for one thing – get the numbing gel!
Ok, with the numbing gel applied to a tiny red spot, I could breathe now and began the investigation into the source of the injury.
Taba had retreated under the coffee table, the spot he usually reserves for serious emergencies, (such as when someone says “bath”), and wasn’t offering any opinions except angry snorts. I think I’m grateful I don’t speak German Shepherd on these occasions.
So imagine my surprise when all this appeared to have been caused by one tiny, now completely squished and thoroughly numbed ANT!
This was outrageous! One little ant?!?! Well, now I’m really angry. The only revenge I could conceive on the spur of the moment, especially clad only in a fuzzy bathrobe and half-chewed up Bunny slippers, (my latest workout routine – bunny slippers, German Shepherd, but that’s a whole other story), was locating mass quantities of poison and finding where that ant had come from.
So it’s off to the storage room, alone, since my son still wasn’t speaking to me, where I knew I had a big bag of bug-killing dust I had used on my tomatoes. Tomato worms/ants, same thing to me. I figured any poison was suitable in this big of an emergency. But I couldn’t just worry about one measly, although horribly vicious ant that had invaded my sanctuary! I suspected that he had lots of friends back home, so I was going straight to the source, which I assumed had to be an ant mound somewhere near the house.
That’ll fix them good, I gloated, as I sprinkled dust in a widening path from the front door, down the driveway to the flower beds.
My husband had lovingly built me several tiered beds from railway ties topped with large crystal-streaked rocks a couple of years ago. I suspect that they took many more days to complete than necessary, especially since they always required attention on the days we were to go shopping, but once again that’s a whole other story.
Eureka! I had found the source as there were a lot of ants around one of the rocks on top of a railroad tie!! One big rock to push off and they would be toast!
One good push…………
The dog never saw me coming and was nearly decapitated as I pummeled my way through the screen door into the house, minus one bunny slipper, but he quickly caught onto this game of chasing the remaining bunny, as I frantically scrambled to get the door closed –
The neighbors, however, would be calling 911 any second because I am sure they thought they heard someone being murdered.
The ants had boiled out of that hole in a solid wave of black; falling in torrents over the landscape timber that they had completely hollowed out for their home. They never saw me, though, because, by the time they reached the edge, my first leap had carried me all but two steps from the front door.
So here I am on my peaceful Mother’s Day of rest, with the belt from my fuzzy robe and one bunny slipper in the yard, the dog barking and snapping at the other bunny, a driveway that looks like it snowed from the bug dust that went airborne, 911 on the way, and I’m afraid to unlock the door because the ants will now be wanting to get their revenge.
Hmm, next year I think I’ll just ask to be taken to lunch.
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