Friday flash: Of Bugs and Family

Of Bugs and Family

“Hey, toss me my phone, would you?” Danny caught it in one hand without looking up from his work on the table. Sherry needed to know what he’d found — before he made his report to his boss.

“You going to tell me what’s so special about this bug compared to all the others we’ve found?” his partner Jen asked. “Or do I have to read your report, as usual?”

The manikin splayed on the table didn’t move. Bands clamped its arms and legs in place, and steel pins held its vestigial wings still. “Bugs” was the term the Department used for them — highly inaccurate, but better than the tabloid presses with their “Fairies are real!” and “Whatever you do, don’t clap your hands” headlines. The bugs had been showing up in increasing numbers around the globe for the past half dozen years, and the growing unrest of the public had forced the Department to step in.

Danny didn’t answer Jen. Instead, he spoke into his phone. “Sherry? I’ll be home late — Yes, I know it’s hard on you being all alone — Yes, I miss Troy, too — No, I’m not burying myself in my work. No. No. No — Look, we’ll talk about it when I get home.”

He ended the call and dropped the phone on the table. She hadn’t let him even try to explain. That was okay. He had enough information now for his boss to agree to Danny’s plan, and this bug would lead them to the nest. The nest — a place so far existing only in theory, where the bugs bred, and where they took humans to learn their shapes.

Danny glared down at the miniature version of his missing son’s face. With luck, when he found the nest, his son Troy would still be there.

Then Sherry would forgive Danny for working these long hours. She would see he’d done it for them, for family.

Today, his family would be healed.

319 words

My blog is participating in the Forward Motion Flash Friday Blog Group, a weekly flash fiction exercise (not that I’m managing weekly!). Check out the other participating blogs for more flash.

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  1. Like!

    2nd paragraph – “compare” should be “compared”?

  2. Heart rending. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, Connie. Your story with Gwen had me thinking about it off and on all day — I meant to comment to tell you so!

  3. Hmmm, where have I heard that before? Good luck with that one Danny boy. The bugs are on to you. They’re expecting you. Bugs are in all sorts of jobs these days, even laboratories.

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