Friday, May 08, 2009


10:34 p.m. In an apartment not your own.

Did you know they have hooks on their legs?

That's probably the thing that most surprises people. Little tiny hooks. So when they climb trees, or grass, or scurry up your hairy legs, they can hold on. Pretty amazing, huh? They secrete sticky material too. Itty bitty drops of glue. Right-side up, upside down. Left, right. Here, there. It don't matter. Beautiful things. Beautiful naughty fucking things.

Another thing people don't know is that all those little legs, six on each, times each insect, times hundreds, times thousands, so many poking little legs, make a sound when they walk.

Yeah, I see the way you're looking a me. I'm not saying they goosestep across the floor and everyone looks. Get real. Right? But they do make a sound. I kid you not. Louder than you'd think.

Come on. Relax. We don't have to rush things, do we? You don't want to rush things.

My big mistake was this. One Christmas when I was a kid, I wanted an ant farm. My parents laughed at me. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I guess they figured it was like putting a cockroach on a leash. Gross.

Well, Christmas came. You know how this story is going, right? Noooooo ant farm. I got an aquarium instead. But last summer, I said fuck it. I wanted an ant farm, so an ant farm I shall get. And it WAS the coolest thing ever. Except I get excited in my sleep, you know? And I had the bugger right by my bed, so I could watch them. I knocked it off, okay? There. I said it. My fault. I knocked it off the table. But in the morning, no ants. I had lots of stings, sure. Most people would wake up if a colony of ants was stinging them. But not me. They were gone.

I couldn't find them, but I could hear them everywhere. I looked all around. It was fucking hilarious. I walked and turned around and lifted up carpets. I could hear a whole army of them, but nary an ant could I find. See, they tunnel. That's the key piece of information. First, it's slow. They plunge one tunnel down to get started. Then, they talk for a while. Plan a whole frigging underground railroad. I don't know how they keep it all straight. All the twisting and connecting passages.

Really, I'm serious. You should relax. I'm getting to the good part. I figured it out. Right up here in the noggin. Tap, tap, tap.

You look at me like you don't believe me, but those ants weren't going after hard, mucky ground when they had best, softest, tastiest shit ever! Come on! I couldn't hear right for a while in my left ear. That's how I figured it out. The bastards went in there. See? I can hear them all the time inside my head. Munching and munching the ole' grey matter. They never rest. And after about a month or two, they get things pretty eaten up. I can't think straight. I can't sleep. If I wait too long, I won't even be able to talk.

I know. I'm sorry. If I could, I would whack you on the head really hard to take care of things. But I can't go messing up your pudding in there. Everything needs to be sparkling clean and surgical like.

Thanks for talking to me. It gets lonely sometimes. I can forget the ants for a while, even though I'm talking about them.

I'll do it as quick as I can. If you stop fighting, the saw will cut your skull fast.

Stop fighting, okay?


Stop fighting.

I don't even like the taste, but I have to swallow it all.

I need to replenish my brain.

And the ants have to feed.


Aniket said...


Almost all the way to the end I honestly believed that you had an ant farm in your house.

Though I have my doubts that Aine would alow you to keep them on the bed-side. :D

Superb description and I loved the ending!

Melissa said...

My skin is crawling. Beautifully written.
I have this fear of spiders working their way into my ears, living in my brain, laying eggs and then having them all hatch in my head. Finally pouring out through my nose and eyes.
It creeps me out to no end, yet I still leave my window open.

SzélsőFa said...

Like Aniket I thought the words were some sort of a description of an event you took part. Only, it was not really your voice. I became suspicious. And as the writing went on I began to understand it's one of your interesting writing about a phsychopath. I love these.

Karen said...

Jason - First, you had me. The beginning was so believable that I, too, was pulled in to the fantasy. The "science" of ants lends such credence to that part. Then with the insertion of the expletives, I began to wonder if you weren't creating a narrator. The bites did it, I knew we were in the realm of fiction, but I had no suspicions about how deluded this guy is! Now, for the ending -- another surprise!

I think you're the one with hooks!

Your technique seems to me to get better and better, and your variety of thought is amazing.

the walking man said...

In the end I suppose this is where the saying; "be careful what you wish for" applies...

I really liked it when you switched to a two way dialog here "...I know. I'm sorry. If I could, I would whack you on the head really hard to take care of..."

Another piece done with skill and humor.

Catvibe said...

That was brilliant Jason. I love the voice in this, and the idea is really well written out. It works fantastically.

Little Girl Lost said...

GAAAAH! that was so creepy!
no, i didn't make the mistake of thinking you were writing about yourself in the beginning, but thought it would be like the tell-tale heart, about a mental patient in a hospital ( poe's reference comes naturally. this dude too can hear stuff others can't)
but i didnt guess he was talikng to his victim...

'I don't even like the taste, but I have to swallow it all. '

and just after i re-watched the silence of the lambs last night...

delicious, jason...

BrownPhantom said...

Super-post Jason. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Read the excerpt from ur novel too; very promising. I would want to read that book :).

Sarah Hina said...

I think the most macabre part to me was his I don't even like the taste, but I have to swallow it all. "We" are not his first victim. And likely won't be the last.

Very effectively written and conceived! The voice was spot-on, with just enough logic to the madness to make the revelation burrow deeper. Truly horrifying stuff, Jason, but also brutally good.

I'm still shivering...

Sarah Hina said...

Oops..I meant to comment on how cool the photo is, too! That blue light is something else, and the ants look like they're preserved in...something. ;)

Aniket said...

And I just watched 'Donnie Darko'... amazing movie! And I kept thinking of this post the whole time thinking
how bizarre reasons can make a man do wild things. :D

Also I've been watching Criminal Minds lately. I am always fascinated about the mysteries of what goes on in the head of a serial killer.

This one surely is one of my all time favorites. :P

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the photo and it just made the post more intriguing. I actually thought it a very humerous post, rather than creepy ... a sort of dark humour that makes perfect sense to the killer and to the reader. I like a satirical piece well done.

McKoala said...

Excellent, really excellent.

Catvibe said...

Actually, like Sarah, I also forgot to comment on the totally bitchen photo. Did you take that? Do you guys have an (in tact) ant farm?

JR's Thumbprints said...

Did you know those pesky ants are aphid farmers, collecting their sweet anal secretions? I'll bet you could really tweak your story with this.

Anonymous said...

Aniket, actually, we do have an ant farm! But it's my daughter's. The picture was taken of that. After I was deprived of an ant farm as a child, I couldn't deny her. :)

Melissa, thank you! I hear you about your fear. Whatever you do, don't look up human bot flies. Really, don't. (I warned you.)

Szelsofa, I'm glad you like these! I do like writing them and exploring dark places. Yeah, not quite my voice. ;) You caught on.

Karen, thank yor for the words of encouragement! I did enjoy the evolution of this dialogue. It began very normal and a little nerdy with its science facts. Then progressively it went down hill.

Walking Man, I enjoyed the humor element too. And I love playing with "dialogue" in order to portray the condition of "you," the listener.

Catvibe, thanks! It was nice to switch gears and take things in a different direction. I want to branch out more. I've gotten a little narrow lately.

Little Girl Lost, Silence of the Lambs is a perfect intro! I like to keep folks on their toes and jump into different genres. Maybe the next time will be really weird.

Brown Phantom, that's great that you would pick up my novel! Thanks for the vote of confidence, and digging in to my vignette here.

Sarah, no, we're not the first victim. ;) And I have a feeling, we won't be the last. This is one guy whose attention you don't want to attract!! And thanks about the photo! I was chasing those ants around for a while trying to get good shots. That blue gel stuff is super cool.

Aniket, I love Donnie Darko! The director's cut, that is. I'm not sure the theater release would be comprehensible without the added scenes in the director's cut. The mood of it is mesmerizing, and I can't help but be intrigued by the time travel/paradox element.

Aggie, the dark humor is there, definitely. It can be taken as pure horror, but I can't deny I approached it with a wry sense of satire.

McKoala, thanks, fellow Roaster!

Catvibe, yes, that's one of my photos! Isn't that a cool ant farm? It's our daughter's. She loves it. Except when one of the carpenter ants got out and stung her.

JR, oh man. I can see the evolution. I went way too easy on this one! This could have been WAY weirder!

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

When I was a wee little Chumplet, we lived in Trinidad for a while. I was playing in the yard when my feet started stinging like crazy.

I ran screaming into the house and the housekeeper scooped me up and stuck my feet in the kitchen sink, turning on the water full force.

I watched dozens of little red ants swirl past my brown sandals and down the drain.

deepazartz said...

Wonderful piece of fiction. I did make the mistake of thinking it was 'you'...but gradually madeout that it was this character. Beautiful and creepy portrayal...very different tale.

Anonymous said...

Chumplet, ack! Wash those buggers off quick!

Deepazartz, with this one I wanted the horror of the situation to unveil slowly and curiously. Thanks!

Terri said...


ssgsk said...

The tone during the second read changed completely. "Beautiful naughty fucking things" sounds so sinister now. Didn't even notice the first time. Amazing!