Colony Collapse

1 Sep

I have been told (by my computer) that I’m running out of space. Apparently I am a digital hoarder. In an attempt to clean out my computer’s hard drive, I’ve been going through the documents on my computer and deleting the ones that are expendable. As much as it pains me, I don’t think I still need the notes I took on my Mythology course in college seven years ago. Mixed in with all the rubble, I found a story that I had written some time ago for a flash fiction contest in the science fiction genre. It’s not my standard genre, there’s not an ounce of fact in this story, and it’s not the best I’ve ever written, so I’m not surprised that I didn’t win said contest. But all the same, I don’t think it’s terrible, which is why I’m sharing this almost-forgotten story with you all today.

The truth, if there was such a thing, was that she was responsible. But, then again, Truth had become subjective, if it existed at all.

It had started, as things often do, with the best of intentions.  They were trying to design an environmentally friendly pesticide.  Crazy, they called it; laughable in its absurdity.  There was no such thing as an environmentally friendly pesticide. 

Only there was. 

It was a genius idea, her idea, a pesticide designed to recognize the genetic makeup of the one insect it was designed to kill; a placebo to all other species.  Companies loved it.  The government loved it.  The world loved it.  It was rushed through testing and approval faster than any other pesticide in history, and for one blissful year, her life had been perfect.

Then the bees began to disappear.  At first it was just a colony here or there; mysterious, but not alarming.  But then the reports began in Belgium.  France.  Greece.  Portugal.  Ireland.  Taiwan.  It was the largest mass extinction since the dinosaurs.  When the bees were gone, the crops quickly followed.  Peaches, apples, pears, cherries, raspberries.  The list went on.  Fruit was now just a distant memory.  Her daughter, now seven, had never even tasted it.

Up until that point she had held on to the distant hope that they would rally, somehow.  Redesign fruit in the labs.  Artificially pollinate the crops.  The Farmer Rebellion had turned that dream to dust.  It played out like something in an apocalyptic novel.  Underground meetings.  A farmer’s wife encoding messages in her knitting like a modern-day Madame Defarge.  The capital never saw it coming.  They came in the night, in the thousands, with whatever they had.  The poverty-stricken, clutching homemade bombs and determination.  The larger farms had pooled their resources and invested in more advanced weaponry.

She told her daughter this, there, in the basement safe room of the lab because it was only a matter of time before They found her, and her daughter needed to know the truth.  If there was such a thing. 

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