The Battle of Apple Blossom Bough

Pheonix Likely

We chose to build in that area because that’s where our ancestors had lived many generations ago. We worked together building a massive home where we would commune together. All of us had our roles and we knew them instinctively. We never intended to do any others in the area harm when we set down roots. Live and let live as your Paul McCartney once sang. Our structure was massive, leaving room for all of us to live together but modest in both design and in the sense that the amount of area we took up would go virtually unnoticed for some time. Our requirements of the land were little.

There was no way we were leaving earth without serious consequences for the planet. If we didn’t flourish here, humans wouldn’t either.

I was happy to be in a new home and excited to settle in and have children with the most beautiful female on the planet. It’s true she had a history and offspring from more than one previous union but our culture doesn’t view sexual practices and relationships with the same kind of moral judgment as yours. All I know is that wherever she went I was going to follow her. There was something magical about being around her. Everyone thought so.

One day, one of your people came upon our home. He surveyed us cautiously hoping that we didn’t discover his presence. Returning members of our community that were away on expedition spotted him as they approached our facility. They chose to stay out of view and determine what he was up to. The fact that we were there, obviously made him nervous, as he muttered and showed outward signs of aggression. Our small expedition decided it was better not to make contact with him. Some of the others in the compound had sighted him as well. They nervously discussed what to do but our leader ordered them to remain calm. If the stranger approached, the order to take up defensive positions might’ve been given, but he remained back, feeling comfortable that his presence had not been detected. Some of our citizens remained fearful after he left but our leader told them to calm themselves and get back to work. By the next day life had returned to normal.

We were amazed when we saw that he’d returned and was preparing to attack us with what appeared to be a large cylindrical, tower-like weapon of mass destruction. We’d heard of such a weapon but had never had the misfortune of encountering one. A sister colony was nearly wiped out by one generations ago. The stranger was an adept soldier and quickly had the weapon in position, trained on our primary entrance. We were caught completely off guard, similar to the attack you suffered on Pearl Harbor. The command was given and we scrambled wildly trying to get a defense ready. We fumbled over each other as we struggled to get out of our structure and clear of the line of fire before the attack began. It was too late. He deployed his weapon. It was biological, poisoning everyone. Most of us died quickly. Others struggled, fighting for life before succumbing to the inevitable. I watched my brother as he lay on his side and writhed, occasionally attempting to straighten his arms and crawl. I immediately feared for my mate. I was near the exit and she was clear across the facility but I could sense her. I could feel her essence slipping away and it made me want to scream out. She was pregnant. The poison sent me into violent seizure-like spasms before I too pulled fetal and died. Your people destroyed our colony that day but be assured that there will be more of us and we will rebuild. Thankfully, for your sake, you haven’t seen the last of us.
* * *
“Take care of it?”
He nodded.
“Do you even know what I’m asking?”
He nodded again.
“Will you please answer me?”
“I did answer you.”
“With words.”
He looked up from his eggs, finally answering, “yeah, I took care of it, Lillian. You’re talking about the damn bees’ nest that was out in the apple tree. Notice that I said was.”
“Spray it with the hose?”
“Why not?”
“Would’a got all stung up and then they would’a just rebuild there again.”
“So what?”
“What’d ya use?”
“Big spray bomb. Poisoned the bastards. You should’a seen em. They was floatin down from
the nest in circles like those zeroes in WW1 films.”
“Get rid of the nest then too?” She tried to catch his eyes as he doddled with the sports section.
He sighed. “Can you just get me some more bacon?”
“You gotta get rid of the nest or other bees will just move in.”
“I’ll get rid of the nest on Sunday. I gotta git to town tomorrow.”
“What’s wrong with today?”
“Gotta gopher.”
“Damn it, Hon, you know I don’t like to repeat everything! Put your hearin aid in.” He wiped his mouth with his sleeve. “Got a damn gopher I said.” He turned and motioned for his Golden Lab. “Here, Daisy, come ere, girl.” The dog remained on the rug, head on her paws. “I said git over here!” He slapped his knee and Daisy sprung into action. She ran under the table and buried her snout in his crotch. “Get outa there!” He yanked her out from under the table by her ears and she yelped. He noticed the expression on his wife’s face. “Shut up, you little sissy, Daisy. I didn’t hurt you. You’re just playin her for sympathy. You’re sure as hell not gonna get none from me. ” He grabbed his plate from the table and set it on the floor in front of her. “Finish them damn eggs for me before they give me the farts.” Daisy cleared the food away as fast as her tongue rounded the plate.
“So watcha gonna do?”
“Well I’m gonna kill him, ain’t I? You know that.”
“I mean how, Ed. With poison?”
“Nope. With my 22. He’s been beggin for it. Leavin holes all over the place. Nearly turned an ankle. Damn smartass gopher.”

* * *

“Do we need to take care of it?” They examined the gorgeous blue heaven on their monitor.
“Yes. We’ll need to exterminate them if we’re going to use that planet.”
“You’re certain.”
“Yes. We know they’re hostile. Aggressive toward every other species.”
“Very well. I’ll give the order.
©2009 Pheonix Likely. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Pheonix Likely is a full time writer who currently resides in Superior Wisconsin. This short piece is meant to provoke readers into seeing things from another point of view. Pheonix has short fiction coming out this fall in both Ruthless Peoples and Kill Author under the pen name Buck Likely & J. T. Pearson.