‘Twas Begun by the Beetle

by kholinar

The thread broke and it fell.

Familiarity would have rushed in if a clatter had followed. If the floor had been just below, no doubt it would have bounced, spun and clicked as it came to a rest.

Instead, it’s surface sung in the wind. Dropping past clouds, through darkness and the first beams of dawn. A few may have looked up and seen the last second of it’s trail. The streak ended, and momentum left it, buried, in a surrogate mother earth.


…And with a surge, the soil lifted. Pillbugs rolled circumspectly to safety and earthworms slid slowly away from the affront.

Ibex planted his horn happily, and thrust deeper into the open soil. Slipping it past roots and grubs, his front legs pressed down and surged for the heave.

Up went earth and disintegrated, scattering crickets and startling ladybugs low on blades of grass. Ibex hopped and snorted, rifling through the fallen clods, searching for flashes and reflections. Nothing. He found a small piece of wet, dead wood and chewed, distracted, for a while.

Beams of light called to Ibex. Every sparkling shard of glass and shining piece of foil drew him relentlessly. He collected everything he found and placed it around his bowl-shaped home in an old, dead tree.

Once more, the ground parted. His shove stopped short as a staccato note sounded beneath the ground. He had hit something. His pace was furious now, legs pumping, clearing the dirt, eyes searching, mandibles grabbing… and he found it. Perfectly round, with a sheen peaking from the covering dirt, and four small holes in it’s center.

Ibex trumpeted, flipped it onto his back and hurried home.