The Lady Bug – chapter three

“So,” Started Areada, “why are you lying on the ground?”

“I… I believe I was hit by something… I remember falling and…” Aaron quickly pulled up the side of his shirt, where he’d felt the pain. He revealed pale, unmarked skin. “Well, I seem to be alright.”

“Excellent!” Areada exclaimed.

“I was trying to do something… get something…” Aaron muttered. “Flour! I need flour!”

“Flower? Well, there’s plenty of those in the fields…”

“No,” Aaron interrupted. “Not that sort of flower. I meant the flour that you would use to make bread.”

“Bread?” Areada looked confused. “I’ve  never made ‘bread’ before. But, don’t worry, I’m sure we can find what you need. We’ll just have to go on a quest.” She said excitedly.

“A quest? For flour?”

“Oh, yes!” Cried Areada. “But, first we’ll have to get supplies. We may be journeying rather far, after all. Come along.”And with that Areada scurried away. Aaron quickly rose and followed behind.

“Where are we going?” Aaron asked.

“To the capital!” Areada yelled back.

“What’s the capital?” Aaron asked, but continued to follow the crazy bug.

—————

The capital, it turns out, was very much like a human city. There were towers, and tunnels, and busy streets, and lots of noise. Only, in this city, the noise came not from cars, but from millions of scurrying bug feet. The towers were made not of iron but…

“What is this?” Aaron asked, pointing to the side of the whitish tower.

“Food.”

“Food?”Aaron rubbed a bit off with his finger than tasted it. “Sugar?”

“Yep. We bugs were once a warring race. But then the sugar god appeared. We built our city around him. He feeds us. Piles and piles of sugar. ”

“The sugar god?”

Aaron followed Areada down one of the many tunnels toward the center of the city. When they emerged, Aaron nearly ran into Areada, who had stopped to bow before a giant bag of sugar. Aaron stared in shock. Suddenly, he realized that he had been wrong in thinking the bugs had grown very large. It was just that he had grown very small.

“What’s happened to me?” Aaron asked himself, looking around at the diverse city of bugs around him. Ladybugs, Flies, Beetles, Ants, Caterpillars, and other bugs that he didn’t even recognize. By now, Areada had stood and was waiting for him.

“Come on.” She said when she saw him look at her. “The Bug Bazaar is this way.”

“Bizarre indeed.” Aaron mumbled to himself as he turned to follow her.

He was unable to take a single step in her direction, however, because the ground beneath the chose that moment to shake, thrusting Aaron back onto his bottom. Gasps and screams sounded around him. A shadow passed over him and Aaron looked up to see a most terrifying sight. It was a hand. A hand much larger than any hand he had ever seen.

Actually, Aaron thought it probably isn’t really any bigger than any other hand. It only looks so large because I am so small.

The hand reached down from above and lifted up the sugar god. Sugar poured from holes in the packaging, burying some slower bugs.

“He is displeased with us!” Some bugs screamed.

“Run!” Screamed others. The seemed an excellent  suggestion to Aaron.

As Aaron ran he looked quickly from side to side.

“Areada!” Aaron gasped. “Areada, where are you?” He received no answer. Nor could he see her anywhere.

Suddenly the situation became even worse. A giant brush came down and began to sweep the city away. Aaron ran as quickly as he could. He stumbled and fell, landing hard.  He looked up.

He was now on a much lower level. It seemed to be some sort of road or walkway. To the left of him was a step drop off, so high that Aaron became dizzy looking at it and backed quickly away. To the right of him was what appeared to be a fence. Gazing beyond the bars, Aaron could see green and blue.

It’s a window. He realized. I am on a window ledge.

But Aaron was not safe. He looked back towards the city and saw a great wall of bugs stampeding toward him, followed by the brush. Aaron stared in shock for a moment before realizing that it was much more important to just get out of the way. He stood, too late. The first wave of bugs hit him, toppling him over and taking him with them as they jumped out of the window.

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