Transfer Of Power

Dietmar Rabich/Wikimedia Commons/”Litchfield National Park (AU), Magnetic Termite Mounds – 2019-3728″/CC BY-SA 4.0

Fire&Ice week 15 – this photo, 180-190 words and include something or someone unseen or foreseen….

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It is one of the great mysteries.

Not the termite mound, which is simply proof of all species’ desire to have a bigger house than their neighbour.

No, the great mystery is why any scientist carrying out a radical experiment will always fail to check his work area for insects.

This tale followed the familiar tropes. The sentences followed the familiar order – ‘it’s working!’ gave way to ‘hang on, that shouldn’t be happening’, before the sad, inevitable ‘aaargh!’.

The white-hot flash, the bang, the smoking lab. They really should see that coming.

The dejected scientist moved into architecture, where he successfully exploits a new-found talent for skyscraper design.

The now magnetic termite moved into the outback.  He had little choice. It started with him having to fend off paperclips, thumbtacks and small change, but his power grew by the day until, in an incident that still gives him nightmares, he was hit in the face by a belly-button ring.

Far out in the wilderness he has built a hidden sanctuary for similarly afflicted creatures – radioactive spiders, fevered flies, unharmed but annoyed cockroaches.

He calls it Bug Off Humans.

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