Flash Fiction: Nature Appreciation

{Due to the demands of reality, short snippet this week as I do like to post something. Part of an ongoing story I am toying with.}

The bark wiggled. Chesa squinted and leaned closer to the mossy surface of the tree. Normally getting close to anything moving was a bad idea. Everything in the wilds had a propensity for eating humans. But she’d never seen bark wiggle before.

Rough, tree colored, backed beetles covered the trunk. Each moved slow and sluggish over each other creating the illusion of hardened bark.

Iuro, Lee’s guardmaster, called out to her but Chesa was invested in her new find. She picked up a good sized fallen branch from the undergrowth and poked the amassed beetle swarm. The effect was almost immediate. The bugs went crazy, chittering and crawling around the offending stick. Within a moment the branch was inches shorter and many of the beetles’ backs were rougher with bark. Chesa dropped the stick. Amidst the mostly green and brown carapaces she could sight the occasional bit of yellowed bone.

“As always Gaivallia, lovely.” Chesa murmured. Far off Iuro was yelling for her to hurry up. Lee was leaving soon and Chesa, her apprentice, was needed.  She took one step back and then another to turn. That was when the ground beneath her boots caved.



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