April 01, 2020

"The Ants Are Angry" - The Misadventures of Little Rudger

Curley came running up to Little Rudger at one morning before class had begun. He had a huge grin on his face that could only mean one thing. "Yo bro, it's Fri-day!" he said, placing emphasis on the first syllable. "Meet at my house tonight." Yes! It was true! "Fri-day" meant someone had a date with Lucy, and minds were about to be opened that weekend.

Sandman, Koby, and Little Rudger met up with Curley in the garage at Curley's house later that afternoon. Sandman sat down on a couch and started strumming an old acoustic guitar he brought with him. There was a bag of fast food left out from the previous night. A thick line of ants formed a highway traveling up the side of the couch and went across the arm to the leg of a table where the bag was sitting. Before the trip settled in, Curley grabbed the bag of food and threw it in a trash can outside. This sent the ants scurrying all over the place in a panic to find the missing food.

As the trip began to settle in, Sandman and Koby were in a stereo-typical metal-head debate about which drummer was better. Koby made a good argument for Rick Allen of Def Leppard, who had only one arm. But Sandman was insistent that Animal from The Muppets was the best drummer he had ever seen perform live. "You never saw Animal perform live, wtf." said Koby, scoffing at the ridiculous notion. "Dude, I totally did." replied Sandman. "It was part of their Movin' on Mupp Tour."

Little Rudger was uninterested in the silly debate. He was more interested in a pretty blue hookah he had just discovered in the corner of the garage. He cradled the large glass object in his hands carefully, gazing with curious eyes as if it were a magic lamp containing a genie. He grabbed the hose that stuck out from the side and sucked on the wooden mouth-piece. The glass was dark blue, and barely transparent enough to see that there was water inside. But the glass was also too dark too see much else. Little Rudger shook the object slightly. Water could indeed be heard splashing around inside. So why wasn't it making bubbles when Little Rudger sucked on the hose?

Curley had a tendency to space out into his own little world inside his head during these events. This night was one of the first times it had happened, so it was a little odd when he was suddenly staring straight ahead with a thousand yard stare as if stuck in a daydream. Little Rudger nudged Curleyand asked him how to work this strange water-filled contraption. Curley was like a statue. Staring straight ahead, unresponsive. Little Rudger gave him another nudge. Harder this time. Curley wobbled back and forth slightly, but still stare straight ahead.

"Yo Curley!" Koby shouted using his hands cupped over his mouth to project the sound towards his stone-like friend, despite the fact that he was only three feet away from him. Curley looked over at Koby, but still had a blank expression on his face as he stare directly at him. "How does that hookah work?" Koby said. Curley continued to stare back at Koby and didn't say anything. "Earth to Curley." Sandman chimed in. Curley's eyes were now wide like a deer who had just wandered onto the road and was surprised by a pair of oncoming headlights. Still, he remain silent.

That's when the lights went out. Everything was black except for the boys and the objects they were sitting on, which were illuminated and floating in the mid-air. A large, man-sized ant approached. It was standing upright on two legs like a humanoid. Holding a whip in one hand. The three other hands were in fists that were shaking like an old man who had been bothered by one-too-many whippersnappers in his day. He wasn't having any of the boys' shit.

Koby shrieked and ducked under a blanket. Sandman dissipated backwards into the couch cushions somehow. Little Rudger lay back on the chair and played dead hoping that the ants vision was like the T-Rex in Jurassic Park, and if he just didn't move, the ant couldn't see him. Which of course wasn't true. The ant cracked his whip overhead and cackled a crazy ant laugh that was half Predator / half Charlie Brown's teacher / and half Ganon from the original NES Legend of Zelda video games. Or was it half Ganon-Predator / half Charlie Brown teacher? Maybe it was half Ganon / half Pred-teacher?

Then the lights came on and the boys were back in the normal garage again. "Woah! Welcome back guys." Curley finally spoke. "Welcome back us?" said Little Rudger. "Welcome back yourself!" he added while panting and holding his own chest, trying to catch his breath. Then Little Rudger's eyes lit back up like a kid who just realized that the Boogeyman isn't real.

Giant ant be damned, Curley was back! This meant he could help fix the problem of the water-filled, but non functioning hookah. Little Rudger snatched up the big blue water-pipe and was about to hand it to Curley to ask him why it wasn't working. But now that Little Rudger was back to a normal frame of mind, he immediately saw the problem. Yes, the device was indeed filled with water. But the water wasn't filled up high enough to reach the down-stem, which kind of defeats the entire purpose. The boys used a nearby bottle to fill the water level up enough to make the hookah functional again, then enjoyed a "tasty" session.

The trip was winding down. Curley went inside the house to go rest in his own bed. The other three boys stayed in the garage and made use of various furniture to sleep on. Sandman stay put on the couch where he had been all night, laying his head back to rest. Koby curled up like a dog on a pile of blankets in the corner, with one leg sticking out and occasionally twitching. Little Rudger sprawled himself across a chair with its matching footrest pulled up next to it. The room fell quiet as the boys drift off to sleep.

"Ow!!!" Sandman broke the silence as he shot up abruptly, rubbing the back of his head. "The ants are angry."

*Disclaimer: The Misadventures of Little Rudger is a work of literary fiction.

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