the beast
by Jesus Miguel Mendoza

Mike and Kai were lifting weights in the garage when it happened. There was a buzzing noise─ like a helicopter, or a distant lawnmower. A huge airborne bug the size of a Chiquita banana flew into the garage.

“What the fuck is that!” Mike immediately ran out through the side door and into the driveway. Kai was stoned. He usually smoked weed just before working out, or doing anything, including going to sleep. Being stoned all the time made him fearless.

“Die motherfucker!” Kai picked up his water bottle and attacked, swinging wildly and screaming profanities.

The bug was swift, eluding the onslaught. It looked like a small pterodactyl; a prehistoric insect undetected by modern science. A Paleontological oddity─ large wings beating the air with a clearly audible buzzing. “Bzzzz.”

There was a large farm down the street with vast broccoli fields. Tractors and small prop-planes were always dumping pesticides on the crops. Immigrant farm workers would set off screeching rockets in the morning. The small, indigenous migrants didn’t make effective scarecrows, so rockets were employed to scatter the birds away. The farm drew all types of bugs to the area.

Kai jumped from the leg-press, fighting the beast on its own turf. It was a viscous dog-fight. A battle in the sky. The bug briefly landed on top of Kai’s head, strafing him with a translucent jelly-glaze.

“Get the hell out of there, dude!” Mike watched horror-struck. Relentless buzzing echoing from the garage.

THWACK! A savage blow from the water bottle sent the bug spiraling to the driveway, twitching and hopping. Mike immediately stepped on it before it could take to the air again. There was a loud cracking and crunching noise. Creamy white and neon-green entrails spewed onto the driveway in large globs. The Jurassic beast was dead, reduced to the shape of a size-10 Adidas shoe. Then there was silence. An unscathed wing fluttered in the breeze.

Mike heard the shifting of weights in the garage. Kai was lying on the bench-press staring at him. "You gonna spot me or what?"

photos by Hobart

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