Formaldehyde and Vines: Chapter 3, Bright Eyes

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Xavier was a teacher. He taught the young ants all about history and the many wars their hills had to face to protect their hives. He was certainly shaken from this past weekend. He thought the kids would get his mind off of things but really, they just made it worse. He knows a lot of the young ants like to hang out at the parks at night. Would they be safe?

His colleague, Daniel Shaar, noticed that Xavier’s head was somewhere else.

“Xavier, man. What’s going on? You’ve been distracted all day this isn’t like you. Still having problems with Olive? Did something go wrong with your fancy date night plan?”

After listening to Xavier’s story, Dan asked him why he hadn’t gone to the police. Xavier knew he should have, but a really big part of him was thinking that maybe it was just some kids playing a prank or rough housing. He had been a young ant once. He knew how it was. Their prep was over and Dan had to get back to his art class. “Look man, I think you might feel better if you report it. Even if it was nothing.” With that nugget of advice Dan left the teachers room. Xavier knew Dan was right. He was going to pick Olive up on the way home from work and they could go report it together.

On the other side of town, in a deep dark underground cave, an ant carcass lays flat across a gurney style table. It’s entire face was carefully carved off and removed. Making a mask, including the mandibles and antennas. The ant on the table was the towns very own Florist, Michael Henn. His face had been extracted so carefully that there was no tearing or ripping.

Xavier picked Olive up right away, he knew what they had to do. She agreed. Off in the distance, a shadow lingered behind a bush. It watched Xavier and Olive, keeping its gaze mostly on Olive. Something about her eyes were calling to the shadow. A thirst was starting to brew that would not easily be quenched.

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