2009-07-22

Never Look Up, Never Believe. Short Story By Scott C. Waring

Reality Hits In 2012: Never Look Up, Never Believe.

Short Story By Scott C. Waring

In the backyard of a home, near the old oak tree sat a lone red ant. His name was # 205,001. He watched as his family and friends ran along lengthy lines to various locations, eager to reach the captured food and retrieve it back to the nest to share with the others.

The little ant frowned staring down at the long lines that stretched across the backyard. He had been running in those same lines until yesterday. That was when he decided to break away from the line for a few minutes to explore a bit on his own. He didn’t know why he left the others, just that he needed to learn something more, without the boundaries that the other ants would place upon his way of thinking.

He found himself drawn toward a large white object with an unusual scent to it. He began crawling a few inches up its sides until he manage to reach its summit. While he was looking around, he noticed the ground that he now stood on began to move, taking him with it. The surface that he stood on began gliding over the ground, only touching the dirt and grass momentarily before it moved upward again. It was easy for him to dig his claws into the soft object he stood upon. The platform he clung to moved across the grass and entered the back of the house.

# 205,001 had seen this entryway before, but the line of ants never went near it. He sometimes heard whispers from others that many who entered were never heard from again. He thought about jumping off and heading back to the little mound by the oak tree. He had always suspected that there was more to life than what he learned back at the ant mound. He noticed a large round orange object that had the word Spalding across it, then a long board with four wheels. He stared at the odd objects, bewildered over their purpose.

A booming sound caused him to freeze in place.

“I’m going to fix a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. Okay mom?”

“Sure honey. That sounds terrific.” Came a woman’s response from far away.

A great white door opened ahead of # 205,001. A gust of frigid wind rolled out over him, giving him chills, but with it came aromas that caressed his mind and body in ways that he never knew possible. It was unlike the grasshopper legs and fresh caterpillar flesh that he once believed to be the most delicious morsels to exist. He took a deep breath, caressing the heavenly aromas.

Just as suddenly as the door had opened, it slammed shut and the surface he sat upon commenced moving yet again. He crouched down and held firmly to the spongy surface, staring out over its edge at the polished wooden floors. He couldn’t understand how trees could grow in such a smooth and useless fashion. He had crawled over many a tree roots before, but this unusual growth had no bark for grasping onto and had no height. The cracks were not even deep enough for an ant to scamper into to escape any danger that might come about.

The object he sat upon quickly moved into a new direction and into a new room. He heard a thud and all movement ceased.

“Hey, there’s an ant on my shoe!” came a booming voice from above. The surface that the little ant clung too jostled around and began rising higher and higher.

# 205,001 stood motionless. He was getting a strange feeling that something was about to happen. He gazed out over the edge as a solitary giant eyeball came down above him. It was a thousand times larger than him. He couldn’t budge an inch. Fear had overtaken him. He was horror-struck at what he saw and what in turn saw him.

“Hey, how did you get on my shoe?” asked the boy. He raised a single finger and began lowering it slowly onto the tiny red ant.

The little red ant knew his end was near and he crouched down and closed his eyes thinking about how his family and friends will never know what had become of him. He didn’t want to watch, as the giant finger was about to crush him into oblivion. To his surprise, no crushing came. He raised his head and looked up, but the boy had pulled away his finger upon noticing that the ant cringed in fear.

The boy instead took a few crumbs from his plate, which held his sandwich and placed them on his tennis shoe in front of the tiny ant.

# 205,001 stared at the massive white bread crumbs partly covered in a red slimy substance. The aroma of sweetness drew him closer and closer till he found himself indulging himself against his own will. The flavors were unlike the juiciest caterpillar. It was the perfect food, the food of the gods. One minute he was in terror knowing the end was near, the next, he was in a delicious heaven.

“How did a little ant stowaway on my shoe?” asked the boy. He watched the hungry ant eating away at the strawberry jelly covered breadcrumb. “I think I will name you Apple, because you’re red like an apple. I really shouldn’t kill you. The average ant usually has only has a 3 to 6 month life span. That doesn’t give you very much time, now does it? My lifespan will be over a 140 times that of yours, if I’m lucky. I bet you don’t get much strawberry jam and peanut butter sandwiches out there in the backyard, but I’m seem to recall that I dropped a lot of candy out there over the years.

The little ant continued to eat. There was no telling if he would ever find such a delicious meal ever again in his lifetime. It was something the others back at the mound would never believe. He is suppose to save some for the others to enjoy, but he just loved it too much and couldn’t bear thinking about giving it away to others who might not appreciate it as much as he does.

In front of # 205,001 was a new supreme species. It already told him that its life span is incredibly long and clearly its food was equally impressive. He looked up wanting to speak, to say something, but the sounds that came out were too tiny for such a huge creature as the human boy to hear.

The boy placed took of the shoe and placed it upon the side table. He then turned on his computer and stereo. Rock music blared out and the boy turned on a fan, causing a small breeze to blow around the room.

# 205,001 for the first time began to realize that the things around the room, was there for the human’s comfort. He had stumbled upon the foot of the creature and it had taken him into his mound, but it was like no mound that he had ever seen before. The electrical devices around the room could be turned on and off, making the boy appear to have some magical powers. Powers that seemed godly to #205,001.

Just thirty minutes earlier, he had thought that his large grain of sand and his tiny piece of grass root were a fantastic pleasure that anyone would desire, yet he watched the boy, typing away on his keyboards with his mystical window before him. It seemed to open a window into a strange new world with it. He watched as the scenes in the mysterious window changed many times.

The boy laughed a few times at something on the screen and went back to typing. # 205,001 stared at the boy. This strange creature was bobbing its head up and down to the beat of the music and oddly enough, it seemed to give the creature great pleasure.

The tiny ant wanted desperately to understand, so he tried to bob his head up and down to the beat of the music as the boy was doing. It was a strange feeling. He didn’t know why, yet he felt better, almost carefree. He saw the boy stand up and continue working on the unusual picture screen all the while he was moving his legs and body to the beat of the music. # 205,001 realized this was getting extremely difficult but he pressed on, lifting and dropping three legs at a time to the beat. He moved his legs and bobbed his head to the music. He had heard sounds of the rustling of the leaves of the old oak tree, the singing of the birds, but never so bizarre and enjoyable as the sounds that emanated from the magical box on the shelf.

The boy walked over and picked up the shoe and peered at the tiny red ant dancing on it. He shrugged and dismissed it as some odd behavior for a tiny insect. The boy picked up his sandwich and pushed the tiny insect onto the plate. He put on his shoe and strolled out of his room carrying the sandwich and ant. The boy ambled into the backyard and over to the tall oak tree where he knew of a tiny ant mound that he had seen on many occasions. He crouched down and pushed the little red ant off the plate and onto a high piece of tree root that protruded from the dirt. He took a bite of his sandwich and broke off a large piece, placing it next to the ant.

“I guess you will never forget this day, will you little fellow? It’s probably best if you stay off shoes from now on,” said the boy. He stood up and walked back across the yard, vanishing into the darkness of the doorway.

# 205,001 sat there on that tree root thinking about all the wondrous events that happened to him today. He glanced down at the lines of ants still moving too and fro from the mound. He doubted any of them even took their eyes off the ant in front of them long enough to see the human that placed him upon the root. He wondered if he should tell them. They seemed so content in their life. So confident of what they do and do not want to do, working together, never questioning what they have learned, never breaking away from their lines, never looking up. One thing he knew for certain, he would no longer be # 205,001. Apple was his name now and Apple it will always be.

Apple knew that the other ants would never believe him about his incredible adventure. Why should they? To accept his story, would be to deny their old way of life. Change never comes easy, not ever. The knowledge of a species that was as tall as ten thousand ants and a life span of 140 ants put together, why would any ant in its right mind believe that? He laughed at himself and the events that happened to him that day. Yesterday he had no idea that such large creatures exist. He believed as all ants do, that ants are the only intelligent species to exist. Today he was in awe at the world around him. He felt different, yet he could not understand why. Nothing has changed and yet something inside him had. The mound still sat below the oak tree in the backyard. His fellow ants still followed the lines in the search for food. The giant human creatures have clearly been around for a long time, yet he had never seen one until today. Everyone in the mound only knows of insects, not of such strange creatures as these humans. So strange, he thought, that such large things in life can are be so easily overlooked, so much so, that they didn’t even exist in his species beliefs, yet here he was, with knowledge beyond that of his species and he gazed out at the endless lines of nonbelievers.