Empowerment. Engagement. Authenticity.

Missing A's - Targeted

The army struck from below, a tickle I mistook for the rub of grass on my skin.

We were five girls sitting in the shade of a cashew tree on the school lawn, rehearsing a scene from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." I was Mr. Beaver.

" When Adam's Flesh and Adam's bone sits at Cair Paravel in throne," I intoned, deepening my voice and adding a touch of squeak, " the evil time will be over and done."

My classmates giggled and I took this as approval. I didn't see the malice in their eyes.

The tickle became prickles. Sandflies, I thought, slapping my calves and shifting to sit cross-legged.

"We'll have to paint a moustache on you," Jane said to me.

Chatter shifted to costumes. We welcomed any chance to break the monotony of uniform.

The army charged. Not two by two but in zigzags. Rills of fire raced from my heels to my knees.

"Ants!" I cried, swatting. But the soldiers sank their mandibles into my fingers. Infantry after infantry defied my defenses. Still I underestimated their force. Still I did not jump up from the grass.

A couple girls grinned and continued discussing costumes. One mumbled lines under her breath. Jane pulled the elastic from her hair and proceeded to tidy her braid.

The army marched on, digging in their spikes, puckering the flesh on my thighs.

I shrieked and pushed to my knees, beating the skirt of my uniform. I felt them everywhere, front and back, crawling, stinging, burning. I clutched my pelvis, praying, praying my panties would protect me.

But the army waved their banners of fire and swarmed the tunnel, delighting in its warmth, feasting in its trenches.

I was crying now as I got to my feet. "Help!" I choked out.

"Didn't you see the ants' nest?" Jane blurted but this time I saw the laugh quiver at her mouth. This time, I heard triumph break through sympathy. "That's why none of us sat there. You should go see the nurse."


(c) 2017, Kristy Kassie


Missing A's

Ever try writing a story without adjectives or adverbs? It's almost impossible! However, it's a good challenge to make you focus on word choice.

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