The Final March

Sketch of boots and ant to illustrate a microfiction story

The golden days of summer picnics with sweetly scented jam, crusty bread, cold slices and chilled fruit platters live only in our memories – a clear line in our collective consciousness separating time before and after the incident we refer to as The Final March.

The chemical weaponry disoriented many of us, sending the synchronised beat of our hearts off kilter, heady toxins muting all our sensory navigational cues. Only some made it back to the nest where we now reminisce about the old days and remind our young to give the big house a wide berth as we continue what our ancestors have done for millenia.

We hush and tread softly when within sight of the place of carnage, paying our respects to generations wiped out at the callous hands of the then new owner. Marching in single file, we lift far more than our weight.

“No such thing as a free lunch” he’d huffed, but the cost of that meal was an exorbitantΒ act of insecticide.


This story has lived in my phone’s memo app for months. It was time to release it. I may add an illustration at a later date.

First published July 19, 2017. Illustration added August 8, 2017.

17 thoughts on “The Final March

  1. This is great Mek. We rarely consider the fate of insects…or any creature (humans included) when we sanitize the world for what we perceive to be our comfort and benefit. And yes, an illustration! (K)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Or dystopia? When I was a kid I used to get excited when I heard mention of ‘utopia’ as I thought oeople were saying ‘ethiopia’ – where I was born- in a similar way to how ethiopians pronounce the name of the country πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


  2. Great tale and illustration, Mek. Sometimes the world seems more absurd when we zoom in. Reminds me of something I wrote — driven by similar feelings of guilt — during an ant infestation last year. A tale of soldiers bringing a sweet, white substance from a mountain that then decimated the troops. Hope all is well. Any news on the writing course?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks David. Please share a link to your story. Have you been and come back from your holiday already? No news on course…applications around nay next year. I still have a bit of research to do before deciding on applying or not and then there is the 1000 word non fiction sample I’ll need to write.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It wasn’t something I completed. It’s still in my workbooks somewhere. I’ll let you know if I ever redraft it. Yes holidays are over now. 😦 I’m sure you’ll have no problem on writing the sample.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re welcome. πŸ™‚ No holiday left me unable to write at all. Took a week or so until I was able to do so. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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