Contributor: Yonathan Teferi

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The journey back home would be dreadful, for only I knew the ventures that awaited me. As a common worker, it was my sole purpose to fulfill my Queen’s commands, and this journey would serve as just that. Even if it was my first time away from the colony, I knew what needed to be done.

I left the foreign tree, carrying the would-be final piece of a new parent colony. The responsibility weighed my body down, but us common workers have always carried the burden of our hierarchy.

While heading back to the colony, I noticed a frail creature. Long legged, with a body smaller than mine, it headed in my direction. Eye contact was difficult, considering I had two and it eight. That foreign beast wouldn’t get a word out of me. My eyes betrayed my mind, and for a split moment, I felt lost in this world.

My tree was my world. It was rare for my kind to travel alone, but this mission only required a single worker. Although it was only a single item that was asked to be retrieved, I could’ve benefited from an accomplice. The world was larger than my colony, and only in the face of conflict could I come to terms with that.

Approaching the tree, I headed to the base where my colony was located. The colony was massive, divided into multiple satellite-colonies, with a governing parent colony where my Queen was located. I headed down a gallery that I personally carved out, to the parent colony. The gallery, which was usually dense with worker ants, was as vacant as the neighboring nests that housed the eggs.

I held a key piece that was required for our colony to completely flourish, but upon my return, there wasn’t a single worker around. The missing piece to an extension of our vanished society, carried by me, a common worker. I was a single worker, alone in an empty colony, exposed to any threat called upon me. Fear struck my core and rattled my senses, causing an unexpected panic attack.

The moment I exited the colony, I knew what had happened. Occasionally, meaning every few years, the colony would become threatened by a foreign beast. I couldn’t help but imagine that eight-eyed creature reeking havoc on my home, on my people.

I ventured away from the colony, in search of the others. I still carried the key item on my back, in hopes of still pleasing my Queen. If that opportunity still awaited me.

I felt a drop of water on my antennae. The velocity of the impact informed it was rain. Without a proper colony for shelter, I was as vulnerable as the tall grass protecting the dirt underneath.

In the distance, I could see the eight-eyed beast. He was up in a foreign tree, spinning something together. Whatever it was, it stopped the incoming rain. I crawled up the tree cautiously, for I knew what monstrosity these foreign creatures could cause.

I approached, slowly edging myself under the creature’s contraption. It worked as well as I observed. The creature fixed himself next to me, all eight eyes examining my fragile exoskeleton.

“Get away from me, you foreign beast,” he said.

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Yonathan Teferi is a writer that is currently enrolled at Full Sail University. Originally from Buffalo, NY, he currently resides in Orlando, Fl.
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