She lay back in the grass in the low light of afternoon, poured out with an exhaustion that sucked at her bones. The roaring warmth had released the bugs and beetles, and she slapped at her legs to scare away the daring mosquitoes. There was a warmth in the air that hinted at a confidence she no longer felt.

She was aware of a noise. A thrumming sound, quiet and gentle. It was the sound of a cricket’s legs, rubbing together. She turned her ear to the warm soil and felt it in the dirt, with its repeated pattern – beat, beat, beat – inside the dark cocoon. The scent of earth wrapped around her. She felt her heart move in time with the cricket’s song, and she sang along. Thrum, thrum, thrum.

She listened carefully and heard other notes that joined the cricket; tiny voices that sang along. A beetle clambering, a fly cleaning its wings. Thrum, thrum, thrum. She sang along halfheartedly now, recognising the connection between the rhythms. It was a little disturbing to hear the beat, beat, beat of a thousand little voices, singing in harmony, as though to a plan.

And sing they did. The vibrating of cicadas took up the chorus, and the flap of a bird’s wing made the crash of cymbals. The march of ants and the shuffle of katydids made her sit up straight and shake her head. But by now she couldn’t shake the song. It was reaching deep inside her, and it made her nervous. There was a pressure, a need about this song. And there was something else that rattled her.

She shook, shivered, and stomped her foot against the beat, but it kept returning. Kept coming back inside her. Thrum, thrum, thrum. The push was too much. She relented. She stood and rubbed her face, her arms, her legs. She hauled at her skin, pushing hard at it, dragging it. She curled her fingers and hooked them underneath, pulling and peeling. Shedding her chitin, she let the carapace fall away and she stepped out of her old life, leaving it on the grass.



Joined August 2008

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 14

Artist's Description

When you take the advice of others on your work, it can be improved immensely. I give the biggest of nods.

For Twisted Tales prompt ‘and the band played on’ – TTST29

Artwork Comments

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  • Matthew Dalton
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  • anya
  • Jeannette Sheehy
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