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lofi
Apr 2, 2018






I ain't written in a while, let's give this a shot! Ant me up!

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lofi
Apr 2, 2018







Turns out insomnia does have a use - I spent hours last night thinking about ants:

Fourmis de Cuisine
746 words

The Steak Shack has always had an ant problem. When I started here it was basic black ants, but a couple of years back I upgraded to Argentine. It was back-breaking work, digging out the old nest, but I was lured on by heady words like mega-colony and trillions.

I nearly drove myself mad with worry after that, thought I'd lost my touch, until I figured it out; of course a different species speaks a different language, I just had to figure it out again, same as I'd done before. Like I said, the Steak Shack has always had an ant problem. So I'm sat in this horrible greasy kitchen one afternoon, feeling sorry for myself about the waste of a good culinary education and watching a trail of tiny bodies explore the grease behind the oven, when the thought hit me: ants use chemicals to communicate, right? Taste, and smell. And taste and smell are what I do. So could I talk to the ants?

It started as mostly a way to pass the time, cooking up bizarre combinations and seeing how my little companions reacted. Writing down anything interesting that happened. But gently caress me it I didn't eventually figure out some basic commands, 'come here', 'danger', and so on. I couldn't help but dream of myself as some master criminal, diamonds and banknotes making their way to me on long rivers of chitin. That's why I swapped out the nest, because who wants to rule a block when you could control a mega-colony that could reach across whole countries? But even after I'd started over, got up to speed with a new language, I pretty much ran into a brick wall: I didn't really have any fine control over the critters, and a stream of ants bringing me nice crisp notes straight from the bank isn't exactly subtle. I mean, it wouldn't take Sherlock Holmes to solve that case, would it? So I'm sat there, idly feeding my little friends crumbs from a bun, waiting for the post-work 'rush' to start, trying to figure out how to become a supervillain, when the bell over the door clonks.

I haul myself up, putting on my customer-face, and I just loving know this guy is going to poo poo all over my day the second I see him. A face like boiled pork belly, suit that looks like he's slept outside in it, and a watery little smile that doesn't reach his eyes. He roots around in his sweaty armpit and hands me his card, proves me right - health inspector. He's on his way home, he whines, but just wanted to stop in because there'd been a phone call, he's sure it's nothing, but just wanted to pop in, he just won't shut up. And of course there's nothing I can do to stop him taking 'a quick peek in the back'.

Like I said, my tiny friends don't really get subtlety, didn't know to stay hidden, were quite enjoying that bun I'd been feeding them. And inspector holier-than-thou is all over us, making all sorts of threats, demanding chemical warfare and closures, sanctions and remedies.

Well, after much bitching and moaning he eventually fucks off in a trail of paperwork, and I'm left back in my little kingdom trying to figure out what I'm going to do. And it dawns on me: this is how I become a supervillain. I shut up shop and get to mixing. Normally I'm an intuitive type of chef, but for this I measured everything out just so, all nice and precise. Asafoetida, star anise, mint, even something as simple as pureed potato, they all go in. It takes hours to get it perfect, but in the end I'm left with a sludge that tastes pretty bland to me, but to an ant should taste like pure hate. I take his card, so rich with his stink, and smear my concoction on it. Hand it to the little ones. 'Fear', 'threat', 'attack'. It's not poetry, but as they tear into the card, as the bulbous-headed soldiers appear and the dismembered card is dragged away, I think I've sent the message I meant to.

The next day I open as usual. I make a point of leaving the old TV set on the counter tuned to the news, the volume turned up. Bizzarre insect attack... killed... swarmed... asphyxiated. I guess the old saying was right: there are no problems, just opportunities.

lofi
Apr 2, 2018






Hey ant-expert, what's the bubble thing in the middle of that one's head? A third eye? Psychic ants?!

lofi
Apr 2, 2018






Oh, I see the others now you've mentioned them! That's just a greedy amount of eye for one ant to have.

lofi
Apr 2, 2018






Was that a "not mentioning everyone", or did I get lost in the swarm?

https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3878659&pagenumber=89&perpage=40#post499796476

Grats to Sitting Here!

lofi fucked around with this message at 07:28 on Nov 12, 2019

lofi
Apr 2, 2018






Thanks for the detailed crit! :)

lofi
Apr 2, 2018






In, gimme a theme!

lofi
Apr 2, 2018






Djeser posted:

Toxx up if you want me to find you a Magnetic Fields song.

:toxx: me, baby!

lofi
Apr 2, 2018






Bollocks, already? Guess I'm eating a :toxx: for loving up, I was gonna write today. :eng99:

lofi
Apr 2, 2018






:patriot:

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lofi
Apr 2, 2018






Growing Apart
739 Words
Prompt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ8ZyU0uy7s

"Babe, you know where the thingy is?" he calls from the lounge. He's been in all of thirty seconds, barely taken his trainers off.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath, feel the hot dishwater on my hands, the steamy smell of chemical lemons, the normality of it all. Even the slight backache of a too-low sink. Enjoying it all for just a second more before I ruin it.

"Yeah, I hid it. So we could talk. Properly." Here we go, no turning back now. I dry my hands off, turn to give him my full attention.

"What? You hid it? Why?" He stalks through, he's already irritated with me, but at least he's paying attention to me for once. Better this way, I hope.

"You need to..." Nope, start again, remember what the website said. 'I' statements. "I love you and I care about you, but I feel like you're spending way too much time playing with it, and it upsets me that it's all you want to do. I'd prefer you to put it away, at least for a while."

"Is this an intervention? You think it's wrong for me to want to figure out what it is, what it's for?"

"We tried to figure it out. For, like, two years after we found it. You've got to let it go, get on with your life, this thing is eating you up! You're ruining everything for it!" I nod towards his general state, I'm not sure if he even notices the stubble, the holes in his T-shirts anymore. He looks like poo poo, always does, even with me trying to hold him together. "If it's an intervention, you see how I'm the only one here? When did you last see your mates?"

"Babe, it's a drat alien artefact, you don't think it's worth investigating?" He's smiling, faking like he's cool, like this is just a big joke. He's trying to pace in the three feet of kitchen between the counters and it isn't working. Turn-pace-turn, with this weird plastic grin on his face.

"We don't know what it is! We don't know anything about it, after this long, and... I've moved on with my life. It's weird, it's cool, but it doesn't do anything, we don't know it's 'alien' any more than anything else. You've let everything else in your life slip away, it's the only thing left in your life. I think you care more about it than me - you're addicted to it, honestly." Shitshitshit, shouldn't have used the A-word. Now he's insulted, flat out angry.

"Oh, OK then, if I'm addicted I'll just stroll down to Alien Artefacts Anonymous with all the other people who've found these things then, do the twelve steps? Maybe go to an intergalactic detox? Tell me where you put it, this is stupid."

"I'm sorry, look, I didn't mean to upset you, I want us to work this out tog-"

I got to hug him, try to show how this is an us problem, not me against him, not an attack. He turns as I lean in, and my head snaps to the side. Stinging. It takes me a second to put it together that he just hit me. Not hard, and he looks as shocked as I am, but he just loving slapped me.

I shove past him, furious, storm into the bedroom. He's frozen, holding his wrist with his other hand like he's got a gun he doesn't know how to unload, mouth open. gently caress him.

I slam the door, shove handfulls of stuff into my bag, a fistfull of underwear and a few T-shirts, I'm not really thinking. Can't think. Got to leave now, before I make any excuses to stay. I love him, how could he? Don't think, take what you can't do without, get out. Do what you'd tell your friends to do. Definitely don't stop to think about the life you'd built together and what you're about to walk away from.

He's still in the kitchen, hasn't moved in the seconds-or-hours it took to fill my bag. Doesn't try to stop me as I go past. I'm not sure if I want him to. He just looks at me with big watery eyes, and finally forces a single word out as I yank the door open:

"Where..?"

"It's in the basement, you prick."

But it isn't. It's in my bag.

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