The Hogarth Experiment Part 5 - Poem by David Harris
Peter levelled the shotgun
at the insect as big as a sheep
and pulled the trigger and again.
The blast knocked
the beast away from his father.
He quickly reloaded
as another giant insect
came close to his father.
The creature spun sideways
as the shot hit it.
Both creatures rose to their feet.
His father picked up the pitchfork
and jammed it deep
into the first insects head.
The insect wobbled on its legs
before collapsing dead.
The other moved giant insect
towards the fallen insect.
Peter had reloaded the shotgun
and fired both barrels at the head
of the advancing insect.
The head of it seemed to explode.
Peter reloaded the shotgun again.
His father ran towards him
pushing out of the way
of another giant insect.
They scrambled to their feet
and ran to the farmhouse.
They bolted the door
and moved to the window.
What they saw astonished them.
More and more giant insects landed
and seem to examine the fallen ones.
They then lifted them into the air and flew off.
John looked at his son.
Their battle was over.
All the giant insects disappeared
along with the two they had killed.
John went across to the phone
and telephoned the police.
He told them what had happened,
half expecting them to laugh.
They asked for his address
and said they would be sending
some people out to him.
They told him to remain inside with his family
and keep the windows and doors
locked until they arrived.
An hour passed and several armoured personnel carriers
stopped in the farmyard.
A dozen or more troops
emerged from the vehicles.
The Officer in charge
deployed them around the vehicles
before he and a short spectacled man
came to the door of the farmhouse.
John Fairchild let them in.
The short spectacled man introduced himself
as Raymond Constantine from Cambridge University
where he taught about insects.
The reason why they took so long to get there
was that he had to be flown down from Cambridge.
He asked if they could describe the insects
that they had battled with.
As they old him, Constantine frowned.
He then asked how many did they see?
John wasn’t sure,
but he estimated over twenty.
Constantine face grew paler.
He knew what kind of insects
had attacked them
and that very thought of that worried him.
He then asked what size they were.
John’s answer frightened Constantine even more
when he told him they were as large as sheep.
Constantine turned to the Captain
and said they must get back to HQ.
He then turned to John
and warned him
that he must not go out in the daytime.
Evenings and at night were Ok,
but not during the day.
Constantine and the Captain then left.
On he journey back to HQ
Constantine kept his eyes on the skies.
The insect John Fairchild had told him about
were social insects
and lived in nests of up to ten thousand workers.
Their nests were in a hole the ground.
The problem was going to be to locate the nest
and kill all the occupants,
but mainly the queen.
She would have to be destroyed.
Several times, he thought he saw something,
but they were merely birds.
As the continued, deeper into the valley
a humming sound arose around them,
slowly getting louder and louder.
Constantine turned to the driver
and shouted at him to stop.
The sky turned from blue to black
as a mass of insects flew overhead.
Constantine’s face turned ashen
with horror at what he saw.
Several of the insects seemed
to be carrying human bodies.
Others had small animals.
Several of the soldiers left the armoured vehicles
and were firing at the insects.
Sudden they swarmed them.
To be continued…
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